“A Free Soul: The Life & Unexpected Legacy of Norma Shearer” by Darin Barnes
Norma Shearer historian and collector Darin Barnes will present “The Life & Unexpected Legacy of Norma Shearer” a talk that will explore why Golden Age of Hollywood actress Shearer should have never been a film actress, let alone a superstar. Tickets available soon.
Time & Location
Oct 14, 2023, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM PDT
Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90068
About the Event
Norma Shearer historian and collector Darin Barnes will present “The Life & Unexpected Legacy of Norma Shearer” a talk that will explore why Golden Age of Hollywood actress Shearer should have never been a film actress, let alone a superstar. Director D.W. Griffith said her eyes, one of which tended to cross when she was tired, were too blue to register on film, and impresario Florenz Ziegfeld said she was too short and her ankles too thick to be a performer. Through sheer will and determination, Norma became an international star and the Queen of MGM, the grandest studio of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Barnes will draw on his lifelong study of Shearer’s life through conversations with those who knew her, archival research and the objects that he has collected, that offered insight into her character.
Shearer was also known for discovering actress Janet Leigh (PSYCHO, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, TOUCH OF EVIL), the mother of actress Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as Robert Evans (CHINATOWN, MARATHON MAN) who went on to become an important Paramount Studios producer.
Says Jamie Lee Curtis, “In 1946 Norma Shearer was staying with her husband Martin Arrouge, who was a skier, at a hotel near a ski resort. The front desk manager, Fred Morrison, had a photograph of his daughter, Jeanette Helen Morrison on his desk. The story goes that Miss Shearer complemented her great beauty and asked if she could have the photograph. She subsequently brought it to Hollywood and gave it to Lew Wasserman who then sent it to the people at MGM who then screen-tested Jeanette, changed her name to Janet Leigh, and then gave her the starring role opposite Van Johnson in their movie, THE ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE. Because of that miraculous moment, my mother had a glorious career in the film and television industry married Tony Curtis and gave me life and the love of the same industry, that was so important to both of their lives.”
Explore the Norma Shearer exhibit curated by Barnes when you attend this fascinating talk on an icon of 1930s Hollywood.
TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THIS EVENT SOON.