This is the first installment of my tribute to those glamorous film stars who maybe weren’t as well known to the masses. The unsung stars of an era who also added their special qualities to the silver screen and made some pretty memorable movies too. The first of these had a career which lasted from 1932 to 2004 and was nominated for an oscar at the age of 87 for ‘The Titanic’ directed by James Cameron.
Gloria Stuart made a couple of very famous horror movies which are still revered to this day. ‘The Invisible Man’ which has had at least two remakes and ‘ The Old Dark House’. In 1933 she made a very interesting film way ahead of it’s time called ‘It’s Great To Be Alive’ with Raul Roulien another unsung star of the 30s. Stuart plays the girlfriend of a young aviator played by Roulien whom she dumps unceremoniously. He flies solo over the Pacific ocean in an attempt to forget her and crash lands on an uninhabited island. He survives and stays for sometime on the island trying to fix his plane. While he is gone a global disease called ‘masculitis’ wipes out the male populations in the cities leaving women in control of all the institutions. When he finally returns it seems that it’s up to him to continue the human race. Eventually the disease is eradicated, the world returns to normal and the aviator marries his girlfriend. Wish Hollywood would remake that one.
Stuart also had lead roles in ‘Rebecca Of Sunny brook farm’ and ‘Gold Diggers of 35’ . It is not only on film that she shone but in all the arts. A talented bonsai artist,printer,printmaker and painter with sell out exhibitions in New York. Stuart was also an activist and ,along with her husband, tried to join the French resistance in 1936 but was turned down. She returned to form The Hollywood Anti Nazi league and a league to support spanish war orphans with writer Dorothy Parker. Gloria Stuart lived to the ripe old age of 95 and had lived life to the fullest. A great star and a great lady.