Gloria Stuart Wins Universal Contract For Excellent Test
When a local girl makes good in Hollywood – that IS news!
The far call of cinemaland is heard around the world by all girls with beauty. So it is even unusual when a local miss crashes the gates to filmdom.
Pitsburgh Post-Gazette (Feb. 27, 1932) Pretty Gloria Stuart, a student of the neighboring little theater groups, suddenly found one morning that movie fame was beckoning – and from two studios.
Paramount and Universal both battled for Miss Stuart‘s services. In fact, to such an extent the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had to be called to relieve the situation. Universal, however, managed to prove that first call on Miss Stuart belonged to them, and so the contract was signed.
Miss Stuart made a test for the coveted and difficult feminine lead in “Back Street,” Fannie Hurst’s noted yarn, which John M. Stahl will shortly direct. John Boles has the male lead.
Although nearly every actress in Hollywood has been tested for the part, Universal executives sought an unknown, believing the part would eventually make a star of the actress chosen and that it would be to the studio’s advantage to have the lucky performer under contract.
And that is the story of Gloria Stuart – an unknown – who may yet step into a starring role as her first before the audifilm cameras.
“I think…[signing with Paramount]…would have made all the difference. I might have gone on in films. I think of the ones that started out with me, the same place same station – Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, Olivia de Havilland. I would have liked to have won an Academy Award, to have acted in one or two of the things they’ve all done. So that part I regret. But I have to think of what went with it, for them, the many marriages, problems with children, career difficulties – I wouldn’t trade any of their lives for mine. I’m very blessed, I think. I’ve had a happy, fulfilled life.” – Gloria Stuart (in 1988)
“I have enjoyed acting very much because I know it’s not for real!” – Gloria Stuart
Roman Scandals (1933). With Ruth Etting and Verree Teasdale.
The Lady Objects (1938). With Lanny Ross, Joan Marsh, and Robert Paige.