Norma Shearer
FameRank: 5

"Edith Norma Shearer" was a Canadian-American actress. Shearer was one of the most popular actresses in North America from the mid-1920s through the 1930s. Her early films cast her as the girl-next-door, but for most of the Pre-Code film era (beginning with the 1930 film The Divorcee, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress), she played sexually liberated women in sophisticated contemporary comedies. Later she appeared in historical film/historical and period films.

Unlike many of her Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contemporaries, Shearer's fame declined steeply after retirement. By the time of her death in 1983, she was largely remembered at best for her "noble" roles in The Women (1939 film)/The Women, Marie Antoinette (1938 film)/Marie Antoinette and Romeo and Juliet (1936 film)/Romeo and Juliet. Shearer's legacy began to be re-evaluated in the 1990s with the publication of two biographies and the Turner Classic Movies/TCM and VHS release of her films, many of them unseen since the implementation of the United States Motion Picture Production Code of 1930/Production Code some sixty years before. Focus shifted to her pre-Code "divorcee" persona and Shearer was rediscovered as "the exemplar of sophisticated [1930's] womanhood... exploring love and sex with an honesty that would be considered frank by modern standards".

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