real name: 1928 7TH HEAVEN  
6 October 1906, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA 1928 STREET ANGEL  
14 September 1984, Palm Springs, California, USA 1928 SUNRISE  
zodiac sign: LIBRA

Janet Gaynor was born with the given name of Laura Gainor on October 6, 1906 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At a young age, Janet's parents left the East Coast for San Francisco, California where she graduated from high school in 1923. She then moved to Los Angeles where she enrolled in a secretarial school. She then went to work at a shoe store in L.A. for the sum of $18 per week. But being in the area of stars and studios, she wanted to try her hand with acting. She managed to land bit parts in several films and comedy shorts, where she wasn't acknowledged in the opening credits. She did this for two years but it never really bothered her. As the old saying goes, "All good things come to those who wait." She didn't have to wait too long either. In 1926, at the age of 20, Janet was cast as the leading lady in the film THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD. Playing the character of Anna Burger, she turned in a superb performance. The Hollywood moguls knew they had a top star on their hands and cast her in several other leading roles that year in movies such as THE SHAMROCK HANDICAP, THE BLUE EAGLE, THE MIDNIGHT KISS, and THE RETURN OF PETER GRIMM. Once again, in 1927, Janet turned in well performed roles in SEVENTH HEAVEN and SUNRISE. Based on the strength of those two films plus 1928's STREET ANGEL gave her the very first Academy Award for Best Actress. (This was the first and only time an actress won the Oscar for multiple roles. Emil Jennings won for THE WAY OF ALL FLESH and THE LAST COMMAND for the Best Actor category, also the only time this has happened.) When the 'talkies' took the place of silent films, Janet was one of the few who made a successful transition because of not only her great acting ability but her charming voice sounded good. Without a doubt, Janet had already lived a true rags-to-riches story. All through the middle 1930's she was still the top draw at the theaters. She turned in grand performances in several mediocre films and then came 1937's A STAR IS BORN. Janet was very convincing as Vicki Lester (aka Esther Blodgett) as a struggling actress trying for the big time. In one scene her character heads to Central Casting Corporation to try to register as a bit player. The receptionist tells her that many women call to get jobs and takes her to the switchboard where she hears the many operators tell callers to try again later. As they leave the receptionist tries to gently discourage her by saying, You know what your chances are? One in a hundred thousand." To which Esther/Vicki replies, "But maybe-- I'm that one." Of course her character does make it big after taking the hard road, something that Janet didn't have to do in real life. For this outstanding performance she was nominated for another Oscar but it was won by Luise Rainer for THE GOOD EARTH, her second in as many tries. After appearing in THE YOUNG IN HEART in 1938, Janet didn't appear in another film until 1957 in BERNARDINE. She knew when it was time to leave keeping her legacy sparkling. Her last work was on Broadway in HAROLD AND MAUDE. Although the play was a flop, it was Janet's performance that salvaged the play to any degree. She still had what it took to entertain the public. On September 14, 1984, Janet passed away from pneumonia in Palm Springs, California at the age of 77.


height: 152 cm
She was injured in an auto accident along with Mary Martin in 1982. She never recovered.


Paul Gregory (1964 - ?)

Adrian (1939 - 1959) (his death), child: Robin

Lydell Peck (1929 - 1933)

as quoted by IMDBase Biography by Denny JACKSON