real name: 1930 THE DIVORCEE  
Edith Norma Shearer
10 August 1902, Montreal, Quebec, Canada  
12 June 1983, Woodland Hills, California, USA  
zodiac sign: LEO

Edith Norma Shearer was born on August 10, 1902 in Montreal, Québec, Canada. Her childhood was very pleasant and active where she ski, swim, ice skate, and play musical instruments such as the piano. By the time she was nine she saw a local production and knew right there she wanted to be an actress. By the time she was fourteen she won a local beauty contest and felt this would be the thing to give her a start and send her on her way to stardom. In 1920, her mother took Norma and her sister to New York to try out for the Ziegfeld Follies. Even though the Follies rejected her she managed to find work as an extra in several films, the first being THE SIGN ON THE DOOR and THE FLAPPER both in 1920. Her mother being star-struck herself, encouraged Norma and her sister every step of the way. By the time she made it to California, MGM was established which was to become the greatest studio in history. Norma made a number of small films for them, but none received top treatment from the studio. The one thing they did do was to help enhance Norma's image and improve her acting. Finally, her big break came in the film THE STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBERG in 1927 with the role of Kathi. Motion pictures were changing and Norma had no problem making the transition from silent to "talkie" pictures. Her first sound movie was THE TRIAL OF MARY DUGAN. Norma had married studio head Irving Thalberg in 1927 and many thought her marrying the boss could give her an unfair advantage in getting roles. Not so. She continued in "B" roles and finally the film industry thought she had paid her dues. Thalberg had very poor health and died in 1936. Norma continued to act but left films forever in 1942 with the film HER CARDBOARD LOVER. She had two children by Thalberg and later married Martin Arrouge, a ski instructor. She did maintain her ties with MGM and did a lot of traveling. There is no doubt had she stayed in films she could have gotten better and juicier roles but left while still ahead of the game. The retirement probably made Joan Crawford happy as she detested Norma. Most felt Joan was jealous because Norma was married to Thalberg. She often said, "How can I compete with her? She sleeps with the boss". Norma was smart enough never to engage Joan in confrontation unlike Bette Davis. She always remained dignified. Norma Shearer died at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California on June 12, 1983.

height: 155 cm



Martin Arouge (1942 - death)

Irving Thalberg (1927 - 1936) (his death); 2 children

"How can I compete with Norma when she sleeps with the boss?" - Joan Crawford
as quoted by IMDBase biography by Denny JACKSON