Edith Norma Shearer (August 10, 1902 – June 12, 1983) was a Canadian-American actress, and a major Hollywood star from 1925 through 1942. Her early films cast her as a spunky ingenue, but in the Pre-Code film era, she played sexually liberated women. She excelled in drama, in comedy, and in period roles. She gave well-received performances in adaptations of Noël Coward, Eugene O'Neill, and William Shakespeare. She was nominated six times for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won once, for her performance in the 1930 film The Divorcee.
Shearer's fame declined after her early retirement in 1942. She was rediscovered in the late 1950s, when her films were sold to television, and in the 1970s, when her films enjoyed theatrical revivals, but by the time of her death in 1983, she was best known for "noble" roles in Marie Antoinette and The Women.
A Shearer revival began in 1988, when Turner Network Television began broadcasting the entire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film library. In 1994 Turner Classic Movies began showcasing her films, most of which had not been seen since the reconstitution of the Production Code in 1934. Shearer's work was seen anew, and the critical focus shifted from her "noble" roles to her pre-Code roles...
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