Connect with us


Norma Shearer – Married to the Boss



An actress must never lose her ego–without it she has no talent. — Norma Shearer

AS Mrs. Irving Thalberg, actress Norma Shearer ruled over Hollywood with a sophisticated and poised air, brandishing her husband’s authority as her own when it came time to choose the best scripts, co-stars and directors. Her preeminence made her a number of bitter enemies among her female peers at M-G-M–rival Joan Crawford, for instance, bemoaned her situation: “How can I compete with Norma when she sleeps with the boss?” For her part, Shearer believed that “It [was] impossible to get anything major accomplished without stepping on some toes; enemies are inevitable when one is a doer.” She did, and she was.

Though Shearer’s fanny landed firmly in the catbird’s seat following her marriage to Thalberg, her path to stardom wasn’t exactly strewn with rose petals. When her wealthy family lost all its money in the 1910s, Shearer’s mother shuttled her to New York in hopes that her daughter’s beauty could be parlayed into a lucrative show business career. Unfortunately, Shearer bombed out on her audition with follies king Florenz Ziegfeld. Fortunately, she was able to land some work as a model–notably as “Miss Lotta Miles” in tire advertisements–and as an actress in a few bit parts in New York-shot films in 1920. She was spotted in one such effort, The Stealers, by her future husband, Irving Thalberg, who was then working as a talent scout, but Thalberg wasn’t able to track down and sign the compelling actress for a few years.

 Married to the Boss

After Thalberg’s own star rose at M-G-M, he and Shearer married (in 1927), and the duo reigned as the leading couple of Hollywood. Ensconsed as the “First Lady of the Screen,” it was no wonder Shearer achieved stardom, what with having her perennial pick of the litter, but her success wasn’t solely based on nepotism: she garnered five Best Actress Oscar nominations (for 1929’s Their Own Desire, 1930’s The Divorcée, 1934’s The Barretts of Wimpole Street, 1936’s Romeo and Juliet, and 1938’s Marie Antoinette), winning for 1930’s The Divorcée.


Following Thalberg’s untimely (he was thirty-seven) demise from pneumonia in 1936, Shearer lost her sense of direction in the absence of his sage career counsel, and witlessly declined proffered plum assignments in Gone With the Wind and Mrs. Miniver in favor of roles in two back-to-back flops, We Were Dancing and Her Cardboard Lover (both in 1942). She wisely retired from the screen after these failures and later married a ski instructor named Martin Jacques Arrougé, who was twenty years her junior. Shearer is credited for discovering Janet Leigh, whose photograph she spotted while vacationing at a ski resort.

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

Guy's Grocery Games Guy's Grocery Games
News3 hours ago

Season 36 Premiere, Guy’s Grocery Games, March 6, 2024, Food Network,

Calling all fans of Guy’s Grocery Games! The show returns with a Season 36 premiere titled “DDD Vegan” airing on...

Animal Control Animal Control
News3 hours ago

Season 2 Premiere, Animal Control, March 6, 2024, FOX

On Wednesday, March 6, 2024 from 9:00 PM on FOX, Animal Control returns with an exhilarating Season 2 premiere titled...

Family Law Family Law
News3 hours ago

Family Law, March 6, 2024, The CW, “Where There’s a Will”

The CW presents a compelling new episode of Family Law titled “Where There’s a Will” on Wednesday, March 6, 2024...

House Hunters House Hunters
News3 hours ago

House Hunters, March 6, 2024, HGTV, “From Dry Desert to Cooler Climes in Arizona”

House Hunters takes viewers on another thrilling house-hunting journey in an episode titled “From Dry Desert to Cooler Climes in...

The Masked Singer The Masked Singer
News3 hours ago

Season 11 Premiere, The Masked Singer, March 6, 2024, FOX

Get ready for an electrifying season premiere of The Masked Singer! On Wednesday March 6, 2024 at 8:00 PM on...

Wild Cards Wild Cards
News3 hours ago

Wild Cards, March 6, 2024, The CW, “Eternal Sunshine of the Therapized Mind”

In the brand new episode of Wild Cards, titled “Eternal Sunshine of the Therapized Mind,” which is set to air...

Survivor Survivor
News4 hours ago

Survivor, March 6, 2024, CBS, “Scorpio Energy”

Survivor returns with another thrilling episode titled “Scorpio Energy” airing on CBS at 8:00 PM on Wednesday March 6th. In...

The New Look Apple TV+ The New Look Apple TV+
News4 hours ago

The New Look, March 6, 2024, Apple TV+, “If You Believed in Me”

The New Look takes viewers on an extraordinary journey through the world of fashion in its upcoming episode titled “If...

Channel 5 Channel 5
News24 hours ago

Cambodia/Thailand Revisit, Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild, 5 March, 2024, Channel 5

Embark on a remarkable journey with Ben Fogle in “Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild” as he revisits Cambodia/Thailand...

Boarders BBC Three Boarders BBC Three
News24 hours ago

Boarders Episode 3, 5 March, 2024, BBC Three

Prepare for another riveting episode of “Boarders,” a new drama series that delves into the lives of five talented black...

Great British Menu Great British Menu
News24 hours ago

Northern Ireland, Starters & Fish, Great British Menu, 5 March, 2024

Get ready for an exciting culinary showdown in the latest episode of “Great British Menu.” This time, four talented chefs...

Generic Dog West Highland Terrier running in a field. Generic Dog West Highland Terrier running in a field.
News24 hours ago

Bertie the Pug, Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly, 5 March 2024, Channel 5

In an entertaining episode of “Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly,” airing on Channel 5 at 8:00 PM., Tuesday March 5, 2024,...

Hairy Bikers Go West Hairy Bikers Go West
News24 hours ago

The Hairy Bikers Go West Episode 5, 5 March, 2024, BBC Two

Join the Hairy Bikers on their journey as they embark on “The Hairy Bikers Go West.” In episode 5, airing...

Channel 5 Channel 5
News24 hours ago

The Pet Psychic: What’s Your Dog Thinking?, 5 March, 2024, Channel 5, “Episode 3”

Enter the fascinating world of animal communication with “The Pet Psychic: What’s Your Dog Thinking?” This unique series introduces renowned...

News1 day ago

Sarah Everard: The Search for Justice, 5 March, 2024, BBC One

One year after the tragic murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, the BBC presents a thought-provoking documentary titled “Sarah Everard: The...

Featured Image: Rob Bent, Stacey Solomon, Dilly Carter, Iwan Carrington (BBC/Optomen Television/Neil Kent) Featured Image: Rob Bent, Stacey Solomon, Dilly Carter, Iwan Carrington (BBC/Optomen Television/Neil Kent)
News1 day ago

The Fountain Family, Sort Your Life Out, 5 March, 2024, BBC One

Prepare for a transformative journey with “Sort Your Life Out” as it returns with the second episode of the new...