From today (November 16), we’re all able to hit the cinema and see new movie Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, which features the incomparable Annette Bening as film noir starlet Gloria Grahame. In celebration of the release, we’ve got a brilliant exclusive video interview for fans to check out below, as well as a mini collection of must-know facts about the Hollywood femme fatale and her life, that led to her meeting up with Peter Turner.
Said to be descended from King Edward III, Grahame was born in 1923 to Michael Hallward and Jeanne Grahame; the latter of whom was a famous acting coach. Later becoming Hollywood royalty, Gloria signed a contract with MGM and went on to star in over 20 films. The Big Heat, Oklahoma! and It’s A Wonderful Life are some of her most famous pictures.
Known for her puckered lips and playing the flirt, she featured popularly in film noir pictures as the “tarnished beauty with an irresistible allure”.
Even though Grahame was only on screen for nine minutes in The Bad and The Beautiful, she won Best Supporting Actress in 1953. Grahame’s acceptance speech was kept short and sweet as she simply said, “thank you very much” and walked off stage, leading people to think she was drunk.
Oklahoma! was one of Gloria’s most surprising roles, as she took on the role of Ado Anne; the girl who can’t say no. This was a shock to most people as Grahame was tone deaf, but the movie would go on to become the only one where her singing was NOT dubbed over.
Of course, what many remember Grahame for was her iconic pout. In order to accentuate her upper lip, Gloria would stuff cotton inside. This was a shock to the men she shared kissing scenes with when they would pull away with a mouth full of cotton! Later on, low self-esteem drove Grahame to undergo plastic surgery, which severely damaged her lip and even caused speech issues.
Rumours and scandal seemed to follow Grahame around, having much to do with her four marriages. In 1960, Grahame married her ex step-son Anthony Ray, causing tabloids to go into a frenzy. Despite that, this marriage ended up being her most successful and peaceful, lasting a total of 14 years. The scandal did however damage her career, but that didn’t stop her from chasing work on stage.
When working in London, Grahame met Peter Turner; a young struggling actor from Liverpool…
While the acting in Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool alone is enough to stand out, it also sheds some light onto the wonder that is Gloria Grahame. Her talent is enough to set her apart from other femme fatale stars in film noir, yet she is often overlooked and forgotten. Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool is sure to honour Gloria Grahame and her exceptional career.
Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool is now available in cinemas across the UK.
Tagged in Annette Bening