27 Mar 1953 – Gloria Swanson Renting Former Co-Star Home

Gloria Swanson is living in Falcon Lair, the old Rudolph Valentino luxurious mansion while she forgets movies and takes up television.  Miss Swanson was imported again to Hollywood, but this time to narrate and star in a Crown Theatre television film series for Bing Crosby Productions, and for her brief stay she rented the Valentino Home.  In “Sunset Boulevard” the film that sparked her movie comeback, she played a one-time movie queen who lived in a fabulous home of the silent movie era.  Thus, I drove up the hill to the Valentino mansion to see if real life was imitating the movies.  the Italian-style Valentino house looks like a chateau from the bottom of the hill. But its actually a tidy nine-room house and there isn’t even a swimming pool for Bill Holden to float in, as in “Sunset Boulevard”.  But there is an empty guest house, over the garage like in the movie.  Miss Swanson wasn’t wearing dark glasses and a long cigarette holder, but a coat dress billowing with petticoats.  “Yes, I’d love to do another beautiful picture, but it would just be compared to Sunset.  “Three in Bedroom C” was and its like comparing soufflé to steak.  I took “Sudden Fear” to Paramount and they turned it down, but well that’s past.  “I’ll never do another play either and if its a failure its a waste of time and if its a success, your tied up for another year”.  In her television movie, “My Last Duchess” she once again portrays a faded movie star. “This is the tenth actress I’ve played” she smiled. “I’m like the proverbial butler in the movies.  I don’t know why people think of me as portraying actresses”. after the TV series, Miss Swanson will return to New York City to her dress business, which is branching into hats, hosiery, perfume and health bread. Also, she will write her autobiography from 1920-1930 “the rise and fall of a legend”.  The Gloria Swanson the movie studios created is as amusing and startling to me as everyone else.  “You know, the stories about my throwing cats over Pola Negri’s transom But those were exciting days, people had dreams and now the movies have been regimented. Nobody dreams anymore, said the lady of the Valentino house”. The last time, I visited this house, was to attend a séance by some fake mediums who put in a call to Valentino’s ghost and there was no answer.  The next tenant, Miss Swanson said was heiress Doris Duke.  Miss Duke promised parties not séances.

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