Gloria Swanson

March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983


Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson


I have to preface this story with a disappointing statement.  I’ve poured through all of my books and files, and cannot locate a single obituary for this woman.  I don’t know what happened to it, so if anyone can help with details, I would be most appreciative.  Drop me a line with funeral arrangements etc.  Thanks.

Findadeath friend, Jeffrey Brown sends us this link to an obit.  Thanks Jeffrey!

During her life, Gloria Swanson had been married six times, and divorced 5.  Her last marriage was in 1976, to writer William Dufty. He also went under the name Duffy.

Gloria was in one of the greatest films ever, Sunset Boulevard, with William Holden.  She was also in Airport 1975 – which was FANTASTIC.  She played herself and she was penning an autobiography when Karen Black had to take over flying the plane.  She tossed her diamonds out of her jewelry case and stuffed her taped notes into the box instead claiming, “It’s bombproof, the insurance people insisted upon it.”  To steal a joke, it’s the only thing in that film that was bombproof.  I love it, but not as much as I loved her on The Beverly Hillbillies.  Sorry to go on.



History:  Sometime in 1927, Gloria put her footprints in cement, in the forecourt of the Chinese Theatre.



It’s common knowledge that Gloria was doing Joe Kennedy for years, and according to legend – they used to meet for trysts in the Castle Argyll, in downtown Hollywood.



I have to thank our friends of – Stacy Weinstein (with the very cool mom) and Joanne Melito for their fantastic photographs of Ms. Swanson’s home.  Gloria was living in an apartment at on Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan.

Her building was number 920.



Here’s the front door, with the handy, ready to serve doorman standing by,

and no doubt Ms. Swanson lived in one of these apartments.

Thanks, Stacy and Joanne!


On April 4th, 1983, the Studio 54 diva died in her sleep at The New York Hospital, located at 525 E. 68th Street, in New York City.


She was admitted on March 20th for treatment of what was said by a friend, a minor heart attack.

She was 83 years old.



In her will, she specified that she be cremated, and the service be private and confined to family members only, and there be “no public funeral or display of any sort.”  She was indeed cremated, on April 5th, a Tuesday.  She is interred at the Church of Heavenly Rest, in New York City. Thank you to Bob Siler, for the great details.


View her grave.


Trivia:  Gloria was insane about the use of sugar.  I mean she would go ballistic if someone used it around her. She claimed that America lost the Vietnam War because of sugar.  Her last husband, William Duffy, wrote a book called, “Sugar Blues.”  It is the history of sugar and contains some personal insightful confrontations with sugar, experienced by the author.  Thanks for friend, RM for that tidbit.  I remember reading a story about someone who hated her guts, sending her a baby casket filled to the rim with sugar.  That took a lot of thought.



This was sent in by friend, Kevin Kusinitz:    Another piece of trivia for your files. “Sugar Blues,” the book by Gloria Swanson’s husband, was a favorite book of John Lennon’s. Apparently, he’d hand out copies of the book the way Henry Ford did “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Lennon, like Gloria, was sure that sugar was the curse of the world. Of course, Lennon chain-smoked moccasin-like French cigarettes and downed about 20 cups of espresso a day. Real health nut, that Lennon. Thanks Kevin!

Gloria’s husband received nothing in her will.



3 thoughts on “Gloria Swanson

  • January 23, 2023 at 11:30 am

    Years ago I met a friend of a friend who was her publicist in the early 1970s. She remembered her first meeting with Gloria in her glorious penthouse apartment, the outside floor of which was marble. FoF mentioned how beautiful the floor was, and Gloria’s reply was that she thought it would be a nice surface for her grandchildren to rollerskate on.

  • August 31, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Swanson points: Swanson was the apex screen goddess of her era and confused her screen roles with real life. Retinues of servants, fleets of Rolls Royces, mansions, clothes, jewels. She spent as if the massive money would never end –

    Swanson’s fatal mistakes were #1. Making Joe Kennedy her business manager. #2. Making Joe Kennedy her business manager. Bluntly put, Kennedy was an amoral scumbag. An example: Kennedy gifted Swanson with a fur coat. After their affair ended & Kennedy skipped town Swanson hired her old business manager back that Kennedy had fired. Guess who paid for the fur coat? Google Frances Marion on Joseph Kennedy for the extent of his intentional devastation; including the death of her “Greek God” movie star husband Fred Thomson.

    I read Duffy’s Sugar Blues 40 plus years ago. Points I remember: human body has zero nutritional need for sugar. Ancient Romans had horribly diseased bodies but great teeth. Reason? The only sweetener they had was honey. Still have a sweet tooth but avoid sugar in insane stuff, which is everything! I.E. Morton salt has sugar. Who in the hell wants sugar in their salt? Read in 2018 34.2 million Americans had diabetes. Gee, I wonder why? Swanson may have gone a might far in her militancy but with 10.5% of the population diabetic don’t think her reasoning was all that off –

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