Gloria May Josephine Swanson (/ˈswɑːnsən/; March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress, singer and producer, who is best known for her role as Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star, in the critically acclaimed film Sunset Boulevard (1950). She was one of the most prominent stars during the silent film era as both an actress and a fashion icon, especially under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille, making dozens of silent films and being nominated for the first Academy Award in the Best Actress category. She also produced her own films like Sadie Thompson and The Love of Sunya. In 1929, Swanson transitioned to talkies with The Trespasser. However, personal problems and changing tastes saw her popularity wane during the 1930s when she moved into theater and television.