(1902-1983) One of the first Best Actress winners (The Divorcee, 1930) and style icon of the 1930s. Almost forgotten today, she was one of the first actresses to take control of her image and how it was presented to the public. Of course, marrying MGM boss Irving Thalberg helped. Their collaboration established Norma as one of the biggest stars of MGM. Thalberg helped pick her parts; George Hurrell photographed her and Adrian designed her gowns on and offscreen. Fellow stablemate Joan Crawford hated her. "Of COURSE she gets all the good roles, she sleeps with the boss!" Crawford allegedly quipped. She slept with the boss, Joan slept with everybody else!!
She was known to have the perfect profile and was quite pretty, but was initially rejected by a couple of studios for being cross-eyed, which she corrected by doing eye exercises. She was very ambitious and was a bit of a perfectionist. She was her own worst critic and made sure both the camera and costumes hid her flaws. Two of her best-known films are Marie Antoinette and The Women.