1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Norma Talmadge

The daughter of legendary Hollywood mother Peg Talmadge. Her father, an alcoholic and unemployed, left the family when Norma was a child. Peg saw an opportunity to get Norma into motion pictures. Traveling to Vitagraph Studios she managed to get past the studio gates and see a casting director, who threw them out. Peg and Norma continued to haunt Vitagraph with telephone calls, and in 1910 Norma got some small parts in films. In 1913, she was voted Vitagraph’s most promising young player and was ranked 42nd in Photoplay Magazine’s popularity poll. In the 5 years she had been with Vitagraph, she had played in over 250 films. At a party Norma met Joseph Schenck (who was founder of 20th Century Fox with Darryl Zanuck), and in October 1916 they were married. In 1920 Norma moved her production company to Hollywood and throughout the 1920’s she continued to triumph in films. During the filming of Camille, she had fallen in love with co star Gilbert Roland and began divorce proceedings to marry him. She never married Roland, but Schenck never tried to stop the divorce proceedings. Her career began to decline and when the ‘talkies’ arrived, her career was pretty much over. In 1934, she finally divorced Schenck, from whom she had been separated for seven years, and nine days later married actor George Jessel. She divorced Jessel in 1939, falling into drug addiction of which her crippling arthritis was one manifestation. In 1946 Norma married Dr. Carvel James who made her last years as comfortable as possible. She died on December 24, 1957. She was the first to have her footprints in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, when she accidentally stepped in the fresh stuff in 1927 in front of theater impresario Sid Grauman. The light bulb went on and the rest is history. She is in a crypt in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.