Thursday, January 29, 2009



By Robin Coons (Associated Press)

Hollywood – To the real life role of mother Gloria Swanson brings in ample measure the grace and sincerity which makes for good performance on stage or screen.

About to assume that role again, as she announced in London, the screen star has with her in Europe the two best testimonials to her maternal instinct.

They are little Gloria, aged 11, her child by her second husband, Herbert Somborn, Hollywood restaurateur, and young Joseph, aged 9, adopted by the star when he was an infant and given equal status with her own child.

These are the two playmates who will have for playmate, as Gloria plans, the heir of her new husband, Michael Farmer.

Little is known by most of Hollywood about the Swanson youngsters, for Gloria consistently refuses to let the spotlight in which she has lived for years touch them.
But Gloria’s close friends vouch for the careful rearing, for the devotion that has been lavished on the two children.

Says one of them: “They have a governess, who has been with them for years, but Gloria, even when she’s busy, always has time for the children herself. No matter what she is doing, whether she is giving a dinner party, or entertaining, or studying, if the children have something to tell her she goes to them.”

The children attend public school in Beverly Hills, and are driven to and from school daily by a chauffeur. They are, as are the children of most famous film stars, constantly under adult guardianship to protect them from kidnappers. That is one penalty all movie children pay for their parents’ wealth and fame.

But otherwise they live much as other children of wealth. They are well-dressed, have virtually everything in the way of playthings and toys – Joseph has a leaning to airplanes and boats at the present – and quite often have little parties to entertain their friends. Little Gloria and Joseph, early, were started in musical studies.

Gloria Swanson, the star, is very much Gloria Swanson, the mother, when she travels. If it’s at all possible without interfering with their schooling, she takes the children along.
The last time she returned from Europe – when she was busily denying her marriage to Michael Farmer, and getting married – she couldn’t get to Hollywood and the children soon enough. She sent for them to join her in New York.

Hollywood concedes Gloria the title of “devoted mother.”

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