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Saturday, 6 October 2012

Janet Gaynor (1906 - 1984), Silent Film Star

b. October 6, 1906
d.  September 14, 1984

American actress, who in 1928 was the first woman to receive an Academy Award, and the only person to win the award for multiple roles: Seventh Heaven (1927), Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) and Street Angel (1928). Her career continued with the advent of sound film, and she achieved a notable success in the original version of A Star Is Born (1937).

Although married (three times), she was either bisexual or lesbian and simply closeted. One of her marriages was to the openly gay costume designer, "Adrian" Adrian Adolph Greenberg. This was an obvious marriage of convenience, responding to the homophobia of the studio system, and the publicity machine which needed to surround the stars and other film personalities with (heterosexual) romantic allure. Gaynor's marriage to Adrian has been described as "undoubtedly the most famous" of the so-called New York marriages

Although closeted herself, Gaynor has been romantically linked with with the openly lesbian Margaret Lindsay, and with Mary Martin.

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