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Gloria Swanson at home in New York (1972)

Bill: This thing will never get off the ground. Never fly. Take my word for it.

Gloria Swanson: Young man, you think this thing will not fly? In 1917 I was flying in something wilder than this. Do you know who the pilot was?

Bill: Wiley Post?

Gloria Swanson: [Chuckles] No. Cecil B. De Mille and we flew from Hollywood nonstop to Pasadena. Yes, and on the way home we did loop the loops so I could see the moon upside down.

Airport 1975 was one of the first movies my father owned on one those square Philips VCR cassettes and I used to watch it over and over again. It was such an incredibly campy affair that a lot of scenes were later spoofed by Airplane!  – but that was still in the future. Airport 1975 had a a huge cast of movie stars, including the famous cross-eyed Karen Black, who played a stewardess who had to singlehandedly land a 747 after after the pilots die. The biggest and brighest star of Airport 1975 to this little gay boy was Gloria Swanson who didn’t have to play any role but her own.

I was doing a Google image search a while ago. Don’t remember what for, but one of the unrelated pictures that came up was one of Gloria Swanson – which brought back a lot of fond memories. I did some more searching and found out that it was part of an entire series photographed by Allen Warren in 1972 at Gloria Swanson’s New York apartment. All photos are available in hi-res on Wikimedia Commons – and they’re just begging to be printed, framed and hung together in my hallway.

PS: Happy Birthday, dad! You’re turning 67 today!



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