Jury Coordination and Notes

First Female Actress to win an Oscar by Brianna Hope Beatom

Janet_Gaynor_publicity.JPGAwards are given to people for all categories in the film industry. For example, director, picture, costume, make up, actor and actress – just to name a few. Janet Gaynor got the ball rolling for actresses in film. Janet took home the Oscar for Best Actress in 1929 for her role in the film 7th Heaven, Sunrise and Street Angel at the very first Academy Awards on May 16, 1929.

Originally named, Laura Augusta Gainor, Janet started her life on October 6, 1906 in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At a young age, her parents Laura Buhn and Frank D. Gainor move to San Francisco, California to begin a new chapter in their life and it’s there she graduated from high school in 1923. Janet later moved to Los Angeles where she attended a secretarial school and took a job at a shoe store for $18.00 a week.

Even back then LA, had a reputation for its fame and talent in acting, singing and performing. It’s this very reason that Janet decided to try acting. She landed some small parts in many feature films and extra roles in comedy shorts. You could say, that she lived by the saying “Good things come to those who wait.”

In 1926, at age 20, she performed as Ann Burger in the Johnstown Flood and did an excellent job. She starred in films such as The Shamrock Handicap, The Blue Eagle, The Midnight Kiss, The return of Peter Grimm and many more. When “talkies” replace silent films, Janet was one of a few actresses that made a good transition with her voice on the screen. She starred in the films A Star is Born, The Young in Heart and Bernardine.

Her acting career slowed and the last play she performed in was a Broadway version of Harold and Maude. Honestly, the play was not as successful as they thought, but Janet and her strong acting skills made it better than it would have been without her. On the screen or on stage she definitely had what it took to entertain everyone.

Janet Gaynor died at the age of 77 and was a lady that taught us a valuable lesson – it doesn’t matter if it hasn’t been discovered or even invented, if we want something we have to make it happen instead of waiting for it to happen with no work at all.

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