Silent screen actress and siren Anita Page was one of the all time great beauties of the silver screen. Miss Page began her film career in New York in 1925 with a small role in the now classic, "A Kiss For Cinderella". Other parts followed such as "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em" (1926) and the lead role in "Beach Nuts" (1926.) The golden blonde bombshell, now a star, was offered a long-term contract at M-G-M.
"Telling The World" (1927), a smash hit, was her first M-G-M film which co-starred William Haines. Her next two films, "Navy Blues" (1927) and "The Flying Fleet" (1928) with Ramon Novarro, M-G-M's reigning romantic idol, were also very successful. However, her lead role opposite Joan Crawford in "Our Dancing Daughters" (1928) rocketed her into super stardom and number one at the box office. Anita got rave review and received more fan mail than any other star, except for Greta Garbo. (Over 10,000 letters a week.) She also starred with Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, in "While The City Sleeps" (1928) and "Speedway"(1929.)
In 1929, the "talkies "took over as silent films and their stars began to fade. Anita Page's beautiful image as a 'Silent Screen Goddess' was threatened in spite of her visual appeal. M-G-M cast her in their very first 'all-talking, all-dancing, all-singing' musical, "The Broadway Melody" (1929.) The film, a huge success, broke all records and won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. The song "You Were Meant For Me" was written for Anita Page, and sung to her in two different films, "The Broadway Melody" and "Hollywood Review of 1929." The song became a number one hit and remained her theme song throughout the rest of her illustrious career.
Anita Page retained her popularity in talkies, turning out fine performances in such films as "Free and Easy" (1930) and "Sidewalks of New York" (1931), both with Buster Keaton. Other successes, "Gentlemen's Fate" (1931), with John Gilbert, "The Easiest Way" (1931) with Clark Gable (Anita was his first leading lady) and "Night Court" (1932) with Walter Huston. By 1933, Anita Page had starred in 34 films opposite some of Hollywood's greatest stars. Her M-G-M contract was up and she broke the hearts of fans the world over by announcing her retirement as a motion picture star.
Anita Page lived in Coronado, California for more than forty years with her husband of fifty-four years, retired Admiral Hershel A. House She first fell in love with Coronado in 1929 when she was filming "Flying Fleet" at the Hotel del Coronado. She now lives in the Los Angeles area where she is still sought after by motion picture groups. Her magnificent beauty remains.
Women's International Center is delighted to acknowledge the legacy of joy left to millions by this legendary screen actress. We proudly present the Living Legacy Award for 1997 to the always glorious and glamorous Anita Page.