Gloria Swanson’s Costly Three Year Affair

This larger-than-life actress had a dangerous tango with financial ruin when she had an affair with an ambitious entrepreneur.

For some it’s an old story: the Hollywood leading lady has an affair with a man in power, but this is one of the oldest for American royalty. The star of such classic films as The Untamed Lady, Sadie Thomson, and Sunset Boulevard had a busy social life, having been married an incredible six times. But, the affair Gloria Swanson had with Joseph Kennedy beginning in 1927 was more than a clichéd romance story, it was the beginning of Swanson’s financial downfall. Now intertwined with all the aspects of Swanson’s business and financials, with huge losses from bad film investments, Kennedy led her into bad financial decisions as he gambled with her earnings and her career. During this time, Swanson’s husband discovers the affair and his heart is broken. It wasn’t until Kennedy was called to task in public over the purchases he charged to her accounts that he decides to leave her forever. Swanson was left with no money, no husband, and no lover, though that was only a setback for this larger-than-life screen legend! And, you can read about the life of Heady Lamar here.