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Meet Cute #4: Gloria Swanson and Billy Wilder —

*Note: In 1949, legendary film director Billy Wilder cast actress Gloria Swanson, then 49, as the star of his classic Sunset Boulevard. The events below are based on the actual events leading up to their meeting, though of course I’ve taken liberty with dialogue and details!

1. HOSPITAL ROOM, NEW YORK CITY, INTERIOR, DAY. December 1948.

GLORIA SWANSON, late 40s, lies in a hospital bed. She is recuperating from an emergency appendectomy but still looks chic in a patterned headwrap and collared top.

A TELEVISION on a WHEELED CART plays in front of her bed, tuned to her own show, The Gloria Swanson Hour. SOUNDS of audience laughter and applause.

CLEO, late 20s, Gloria’s friend and secretary, sits next to her, hands folded in her lap. She wears a conservative business suit and is clearly distressed.

GLORIA: But Cleo! Why didn’t you ever tell me how appalling this is!

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