Janet Gaynor In A Star Is Born

Janet Gaynor and Fredric March

In 1936 Janet Gaynor was cast as Vicky Lester, an aspiring actress who falls in love with an aging actor, in the romantic drama A Star Is Born. Thirty year old Janet was already one of Hollywood's most popular film stars and she had won the first Academy Award for Best Actress in 1927. A Star Is Born was produced by David O'Selznick and directed by William A. Wellman. It was filmed in the Fall of 1936 and had a budget of over one million dollars. This was the only Technicolor film Janet ever appeared in. Fredric March played Norman Maine, her tragic love interest. It's been rumored that the relationship between Vicky and Norman was based on Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay's unhappy marriage.


The cast includes Adolphe Menjoue, May Robson, Andy Devine, and Carole Landis as an uncredited extra. A Star Is Born was a huge hit when it was released on April 20, 1937. The movie got rave reviews and was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Janet was nominated for Best Actress but she lost to Luise Rainer. Although A Star Is Born was the biggest hit of her career Janet decided to retire from acting just a year after it's release. A Star Is Born is such a classic Hollywood story that it's been remade three times - in 1954 with Judy Garland, in 1976 with Barbra Streisand, and in 2018 with Lady Gaga.