Beautiful Anita Page was one of the most famous and popular leading ladies during the last years of the silent screen and the first years of the talkie era. She was best known for starring in The Broadway Melody (1929), the first sound film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Her leading men included the likes of John Gilbert, Clark Gable, Buster Keaton and Robert Montgomery.
Only in her late teens when stardom beckoned, Anita had a huge following that earned her record amounts of fan mail, but she was seldom given lead roles, most often playing second lead, perhaps due to her youthful inexperience as an actress. She was a charming, much-loved screen personality but by 1932 MGM seemed to lose interest in her career despite impressive work in such films as Night Court (1932) and Skyscraper Souls (1932), and before the year was out her contract was not renewed; she slipped off into “B” stardom in films at Columbia, Universal and even more minor studios. She retired from the screen in 1936, making a return 25 years later in The Runaway (1961) with Cesar Romero, and she lived quietly out of the limelight for over a half century. In the 1990s the now widowed star was rediscovered by the media, which enjoyed her light-humored journeys down memory lane about her career, MGM, the silent and early talkie eras and the stars she knew, earning the actress a devoted cult of young fans and a few brief appearances in ultra-low-budget films of the 1990s.