Produced and Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: April 28, 1928

Featured cast: Norma Shearer, Ralph Forbes, Owen Moore, Gwen Lee

Producer: Irving Thalberg
Director: Sidney Franklin
Screenwriters: Albert Lewin, Richard Schayer; Joe Farnham (titles)
Source: the Arthur Wing Pinero play, Trelawny of the ‘Wells
Cinematographer: William Daniels


A stage star is unprepared for the prejudice she encounters when she marries into the aristocracy.


“The first picture to be placed into work in 1928 at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio was The Actress, a Norma Shearer vehicle which Sidney Franklin is directing.”
- “Actress Unit First to Go into Work in 1928,” Motion Picture News, January 14, 1928.


The Actress is a pleasant little dream for a July evening, a bit sentimental—but having no worrying problems. Miss Shearer plays her part acceptably, even though in one or two spots, she has a tendency to overact.”
- Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times, July 9, 1928

‘‘With Norma Shearer unattractive in the early parts of the picture, owing to the strange makeup and camera treat­ment which sharpens and ages her features, the picture cannot be rated a strong draw generally, despite the prominence of the star, though it should do moder­ate business in most cases.”
- Variety, July 11, 1928


“Nothing to this one. Just a bunch of film. Print and photography good, but there wasn’t any of my patrons that liked this.”
- P.G. Held, Strand Theatre, Griswold, Iowa, Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, November 24, 1928

“A very good picture which gave general satisfaction.”
- Giacoma Bros., Crystal Theatre, Tombstone, Arizona, Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, December 8, 1928

“Went over fairly well but was nothing to remember."
- A.G. Hooper, Ideal Theatre, Stanwood, Washington, Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, December 8, 1928


The Actress cost $358,000 and grossed $595,000.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include profits from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)

Scene Stills

A Behind the Scenes Still