'Titanic' Co-Star Gloria Stuart Dies At 100

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Stage and film actress Gloria Stuart has died at age 100. Stuart co-starred in Titanic as Rose Calvert, the 101-year-old survivor played by Kate Winslet as a young woman. Both earned Oscar nominations, Winslet as best actress and Stuart as supporting actress.

ARI SHAPIRO, host:

This morning, we are remembering the life of an actress whose most famous role was as a survivor.

Gloria Stuart played old Rose in the movie "Titanic." At age 87, she became the oldest woman ever nominated for an Oscar. She once told NPR about the first time she saw the script.

Ms. GLORIA STUART (Actress): So, I was turning pages like this - old Rose, old Rose, old Rose. It was a great part. Oh, I could taste it halfway through. I knew it was wonderful.

SHAPIRO: The movie was framed by old Rose's memory of a romance from her youth.

(Soundbite of movie, "Titanic")

Ms. STUART: (as Rose) Titanic was called the ship of dreams - and it was. It really was.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Gloria Stuart's role in "Titanic" capped a movie career that stretched back to the elaborate Busby Berkeley musicals in the 1930s. But in later years, she said her heart belonged to the theater.

Ms. STUART: I didn't want to play girl reporters, girl detectives, girl lawyers, rich girl, poor girl - those parts. They were not challenging. I had been playing Chekov and Shakespeare and Pirandello and, you know, I was very snobbish.

SHAPIRO: Gloria Stuart died on Sunday at the age of 100. Her daughter says that during her long life, her mother did not believe in illness. She paid no attention to it, and it served her well.

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