Stars pay tribute to Gloria Stuart
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have led tributes to Gloria Stuart, the 1930s Hollywood beauty who became the oldest Academy Award acting nominee as the survivor in Titanic.
Stuart, 100, who gave up acting for 30 years before her Titanic triumph, died of respiratory failure early on Monday at her Los Angeles home.
Her daughter Sylvia Thompson said she had been diagnosed with lung cancer five years ago and had beaten breast cancer about 20 years ago.
Stuart co-starred as Rose Calvert, the 101-year-old survivor who was played by Winslet as a young woman. Both earned Oscar nominations, Winslet as best actress and Stuart as supporting actress.
"I am so saddened to hear of the loss of this remarkable woman," Winslet said. "I feel blessed to have met her, known her and to have acted alongside her. Anyone who spent time in her presence will know what an extraordinary shining light she truly was. She will be deeply missed."
Titanic director James Cameron wanted an actress who was "still viable, not alcoholic, rheumatic or falling down," Stuart once said. Then in her mid-80s, Stuart endured hours in the make-up chair so she could look 15 years older and she travelled to the Atlantic location, where the wreck of the real Titanic was photographed.
DiCaprio, who played Winslet's lover, Jack Dawson, in Titanic, said Stuart "was a force both on and off screen".
"An amazingly sweet person, a fantastic actress, and someone who always fought for what she believed in. She was one of the last great actresses from the Golden Era of Hollywood," he said in a statement through his publicist.