Norman looks at the ocean
Norman hear how Esther will give up
her career because of his drinking.
Back home, Norman goes to bed. Esther and Niles stands on the balcony and talks about Norman. I love him she declares. With the window open, Norman can hear them. She says that she can't go on making pictures any longer, with the way things are. There's nothing left of his talent, Niles says. Twenty years of drinking do make a change to a man. It wasn't just bad pictures, it was him!. Niles agrees to her leaving the studio: Goodbye Vicki Lester. Good luck, mrs. Norman Maine Norman hears all this with a pained expression on his face. [Norman is looking at the ocean] He gets up and sees Esther sitting on the balcony thinking to herself. He looks at the ocean, then back at her. Darling, you're up! she says when she sees him. As part of his new life, he is going to take a swim before breakfast every day, he says. He asks her to sing for her and while he goes down to the beach she sings It's a New World. He goes out into the water and drowns himself.
At the publicity department Libby is on the phone: Yes it is tragic, it's very tragic. We see the frontpage of the Los Angeles Sun: Ex-film star victim of accidental drowning. Libby goes on: We had big plans for him, he was all set for a come-back! He clears his office except for his secretary, miss Willard. This is the way the world really ends, in contrast with the happy ends of movies, he says to himself.
Huge crowds of people have gathered outside the church. When Esther comes out of the church, her calm fans becomes a frenzied mob. Cameras are flashing and people are screaming. Esther breaks down.
At the studio, Libby is talking to Niles about Esther's future plans. She doesn't answer phone calls, not even his. They enter Norman Maine's studio apartment / dressing room. You missed a lot not knowing Norman Maine. I knew him backwards! You didn't know him at all. He was quite a guy!
At her home, Esther sits alone in front of the open fire. Danny McQuire comes to pick her up for the benefit concert at the Shrine she promised to attend. But that was before she replies. She refuses to go with him, all she wants to do is sit alone by herself. But Danny argues back. All Norman was proud of was her success and now she's going to waste it. What would Norman have said if he could see her now? She agrees to go with him.
'This is... mrs Norman Maine'
This is... mrs. Norman Maine!
At the concert hall they walk through the dressing rooms back stage. On one of the walls she sees the lipstick heart Norman once draw with his and her names in it. On stage, the MC first announce that Vicki Lester will not appear tonight, but changes when he hears the news: Vicki Lester will appear tonight! Here she is, ladies and gentlemen. A star that shines bright and high!. The audience is applauding and the MC asks her to say a few words to her fans all across the world. - Hello everybody. This is... mrs. Norman Maine The audience rises and gives her another applaud. The camera tracks out. The end.