Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty by Bernard F. Dick

By Bernard F. Dick

Claudette Colbert's mix of attractiveness, sophistication, wit, and vivacity fast made her one of many movie industry's most renowned and highest-paid stars of the Thirties and Nineteen Forties. even though she begun her occupation at the ny degree, she used to be liked for her roles in such motion pictures as Preston Sturges's The Palm seashore tale , Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra , and Frank Capra's It occurred One evening , for which she gained an Academy Award. She confirmed striking prescience through turning into one of many first Hollywood stars to include tv, and she or he additionally again to Broadway in her later profession.

This is the 1st significant biography of Colbert (1903-1996) released in over 20 years. Bernard F. Dick chronicles Colbert's lengthy occupation, but in addition explores her youth in Paris and big apple. besides discussing how she left her mark on Broadway, Hollywood, radio, and tv, the booklet explores Colbert's lifelong pursuits in portray, type layout, and advertisement paintings. utilizing correspondence, interviews, periodicals, movie documents, and different examine fabrics, the biography finds a sensible, gifted actress who conquered Hollywood and continues to be one in all America's so much alluring monitor icons.

Bernard F. Dick is professor of conversation and English at Fairleigh Dickinson college and is the writer of Hal Wallis: manufacturer to the celebrities ; Engulfed: The loss of life of Paramount photos and the start of company Hollywood ; without end Mame: The lifetime of Rosalind Russell (University Press of Mississippi); and different books.

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Extra info for Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty

Sample text

The critics agreed that it was a great spectacle, but not much of a play. ” When Pearl closed after thirty-two performances, there was a much better vehicle in the offing—one that enhanced her reputation as a leading stage star and also brought her together with another actor, Norman Foster, who became her first husband. The Barker, which opened on 18 January 1927 at the Biltmore, a theater that became Claudette’s favorite, provided her with her longest run thus far: six months. The star was Walter Huston, as the manager of a tent show, who does not want his son (Norman Foster) to follow in his footsteps, preferring instead that he become a lawyer.

Hall’s words were prophetic. She would even be more at home when she could speak her lines, not mouth them. She did not have long to wait. By 1929 Claudette had appeared in enough plays to develop a stage technique that could, if modified, transfer to the screen, as was evident in 38 COMMUTING TO WORK her first sound film, The Hole in the Wall (1929), the second movie version of Frederick Jackson’s melodrama, which had played for seventy-three performances in 1920: a respectable run, particularly since 141 plays opened that season, and 71 ran for fewer than seventy-three performances.

The New York Times, however, was not the voice of theatergoers who were enchanted by Claudette—so much so that the play lasted for 103 performances. There was no one on Broadway whose eyes could flash innocence and experience at the same time and whose voice could range from demure to worldly without making a stop in between. Aware of Claudette’s audience appeal, Woods promoted her as his British discovery. The New York Times’ “Who’s Who on the Assorted Stages” BECOMING CLAUDETTE COLBERT 25 column (8 November 1925) carried a story that Claudette and playwright Frederick Lonsdale, whose comedy, The Fake, Woods was producing, came from the same “town” in England.

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