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Claudette Colbert is a Actor French born on 13 september 1903 at Saint-Mandé (France)

Claudette Colbert

Claudette Colbert
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Birth name Émilie Chauchoin
Nationality France
Birth 13 september 1903 at Saint-Mandé (France)
Death 30 july 1996 (at 92 years) at Speightstown (Barbade)
Awards Academy Award for Best Actress

Claudette Colbert (/koʊlˈbɛər/; September 13, 1903 – July 30, 1996) was a French-born American actress, and a leading lady for two decades.

Colbert began her career in Broadway productions during the 1920s, progressing to film with the advent of talking pictures. Initially associated with Paramount Pictures, Colbert later gradually shifted to working as a freelance actor. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in It Happened One Night (1934), the first woman born outside of North America to do so, and also received Academy Award nominations for Private Worlds (1935) and Since You Went Away (1944). With her round apple-face, Colbert was known as an expert screwball comedienne, but her dramatic range enabled her to easily encompass melodrama and to play characters ranging from vamps to housewives. During her career, Colbert starred in more than sixty movies. She was the industry's biggest box-office star in 1938 and 1942.

By the mid 1950s, she had largely retired from the screen in favor of television and stage work, earning a Tony Award nomination for The Marriage-Go-Round in 1959. Her career tapered off during the early 1960s, but in the late 1970s she experienced a career resurgence in theater, earning a Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago theater work in 1980. For her television work in The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1987) she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Emmy Award nomination.

In 1999, the American Film Institute voted Colbert the 12th Greatest Female star of classic Hollywood cinema.

Biography

In 1928, Colbert married Norman Foster, an actor and director, with whom she co-starred in the Broadway show The Barker, and in the 1930 film Young Man of Manhattan, for which he received negative reviews as one of her weakest leading men. Their marriage remained a secret for many years while they lived in separate homes. In Los Angeles, Colbert shared a home with her mother Jeanne Chauchoin, but her domineering mother disliked Foster and did not allow him into their home. Colbert and Foster divorced in 1935 in Mexico. Writer Robert Shaw, a close friend of Colbert's later in her life, claimed that around this time the actress had an affair with Marlene Dietrich, with whom she was photographed sliding down a chute at a Venice Beach amusement park.

Four months after her divorce, Colbert married Joel Pressman, a throat specialist and surgeon at UCLA. She gave a Beechcraft Bonanza single-engine plane to Pressman as a present. They purchased a ranch in Northern California, where her husband kept show cattle. During this period, Colbert drove a Lincoln Continental and a Ford Thunderbird. The marriage lasted 33 years, until Pressman's death of liver cancer in 1968.

Jeanne Chauchoin envied her daughter's talents of art and acting, and never gave Colbert recognition for her success. Colbert spent many years of her life seeking Jeanne's approval. Jeanne let Colbert's brother Charles serve as Colbert's agent. Charles used the surname Wendling which was borrowed from Jeanne's paternal grandmother, Rose Wendling. Charles served as Colbert's business manager for a time, and was credited with negotiating some of her more lucrative contracts in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Colbert was generally respected for her professionalism, and the New York Times stated that she was known for giving "110 percent" to any project she worked on. Hedda Hopper wrote that Colbert placed her career "ahead of everything save possibly her marriage," with a strong sense of what was best for her, and a "deep-rooted desire to be in shape, efficient and under control." The writer A. Scott Berg remarked that Colbert had "helped define femininity for her generation with her chic manner." Colbert once said, "I’ve been in the Claudette Colbert business a long time."

In 1954, her aunt Emilie Loew died in the U.S. Although virtually retired from the motion-picture industry since the mid-1950s, Colbert was still financially solvent enough to maintain an upscale lifestyle. Despite already having a country house in Palm Springs for staying on weekends, she rented a cottage in Cap Ferrat in southeastern France. Adman Peter Rogers said, "Claudette was extravagant; I never, ever saw her question the price of anything." In 1963, Colbert sold her residence in Holmby Hills (western Los Angeles), so Joel Pressman rented a small house in Beverly Hills.

There has been speculation by some in Hollywood that Colbert was bisexual, because of her special friendship with the lesbian artist, Verna Hull, but Colbert and her closest friends have denied such a claim. Portrait artist Don Bachardy has written that she was referred to as "Uncle Claude:" "I think she's a really good example of a very closeted situation. Only well within her own circle did they know the truth." In 1958 she met Verna Hull, a wealthy painter/photographer and the stepdaughter of a Sears Roebuck heiress. They had a nine-year friendship and painted together, went for drives together, traveled together and even rented twin penthouses in New York. They had a mutual interest in art. When Colbert bought a house in Barbados in the early 1960s, Hull also bought a modest house next door. The friendship ended suddenly when, as Colbert's husband lay dying, Hull warned Colbert that he might at any moment try to kill her to take her with him when he died. Offended, Colbert announced that she would never see Hull or speak with her again. An article in Vanity Fair explains that Hull had warned Colbert that people "would talk" if they were friends, and would suggest that Colbert might be gay. Colbert reportedly laughed off the suggestion, and was secure enough in herself to not be persuaded by others' views.

For years, Colbert divided her time between her apartment in Manhattan and her vacation home in Speightstown, Barbados. The latter, purchased from a British gentleman and nicknamed "Bellerive," was the island’s only plantation house fronting the beach. However, her permanent address remained Manhattan. Later in life, she was also a staunch Republican and natural conservative.

Colbert's mother Jeanne died in 1970 and her brother Charles died in 1971, so her only surviving relative was a niece, Coco Lewis, Charles' daughter.

Following a series of small strokes during the last three years of her life, Colbert died in 1996 at her second home in Barbados, where she was employing one housekeeper and two cooks. Colbert’s body was shipped to New York for cremation. A requiem mass was later held at St. Vincent Ferrer church in New York City. Her ashes were buried in the Godings Bay Church Cemetery, Speightstown, Saint Peter, Barbados, along with her mother and second husband.

The childless Colbert left most of her estate, estimated at $3.5 million and also including her Manhattan apartment and Bellerive, to a long-time friend, Helen O'Hagan, a retired director of corporate relations at Saks Fifth Avenue, whom Colbert had met in 1961 on the set of Parrish, her last film and became best friends with around 1970. After the death of Pressman, Colbert instructed her friends to treat O'Hagan as they had Pressman, "as her spouse." Though O'Hagan was financially comfortable without the generous bequest, Bellerive was sold for over $2 million to David Geffen. Colbert's remaining assets were distributed among three heirs: $150,000 to her niece Coco Lewis; a trust worth more than $100,000 to UCLA for Pressman’s memory; and $75,000 to Marie Corbin, Colbert's Barbadian housekeeper.

Best films

Royal Affairs in Versailles (1954)
(Actress)
Boom Town (1940)
(Actress)
Since You Went Away (1944)
(Actress)
It Happened One Night (1934)
(Actress)
Cleopatra (1934)
(Actress)
The Sign of the Cross (1932)
(Actress)

Usually with

Travis Banton
Travis Banton
(14 films)
Hans Dreier
Hans Dreier
(13 films)
Charles Lang
Charles Lang
(7 films)
Bess Flowers
Bess Flowers
(10 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Claudette Colbert (69 films)

Display filmography as list

Actress

Hitchcock
Hitchcock (2012)
, 1h38
Directed by Sacha Gervasi
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Biography, Comedy-drama
Themes Films about films, Serial killer films, Children's films
Actors Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Jessica Biel
Rating67% 3.3977653.3977653.3977653.3977653.397765
In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock opens his latest film, North by Northwest, to considerable success, but is troubled by a reporter's insinuation that it is time to retire. Seeking to reclaim the artistic daring of his youth, Hitchcock turns down film proposals like adapting Casino Royale in favor of a horror novel called Psycho by Robert Bloch, which is based on the crimes of murderer Ed Gein. Gein appears in sequences throughout the film in which he seems to prompt Hitchcock's imagination regarding the Psycho story, or act as some function of Hitchcock's subconscious mind (for instance, drawing Hitchcock's attention to sand on his bathroom floor, the quantity of which reveals how much time his wife Alma has been spending at the beachhouse with Whitfield Cook).
That's Entertainment! III, 1h53
Genres Documentary, Musical
Themes Films about films, Documentary films about business, Documentary films about the film industry, Documentary films about cities, Musical films, Documentary films about films
Actors Gene Kelly, June Allyson, Cyd Charisse, Lena Horne, Howard Keel, Esther Williams
Roles (archive footage)
Rating75% 3.7897853.7897853.7897853.7897853.789785
Troisième volet de "Il était une fois Hollywood", "That's Entertainment III" nous propose un nouveau panorama de l'age d'or de la MGM mais aussi des chutes rarissimes, des séquences coupées lors de la sortie des films et des essais d'autres stars que celles qui furent finalement choisies.
Hollywood Without Make-Up
Directed by Ken Murray
Origin USA
Genres Documentary
Themes Documentary films about business, Documentary films about the film industry, Documentary films about cities
Actors Kirk Douglas, Ken Murray, Cary Grant, June Allyson, George K. Arthur, Eddie Albert
Rating71% 3.5769053.5769053.5769053.5769053.576905
The film consists of archive footage of famous Hollywood stars, mostly home movies showing the stars as themselves instead of playing a role in front of the camera.
Parrish
Parrish (1961)
, 2h18
Directed by Delmer Daves
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Romance
Actors Troy Donahue, Claudette Colbert, Karl Malden, Dean Jagger, Connie Stevens, Diane McBain
Roles Ellen McLean
Rating64% 3.247693.247693.247693.247693.24769
The movie shows the story of conflict between a young independently minded man and his stepfather, a ruthless tobacco tycoon.
Texas Lady
Texas Lady (1955)
, 1h26
Directed by Tim Whelan
Origin USA
Genres Western
Themes Films about writers, Films about journalists
Actors Claudette Colbert, Barry Sullivan, Ray Collins, James Bell, Horace McMahon, Gregory Walcott
Roles Prudence Webb
Rating55% 2.767922.767922.767922.767922.76792
On a riverboat, gambler Chris Mooney loses heavily to Prudence Webb, borrows another $30,000 and loses that to her, too.
Royal Affairs in Versailles, 2h45
Directed by Sacha Guitry
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy, Historical
Themes Politique, Political films, Histoire de France, French Revolution films, Films about royalty
Actors Georges Marchal, Michel Auclair, Claudette Colbert, Gaston Rey, Jean Marais, Louis Arbessier
Roles Madame de Montespan
Rating67% 3.395453.395453.395453.395453.39545
Historical human stories in connection with the Royal Palace, the Chateau of Versailles.
Daughters of Destiny, 1h42
Directed by Christian-Jaque, Jean Delannoy, Marcello Pagliero
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy
Themes Jeanne d'Arc, Histoire de France
Actors Claudette Colbert, Michèle Morgan, Martine Carol, Mirko Ellis, Nerio Bernardi, Gérard Buhr
Roles Elizabeth Whitefield (segment "Elisabeth")
Rating57% 2.856072.856072.856072.856072.85607
In this trilogy of stories, the episode "Elizabeth" is about an American war-widow who goes to Italy where her husband was in WW II. The episode "Jeanne" tells the life of Jeanne d'Arc. The episode "Lysistrata" is about Athenian wives, an adaptation of the Greek play.
The Planter's Wife, 1h31
Directed by Ken Annakin
Origin United-kingdom
Genres Drama, Adventure
Actors Claudette Colbert, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Steel, Bill Travers, Jeremy Spenser, Helen Goss
Roles Liz Frazer
Rating59% 2.9582152.9582152.9582152.9582152.958215
During the Malayan Emergency, communist terrorists attack an isolated rubber plantation, killing the manager. This concerns neighbouring planter Jim Frazer, who is struggling to produce rubber under constant attacks. Jim is having domestic difficulties with his American wife Liz, who is planning on taking their son Mike to England and not return. British Inspector Hugh Dodson urges Liz to come clean with Jim.
Thunder on the Hill, 1h24
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Crime
Themes Films based on plays
Actors Claudette Colbert, Ann Blyth, Robert Douglas, Gladys Cooper, Michael Pate, Philip Friend
Roles Sister Mary Bonaventure
Rating66% 3.3433.3433.3433.3433.343
Sister Mary Bonaventure is in charge of the hospital ward of a convent in the county of Norfolk, England. She is troubled by her own sister's suicide, which she confides to her Mother Superior.
Let's Make It Legal, 1h17
Directed by Richard Sale
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Romantic comedy, Romance
Themes Children's films
Actors Claudette Colbert, Macdonald Carey, Zachary Scott, Barbara Bates, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Wagner
Roles Miriam Halsworth
Rating61% 3.0997453.0997453.0997453.0997453.099745
Hugh (Macdonald Carey) and Miriam Halsworth (Claudette Colbert) are in the final stages of their divorce procedure. Miriam wants to separate because he's addicted to gambling - although he often wins. She's living with her daughter Barbara (Barbara Bates), her son-in-law Jerry Denham (Robert Wagner) and her little grandchild. Hugh, who's living at the hotel where he works, makes a fuss with the gardener about his rosebushes.
Three Came Home, 1h40
Directed by Jean Negulesco
Origin USA
Genres Drama, War
Themes Seafaring films, Prison films, Films about sexuality, Transport films, Erotic films, Sexploitation films, Political films, Women in prison films, Children's films
Actors Claudette Colbert, Patric Knowles, Florence Desmond, Sessue Hayakawa, Helen Westcott, Douglas Walton
Roles Agnes Newton Keith
Rating72% 3.644993.644993.644993.644993.64499
American-born Agnes Keith (Colbert) and her British husband Harry Keith (Patric Knowles) live a cushioned colonial life in North Borneo with their young son George in 1942. Keith is the only American in Sandakan. Worried about the rumors surrounding Japanese invasion, Harry asks Agnes if she would leave for the United States along with George. Agnes replies that she would send George but not go herself. In the meantime, the Pearl Harbor attack takes place. Japanese soldiers led by Colonel Suga (Sessue Hayakawa) capture the place. Suga is fluent in English and has read a book on Borneo authored by Mrs. Keith. During the Japanese invasion of Sandakan, Agnes has a miscarriage. Europeans living there are moved to prison camps. Harry lives in the camp meant for men while George and Agnes live in another camp. After a few days, women and children are taken to another camp.
The Secret Fury, 1h25
Directed by Mel Ferrer
Origin USA
Genres Thriller, Noir, Crime
Actors Claudette Colbert, Robert Ryan, Jane Cowl, Paul Kelly, Elisabeth Risdon, Philip Ober
Roles Ellen R. Ewing
Rating68% 3.4340753.4340753.4340753.4340753.434075
A wealthy classical pianist, Ellen, is accused of already being married when she attempts to take her wedding vows; the wedding guests are shocked. They temporarily call off the wedding and the couple tries to investigate why someone would accuse her of already being married.
Bride for Sale, 1h27
Directed by William D. Russell, Fred Fleck
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Romantic comedy
Actors Claudette Colbert, Robert Young, George Brent, Max Baer Jr., Gus Schilling, Charles Arnt
Roles Nora Shelley
Rating65% 3.2735453.2735453.2735453.2735453.273545
Nora Shelley is a tax expert for the accounting company which is led by Paul Martin. She thinks she can find a suitable husband by inspecting their clients' tax documents. Martin finds out and tries to dissuade her from this approach, later enlisting the help of his friend Steve Adams, who tries to woo Shelley.
Sleep, My Love, 1h37
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Noir, Crime
Actors Claudette Colbert, Robert Cummings, Don Ameche, Rita Johnson, George Coulouris, Ralph Morgan
Roles Alison Courtland
Rating67% 3.3941153.3941153.3941153.3941153.394115
Alison Courtland, a wealthy New Yorker, hasn't a clue how she ended up on a train bound for Boston. When she phones her husband, Richard, the police listen in and learn from Richard that his wife has threatened him with a gun. On a flight home, fellow passenger Bruce Elcott falls in love with the married but unhappy Alison. Her husband makes Alison begin seeing Dr. Rhinehart, a psychiatrist. But it turns out that Rhinehart is a fake. He is actually Charles Vernay, a photographer hired by Richard Courtland, who is having an affair with another woman and hopes to get rid of Alison for good.