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  • BIRTH 13/09/1903
  • DEATH 30/07/1996
  • Country France
  • SHOW 1
  • MOVIES 31

Claudette Colbert

Claudette Colbert was born in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne, France on September 13, 1903 and was brought to the United States as a child three years later. Born Emilie 'Lily' Claudette Chauchoin, she went to high school in New York. She was studying at the Art Students League when, in 1923, she took the name Claudette Colbert for her first Broadway role in "The Wild Westcotts". Her most noteworthy stage vehicle was the "The Barker" in 1927. Her first film was a silent For the Love of Mike (1927), directed by Frank Capra. Made on a shoestring, the movie was a flop, and she vowed that it would be her last film role: "I only left Broadway when the crash came. The Depression killed the theater, and the pictures were manna from heaven". She had her first film success the next year, however, in The Lady Lies (1929).

Her early notable films were all box-office hits and included Cleopatra (1934), in which she played the title role enticingly. She had her greatest triumph playing a runaway heiress, with enormous charm, opposite Clark Gable in Capra's comedy It Happened One Night (1934), for which she won the Academy Award as Best Actress. By 1938 her keen ability in business made her the highest paid star in Hollywood. By 1950, though, her star had begun to wane. She returned to the stage in 1956 when she replaced Margaret Sullavan during the spring and summer in the comedy "Janus". Appearances in other Broadway productions followed, including "The Marriage-Go-Round". Besides the stage, she did TV specials and had a supporting role in a notable TV movie, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1987), for which she received a Golden Globe award. In 1989 she was presented with a Life Achievement award from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

She married actor Norman Foster in 1928, although they never lived together and were divorced after seven years. She married surgeon Dr. Joel Pressman soon after and remained married until his death in 1968. In latter years she divided her time between an apartment in New York and a 200-year-old plantation house in Speightstown, Barbados, where she entertained such guests as Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan. She remained on Barbados Island after her stroke. On July 30, 1996, Claudette died in Speightstown, Barbados. She was 92.

Claudette Colbert

Show

General Electric Theater
General Electric Theater
Edith Miller

Movies (31)

It Happened One Night
It Happened One Night
Ellie Andrews
The Palm Beach Story
The Palm Beach Story
Geraldine 'Gerry' Jeffers
Since You Went Away
Since You Went Away
Mrs. Anne Hilton
Let's Make It Legal
Let's Make It Legal
Miriam Halsworth
Drums Along the Mohawk
Drums Along the Mohawk
Lana (Magdelana)
Imitation of Life
Imitation of Life
Beatrice 'Bea' Pullman
Si Versailles m'était conté
Si Versailles m'était conté
Mme de Montespan
The Smiling Lieutenant
The Smiling Lieutenant
Franzi
Without Reservations
Without Reservations
Kit Madden
The Sign of the Cross
The Sign of the Cross
Empress Poppaea
She Married Her Boss
She Married Her Boss
Julia Scott
Breakdowns of 1938
Breakdowns of 1938
Tatiana (archive footage) (uncredited)
It's a Wonderful World
It's a Wonderful World
Edwina Corday
Zaza
Zaza
Zaza
Cleopatra
Cleopatra
Cleopatra
The Sign of the Cross
The Sign of the Cross
Empress Poppaea
Cavalcade of the Academy Awards
Cavalcade of the Academy Awards
Self (archive footage)
Tonight Is Ours
Tonight Is Ours
Princess Nadya
The Gilded Lily
The Gilded Lily
Marilyn David
That's Entertainment! III
That's Entertainment! III
(archive footage)
Maid of Salem
Maid of Salem
Barbara Clarke
The Planter's Wife
The Planter's Wife
Liz Frazer
His Woman
His Woman
Sally Clark
Family Honeymoon
Family Honeymoon
Katie Armstrong Jordan
Parrish
Parrish
Ellen McLean
The Big Pond
The Big Pond
Barbara Billings
Bluebeard's Eighth Wife
Bluebeard's Eighth Wife
Nicole De Loiselle
So Proudly We Hail
So Proudly We Hail
Lt. Janet 'Davy' Davidson
The Egg and I
The Egg and I
Betty MacDonald
Midnight
Midnight
Eve Peabody
Blithe Spirit
Blithe Spirit
Ruth Condomine