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Person Facts

Known Credits: 70

Birthday: 1903-09-13

Day of Death: 1996-07-30

Place of Birth: Saint-Mandé, Seine

Adult Actor: False

Official Homepage: -

Also Known As

  • Emilie Claudette Chauchoin

Claudette Colbert

Biography

Claudette Colbert was born in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne, France, 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 recent 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.

Acting
1987 The Two Mrs. Grenvilles as Alice Grenville
1978 The Kennedy Center Honors - (1 episode)
1961 Parrish as Ellen McLean
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater - (2 episodes)
1956 The Steve Allen Show - (3 episodes)
1956 Telephone Time - (1 episode)
1955 Texas Lady as Prudence Webb
1954 Climax! - (3 episodes)
1954 Royal Affairs in Versailles as Madame de Montespan
1953 Letter to Loretta - (1 episode)
1953 General Electric Theater - (2 episodes)
1952 Outpost In Malaya as Liz Frazer
1951 Let's Make It Legal as Miriam Halsworth
1951 Thunder on the Hill as Sister Mary
1950 The Colgate Comedy Hour - (1 episode)
1950 The Secret Fury as Ellen R. Ewing
1950 Three Came Home as Agnes Newton Keith
1950 Robert Montgomery Presents - (1 episode)
1948 Family Honeymoon as Katie Armstrong Jordan
1948 Sleep, My Love as Alison Courtland
1947 The Egg And I as Betty MacDonald
1946 The Secret Heart as Lee Addams
1946 Without Reservations as Kit Madden
1946 Tomorrow is Forever as Elizabeth Hamilton
1945 Guest Wife as Mary Price
1944 Practically Yours as Peggy Martin
1944 Since You Went Away as Mrs. Anne Hilton
1943 No Time For Love as Katherine Grant
1943 So Proudly We Hail as Lt. Janet 'Davy' Davidson
1942 The Palm Beach Story as Geraldine 'Gerry' Jeffers
1941 Remember the Day as Nora Trinell
1941 Skylark as Lydia Kenyon
1940 Arise, My Love as Augusta Nash
1940 Boom Town as Betsy Bartlett
1939 Drums Along the Mohawk as Lana (Magdelana)
1939 It's a Wonderful World as Edwina Corday
1939 Midnight as Eve Peabody
1938 Zaza as Zaza
1938 Bluebeard's Eighth Wife as Nicole De Loiselle
1937 Tovarich as Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna Romanov
1937 I Met Him in Paris as Kay Denham
1937 Maid of Salem as Barbara Clarke
1936 Under Two Flags as Cigarette
1935 The Bride Comes Home as Jeannette Desmereau
1935 She Married Her Boss as Julia Scott
1935 Private Worlds as Dr. Jane Everest
1935 The Gilded Lily as Marilyn David
1934 Imitation of Life as Beatrice 'Bea' Pullman
1934 It Happened One Night as Ellie Andrews
1934 Four Frightened People as Judy Jones
1934 Cleopatra as Cleopatra
1933 Torch Singer as Sally Trent, aka Mimi Benton
1933 Three-Cornered Moon as Elizabeth Rimplegar
1933 I Cover the Waterfront as Julie Kirk
1933 The Sign of the Cross as Empress Poppaea
1933 Tonight Is Ours as Princess Nadya
1932 The Phantom President as Felicia Hammond
1932 Make Me a Star
1932 The Man from Yesterday as Sylvia Suffolk
1932 Misleading lady as Helen Steele
1931 His Woman as Sally Clark
1931 Secrets of a Secretary as Helen Blake
1931 The Smiling Lieutenant as Franzi
1931 Honor Among Lovers as Julia Traynor
1930 Manslaughter as Lydia Thorne
1930 Young Man of Manhattan as Ann Vaughn
1930 The Big Pond as Barbara Billings
1929 The Lady Lies as Joyce Roamer
1929 The Academy Awards - (4 episodes)
1929 The Hole in the Wall as Jean Oliver