Claudette Colbert

Claudette Colbert

  • Born on
    • September 13th, 1903
  • Died on
    • July 30th, 1996
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.

Starring Claudette Colbert on Plex


Acting (35 Credits)

1994That's Entertainment! III as (archive footage)
1965The Love Goddesses as (archive footage)
1961Parrish as Ellen McLean
1954Royal Affairs in Versailles as Madame de Montespan
1951Let's Make It Legal as Miriam Halsworth
1951Thunder on the Hill as Sister Mary Bonaventure
1950The Secret Fury as Ellen R. Ewing
1950Three Came Home as Agnes Newton Keith
1948Sleep, My Love as Alison Courtland
1947The Egg and I as Betty MacDonald
1946Without Reservations as Kit Madden
1946Tomorrow Is Forever as Elizabeth Hamilton
1946The Secret Heart as Lee Addams
1944Since You Went Away as Mrs. Anne Hilton
1943No Time for Love as Katherine Grant
1943So Proudly We Hail! as Lt. Janet 'Davy' Davidson
1942The Palm Beach Story as Geraldine 'Gerry' Jeffers
1941Skylark as Lydia Kenyon
1940Arise, My Love as Augusta Nash
1940Boom Town as Betsy Bartlett
1939Midnight as Eve Peabody
1939It's a Wonderful World as Edwina Corday
1939Drums Along the Mohawk as Lana (Magdelana)
1938Bluebeard's Eighth Wife as Nicole De Loiselle
1937Tovarich as Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna Romanov
1935The Gilded Lily as Marilyn David
1935She Married Her Boss as Julia Scott
1934Imitation of Life as Beatrice 'Bea' Pullman
1934Four Frightened People as Judy Jones
1934Cleopatra as Cleopatra
1934It Happened One Night as Ellen 'Ellie' Andrews
1933Torch Singer as Sally Trent, aka Mimi Benton
1933I Cover the Waterfront as Julie Kirk
1932The Sign of the Cross as Empress Poppaea
1931The Smiling Lieutenant as Franzi

Herself (1 Credits)

1932Make Me a Star as Herself (uncredited)


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