Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Claudette Colbert: 1910 Census

Claudette Colbert's real name was Lily Claudette Chaucoin. She was living at 1141 Third Avenue in 1910. As stated in a previous post:

Émilie Chauchoin was born in Saint-Mandé, Seine, France, to Georges Claude, a banker, and Jeanne Loew Chauchoin. After some financial reverses, her family emigrated to New York City in 1906.
Note her banker father must him been struggling since here it is stated he is working as a cook and Claudette's mother is working as a dressmaker
Below: This is what the address looks like today.

Washington Irving High School: 1938

from the nypl digital collection
looking west from Second Avenue and Rutherford Place. The 3rd Avenue El was still in use at the time.

The Spewack Script From Kiss Me Kate

Read this doc on Scribd: Kiss Me Kate Script

Monday, April 28, 2008

Claudette Colbert: It Happened One Night, Biography: Part 2

A famous scene from one of her most famous pictures with Clark Gable
continuing her biography:

In 1958, she returned to Broadway in The Marriage-Go-Round, for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Tony Award.
By 1955 she had stopped making films, although returned to the screen in Parrish (1961) for Warner Brothers. When the film was released, most of the studio publicity was in support of the young male lead Troy Donahue, who was being groomed by the studio. Colbert, playing the supporting role of Donahue's mother, received little attention, and the film was not a success. She never made another film although the press occasionally referred to upcoming projects that did not exist. Embarrassed, Colbert instructed her agent to stop his attempts to generate interest in her as a film actress. In the late 1960s, a reporter asked her why she had made no more films, to which she replied, "Because there have been no offers."
Her occasional acting ventures were limited to theater and included The Irregular Verb to Love (1963); The Kingfisher (1978) in which she co-starred with Rex Harrison, and Frederick Lonsdale's Aren't We All? (1985).
In 1987, Colbert appeared in a supporting role in the television miniseries The Two Mrs. Grenvilles. The production was a ratings success and was nominated for several awards. Colbert won a Golden Globe and received a nomination for an Emmy Award. This marked her final performance on film, however she continued to act in theater.
In 1928, Colbert married Norman Foster, an actor and director, who appeared with Colbert in the Broadway show The Barker. However, she and her first husband lived apart, never sharing a home together in Hollywood. They divorced in 1935, and in December of that year, Colbert married Dr. Joel Pressman, a surgeon at UCLA. The marriage lasted 33 years, until Pressman's death of liver cancer in 1968.
Colbert had one brother, Charles (1898-1971), who used the surname Wendling and served as her agent and business manager for a time. He is credited with negotiating some of the more lucrative of her contracts in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Colbert was a staunch Republican and conservative.
For years, Colbert divided her time between her apartment in Manhattan and her summer home in Speightstown, Barbados. After suffering a series of strokes in 1993, she remained in her Barbados home, Belle-rive, where she died on July 30, 1996, at age 92. She was buried in the Parish of St. Peter Cemetery in Barbados. Colbert left no immediate family.
The bulk of Colbert's estate was left to a friend, Helen O'Hagan, a retired director of corporate relations at Saks Fifth Avenue, whom Colbert had met in 1961 on the set of the her last film and who cared for Colbert following her 1993 strokes.
Colbert established one of the most successful film careers of any actress of her generation, and was considered a dependable and bankable star. Her status was reflected in her earnings as one of the best-paid performers of the 1930s and 1940s. Colbert once commented that she had sacrificed for the sake of her career.
In discussing Colbert's career, her contemporaries confirmed her drive. Irene Dunne commented that she had lacked Colbert's "terrifying ambition" and noted that if Colbert "finished work on a film on a Saturday, she would be looking for a new project by Monday". Hedda Hopper wrote that Colbert placed her career "ahead of everything save possibly her marriage", and described her as the "smartest and canniest" of Hollywood actresses, with a strong sense of what was best for her, and a "deep rooted desire to be in shape, efficient and under control".

Claudette Colbert Biography: Part 1

from wikipedia

Émilie Chauchoin was born in Saint-Mandé, Seine, France, to Georges Claude, a banker, and Jeanne Loew Chauchoin. After some financial reverses, her family emigrated to New York City in 1906. Colbert eventually became a naturalized citizen of the U.S.
Colbert studied at Washington Irving High School, where her speech teacher, Alice Rossetter helped her overcome a slight lisp. Rossetter encouraged her to audition for a play she had written, and Colbert made her stage debut at the Provincetown Playhouse in The Widow's Veil, at the age of fifteen.
She then attended the Art Students League of New York and worked as a stenographer, a salesclerk in womens' clothing, and a tutor in order to pay her expenses. She intended to become a fashion designer but after she attended a party with the playwright Anne Morrison she was offered a three-line role in Morrison's new play. She appeared on the Broadway stage in a small role in The Wild Westcotts (1923). Inspired to pursue a career in theater, Colbert ended her studies and embarked on a stage career in 1925. She adopted the name "Claudette Colbert" as her stage name two years later; she had been using the name of Claudette since high school, and Colbert was the maiden name of her maternal grandmother.
After signing a five-year contract with the producer Al Woods, Colbert played ingénue roles on Broadway from 1925 through 1929. During her early years on stage, she fought against being typecast as a maid, and received critical acclaim on Broadway in the production of The Barker (1927), playing a carnival snake charmer, a role she reprised for the play's run in London's West End.
She co-starred with Fredric March in Manslaughter (1930), and received positive reviews for her performance as a rich girl, jailed for manslaughter. The New York Times wrote, "It cannot be denied that Claudette Colbert – given an even chance – is capable of excellent acting." She was briefly paired with March, and they made four films together, including Dorothy Arzner's Honor Among Lovers (1931), which fared well at the box-office. She sang in her role opposite Maurice Chevalier in the Ernst Lubitsch musical The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and was acknowledged by critics for her ability to assert herself opposite the more experienced Miriam Hopkins.
Cecil B. DeMille cast her as the Roman empress Poppaea in his historical epic, The Sign of the Cross (1932), opposite Fredric March. In one sequence, Colbert bathes in a marble pool filled with asses' milk, a scene that came to be regarded as an example of Hollywood decadence prior to the enforcement of the Production Code. Later the same year she played in The Phantom President, which was one of Paramount's biggest failures of the year. Other successes of this period included Tonight Is Ours (1933) with Fredric March and Torch Singer (1933), with Ricardo Cortez. In 1933, Colbert renegotiated her contract with Paramount to allow her to appear in films for other studios. However, Cecil B. DeMille's Four Frightened People (1934) failed to find a substantial audience.
During 1934, Colbert's film career flourished. Of the four films she made that year, three of them – the historical biography, Cleopatra, the romantic drama, Imitation of Life and the screwball comedy, It Happened One Night were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture.
Colbert's success allowed her to renegotiate her contract, raising her salary. In 1935 and 1936, she was listed in the annual "Quigley Poll of the Top Ten Money Making Stars", which was compiled from the votes of movie exhibitors throughout the U.S. for the stars that had generated the most revenue in their theaters over the previous year.
She received a second Academy Award nomination for her role in the hospital drama, Private Worlds (1935).
In 1936, she signed a new contract with Paramount Pictures, which required her to make seven films over a two-year period, and this contract made her Hollywood's highest paid actress. This was followed by a contract renewal in 1938, after which she was reported to be the highest paid performer in Hollywood with a salary of $426,924. Her films during this period include The Gilded Lily (1935) and The Bride Comes Home (1935) with Fred MacMurray, She Married Her Boss (1935), with Melvyn Douglas, Under Two Flags (1936), with Ronald Colman, Maid of Salem (1937), again with MacMurray, Tovarich (1937), with Charles Boyer, Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938), with Gary Cooper, Zaza (1939), with Herbert Marshall, Midnight (1939), with Don Ameche and It's a Wonderful World (1939), with James Stewart.

Famous Graduate: Claudette Colbert

from the alternative film guide

Read this doc on Scribd: Colbert

Biography Of Patricia Morison: Washington Irving Graduate

from wikipedia:

Read this doc on Scribd: morison

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