64 Facts About Claudette Colbert


Claudette Colbert won the Academy Award for Best Actress for It Happened One Night, and received two other Academy Award nominations during her career.


Claudette Colbert's career waned in the early 1960s, however in the late 1970s, it experienced a resurgence in theater.


Claudette Colbert received a Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago theater work in 1980.


Emilie Claudette Colbert Chauchoin was born in 1903 in Saint-Mande, France, to Jeanne Marie and Georges Claude Chauchoin.


Claudette Colbert stated that she was always climbing those stairs until the age of 18.


Claudette Colbert had hoped to become a painter ever since she had grasped her first pencil.


Claudette Colbert studied at Washington Irving High School, which was known for its strong arts program.


In 1919, Claudette Colbert made her stage debut at the Provincetown Playhouse in The Widow's Veil at the age of 15.


Claudette Colbert had used the name Claudette, instead of Lily, since high school; for her stage name, she added her maternal grandmother's maiden name, Colbert.


Claudette Colbert's father died in 1925, and her grandmother died in New York in mid-1930 at age 88.


Claudette Colbert received critical acclaim as a carnival snake charmer in the Broadway production of The Barker, and reprised the role in London's West End.


Claudette Colbert was noticed by theatrical producer Leland Hayward, who suggested her for the heroine role in the silent film For the Love of Mike.


Claudette Colbert's beauty drew attention in The Hole in the Wall, but at first she did not like film acting.


Claudette Colbert starred in Mysterious Mr Parkes, a French-language version of Slightly Scarlet for the European market, in which Colbert's French was tinged with some English accent, although it was screened in the United States.


Claudette Colbert sang and played piano in the Ernst Lubitsch musical The Smiling Lieutenant, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.


Claudette Colbert concluded the year with appearance in a modestly successful His Woman with Gary Cooper.


In 1933, Claudette Colbert renegotiated her contract with Paramount to allow her to appear in films for other studios.


Claudette Colbert's leading roles were down-to-earth and diverse, highlighting her versatility.


Claudette Colbert was initially reluctant to appear in the screwball comedy It Happened One Night.


Claudette Colbert won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the film.


In Cleopatra, Claudette Colbert played the title role opposite Warren William and Henry Wilcoxon.


Claudette Colbert is the only actress to date to star in three films nominated for Best Motion Picture in the same year.


Claudette Colbert's rising profile internationally allowed her to renegotiate her contract, which raised her salary.


Claudette Colbert received an Academy Award nomination for her role in the hospital drama Private Worlds.


In 1936, Claudette Colbert signed a new contract with Paramount, making her Hollywood's highest-paid actress.


Claudette Colbert spent the rest of the 1930s deftly alternating between romantic comedies and dramas: She Married Her Boss with Melvyn Douglas; The Gilded Lily and The Bride Comes Home, both with Fred MacMurray; Under Two Flags with Ronald Colman; Zaza with Herbert Marshall; Midnight with Don Ameche; and It's a Wonderful World with James Stewart.


Columnist Hedda Hopper wrote that Claudette Colbert placed her career "ahead of everything, save possibly her marriage", and that she had a strong sense of what was best for her, and a "deep-rooted desire to be in shape, efficient, and under control".


Biographer A Scott Berg wrote that Colbert "helped define femininity for her generation with her chic manner".


Claudette Colbert was very particular about how she appeared on-screen, and believed her face was difficult to light and photograph.


Claudette Colbert insisted on having the right side of her face away from the camera when shooting close-up, because of a small bump from a broken nose as a child.


Claudette Colbert insisted on hiring her own cameraman, and offered to waive her salary if the film went over budget as a result.


Claudette Colbert learnt about lighting and cinematography, and refused to begin filming until she was satisfied that she would be shown to her best advantage.


Claudette Colbert participated in 13 episodes of radio's The Screen Guild Theater, between 1939 and 1952.


In 1940, Claudette Colbert refused a seven-year contract with Paramount that would have paid her $200,000 a year, after learning she could command $150,000 per film as a freelance artist.


However, Claudette Colbert once said that Arise, My Love was her favorite of all her movies.


Claudette Colbert felt that Goddard treated her like an old lady.


Goddard said that Claudette Colbert "flipped", that she "was at [my] eyes at every moment", and that they continued their feud for the duration of filming.


Claudette Colbert was initially reluctant to appear as a mother of teenaged children, but Selznick eventually won her over.


In 1945, Claudette Colbert ended her association with Paramount and continued to freelance in such films as Guest Wife with Don Ameche.


Claudette Colbert achieved great success opposite Fred MacMurray in the comedy The Egg and I, which was the year's second-highest grossing picture, and later acknowledged as the 12th-most profitable American film of the 1940s.


The romantic comedy Bride for Sale, wherein Claudette Colbert played part of a love triangle that included George Brent and Robert Young, was well-reviewed.


In 1949, Colbert was selected to play Margo Channing in All About Eve, because producer Joseph L Mankiewicz felt that she best represented the style he envisioned for the part.


However, Claudette Colbert severely injured her back, forcing her to abandon the picture shortly before filming began.


Claudette Colbert played a small role in Royal Affairs in Versailles, her only film with a French director.


In 1954, Claudette Colbert turned down a million-dollar broadcast deal with NBC-TV, but made a pact with CBS-TV to star in several teleplays.


Claudette Colbert starred in television adaptations of Blithe Spirit in 1956 and The Bells of St Mary's in 1959, and guest-starred on Robert Montgomery Presents and Playhouse 90.


Claudette Colbert made a brief return to the screen, opposite Troy Donahue in Parrish.


The film was a commercial success, but Claudette Colbert received little attention, and she directed her agent to end any further attempts to generate interest in her as a TV actress.


Claudette Colbert appeared in a supporting role in the television miniseries The Two Mrs Grenvilles, which was a ratings success, and for which she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy Award.


Claudette Colbert's characters were more likely to be observers and commentators.


In 1928, Claudette Colbert married actor and director Norman Foster, with whom she co-starred in the Broadway show The Barker, and in the film Young Man of Manhattan, for which he received negative reviews as one of her weakest leading men.


In Los Angeles, Claudette Colbert shared a home with her mother, Jeanne Chauchoin, but her domineering mother disliked Foster and reputedly did not allow him into the home.


On Christmas Eve, 1935, in Yuma, Arizona, Claudette Colbert married Dr Joel Pressman, who eventually became a professor and chief of the head and neck surgery department of UCLA Medical School.


Claudette Colbert gave a Beechcraft single-engined airplane to Pressman as a present.


Claudette Colbert 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.


Claudette Colbert had a country house in Palm Springs for weekends, and rented a cottage in Cap Ferrat in southeastern France.


When Claudette Colbert bought a house in Barbados in the early 1960s, Hull bought a house next door, amid rumors that their friendship was a romantic one, which Claudette Colbert denied.


The friendship ended after an argument that took place as Claudette Colbert's husband lay dying, wherein Hull insisted Pressman would not only take his life, but Claudette Colbert's, too, rather than die alone.


For years, Claudette Colbert divided her time between her Manhattan apartment and her vacation home in Speightstown, Barbados.


Claudette Colbert sustained a series of small strokes during the last three years of her life.


Claudette Colbert died in 1996 in Barbados, where she had employed a housekeeper and two cooks.


Claudette Colbert's remains were transported to New York City for cremation and funeral services.


Claudette Colbert's ashes are laid to rest in the Godings Bay Church Cemetery, Speightstown, Saint Peter, Barbados, alongside her mother and second husband.


Claudette Colbert met O'Hagan in 1961 on the set of Parrish, her last film, and they became best friends around 1970.