Filled Under: Claudette Colbert
Claudette Colbert (September 13, 1903 – July 30, 1996) was a French-born American actress, and a Hollywood leading lady for two decades. Colbert began her career in Broadway productions during the 1920s, progressing to film with the advent of talking pictures. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in “It Happened One Night” (1934), the first woman born outside of North America to do so, and also received Academy Award nominations for “Private Worlds” (1935) and “Since You Went Away” (1944). During her career, Colbert starred in more than sixty movies and was the industry’s biggest box-office star in 1938 and 1942. By the mid 1950s, Colbert had largely retired from the screen in favor of television and stage work, earning a Tony Award nomination for “The Marriage-Go-Round” in 1959. Her career tapered off during the early 1960s, but in the late 1970s she experienced a career resurgence in theater, earning a Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago theater work in 1980. For her television work in “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles” (1987) she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Emmy Award nomination. In 1999, the American Film Institute voted Claudette Colbert the “12th Greatest Female American Screen Legend” in cinema. Claudette Colbert has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6812 Hollywood Blvd.
At the 7th Academy Awards for 1934, held on February 27, 1935 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California, Frank Capra’s romantic comedy “It Happened One Night” became the first film to perform a “clean sweep” of the top five categories; Best Picture, Best Director (Frank Capra), Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Actress (Claudette Colbert) and Best Screenplay (Robert Riskin).
“It Happened One Night” (1934) is an American romantic comedy directed by Frank Capra, in which a pampered socialite (Claudette Colbert) tries to get out from under her father’s thumb, and falls in love with a roguish reporter (Clark Gable).
Clark Gable gave his Oscar for “It Happened One Night” to a child who admired it, telling him it was the winning of the statue that had mattered, not owning it. The child returned the Oscar to the Gable family after Clark’s death.
Claudette Colbert was so convinced that she would lose the Oscar competition to write-in nominee Bette Davis, that she decided not to attend the awards ceremony. When Colbert won the Academy Award for Best Actress she was summoned from a train station to pick up her Oscar.
“I know what’s best for me, after all I have been in the Claudette Colbert business longer than anybody.” ~ Claudette Colbert
“I’ve always believed that acting is instinct to start with… you either have it or you don’t.” ~ Claudette Colbert
“Most of us don’t know about happiness until it’s over.” ~ Claudette Colbert
“Audiences always sound like they’re glad to see me, and I’m damned glad to see them. If they want you, you want to do it.” ~ Claudette Colbert
“It matters more what’s in a woman’s face than what’s on it.” ~ Claudette Colbert
“If I couldn’t laugh, I’d rather die.” ~ Claudette Colbert