The Women #8

Claudette Colbert
from The New Movie Album: An Autographed Who's Who of the Screen (1931)
"I am a woman with two countries. I was born in Paris, and of course, love my native country. As a gangling schoolgirl I arrived in New York and immediately fell under the spell of my adopted land. Having dabbled in paints and charcoals since childhood, it was decided that my future was in the realm of art. While attending art school, I met Anne Morrison who dared me to take a small part in her new play, 'The Wild Westcotts.' The result of this dare changed the entire course of my life. In stage work, I found the niche for which I had been searching. From a bit in 'The Wild Westcotts,' I luckily secured a leading role in 'The Marionette Man.' Thereafter, I played leading roles with the exception of the all-star revival of 'Leah Kleshna.' The screen always has intrigued my interest, and when I was offered a role in a silent film, 'Love of Mike,' I accepted. The next opportunity came from Paramount to play the leading feminine role in the talking picture 'The Hole in the Wall,' which gave me an excellent chance to put my stage training to work. In quick succession I completed for Paramount, 'The Lady Lies,' with Walter Huston, 'The Big Pond,' opposite Maurice Cehvalier in both the English and French productions, and then 'Young Man of Manhattan.'"

1 comment:

A Human On Earth said...

I met Claudette Colbert- she was about 80 at the time. Still with that pretty face and a marvelous bent for telling stories of her life. She spoke of driving her new Mercedes convertible around New York City with a kerchief on head and the top down; and how back then women rarely drove alone or at all.

One story she related went as follows:

“I was in Barcelona. Sometime in the thirties, I suppose. I was a woman traveling alone which was unheard of at the time. Barcelona, of course, was just a small Paris you see, but you could not drink the water. So I drank beer instead- right out of the bottle! Which was scandalous!

Anyway, Jack Benny was staying at the same hotel I was and I ran into him in the dining room. He came over to my table and ordered a beer as I had just ordered one. When the beer arrived he threw his head back, took a long swallow and said, ‘Ahhhhh. That is the best! After that first swallow they are all the same!”