Paulette Goddard in Bride of Vengeance (1949)(PID:51993000681) Source
posted by Truus, Bob & Jan too! alias Truus, Bob & Jan too! on Saturday 9th of April 2022 08:06:19 PM
American postcard by Movie Candid Color Card, Beverly Hills, Calif., no. A18. Photo: Jack Albin (Kodachrome). Publicity still for Bride of Vengeance/A Mask for Lucretia (Mitchell Leisen, 1949). Caption: Paulette Goddard, former Ziegfeld girl, later cavorted for Samuel Goldwyn, and won stardom opposite Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times. Paulette really clicked at Paramount, where she teamed with Bob Hope, and followed with several starring roles for C.B. De Mille. Once married to Charlie Chaplin, she is now the wife of actor Burgess Meredith. American actress Paulette Goddard (1905-1990) started her career as a fashion model and as a Ziegfeld Girl in several Broadway shows. In the 1940s, she became a major star of Paramount Pictures. She was Charlie Chaplin's leading lady in Modern Times (1936), and The Great Dictator. Goddard was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for So Proudly We Hail! (1943). Her husbands included Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, and Erich Maria Remarque. Paulette Goddard was born Pauline Marion Levy in Whitestone Landing, Long Island, New York. Sources variously cite her year of birth as 1911 and 1914, and the place as Whitestone Landing, New York, USA. However, municipal employees in Ronco, Switzerland, where she died, gave her birth year of record as 1905. Goddard was the daughter of Joseph Russell Levy, the son of a prosperous Jewish cigar manufacturer from Salt Lake City, and Alta Mae Goddard, who was of Episcopalian English heritage. They married in 1908 and separated while their daughter was very young, although the divorce did not become final until 1926. According to Goddard, her father left them, but according to J. R. Levy, Alta absconded with the child. Goddard was raised by her mother and did not meet her father again until the late 1930s after she had become famous. To avoid a custody battle, she and her mother moved often during her childhood, even relocating to Canada at one point. Goddard began modeling at an early age to support her mother and herself, working for Saks Fifth Avenue, Hattie Carnegie, and others. An important figure in her childhood was her great uncle, Charles Goddard, the owner of the American Druggists Syndicate. He played a central role in Goddard's career, introducing her to Broadway impresario Florenz Ziegfeld. She made her stage debut as a dancer in Ziegfeld's summer revue, 'No Foolin' (1926), which was also the first time that she used the stage name Paulette Goddard. Ziegfeld hired her for another musical, 'Rio Rita', which opened in February 1927, but she left the show after only three weeks to appear in the play 'The Unconquerable Male', produced by Archie Selwyn. It was, however, a flop and closed after only three days following its premiere in Atlantic City. Soon after the play closed, Goddard was introduced to the much older lumber tycoon Edgar James, president of the Southern Lumber Company, by Charles Goddard. She married him in June 1927 in Rye, New York, but the marriage was short. Goddard was granted a divorce in Reno, Nevada, in 1929, receiving a divorce settlement of $375,000. Tony Fontana at IMDb: "A stunning natural beauty, Paulette could mesmerize any man she met, a fact she was well aware of. " Paulette Goddard first visited Hollywood in 1929, when she appeared as an uncredited extra in two films, the Laurel and Hardy short film Berth Marks (Lewis R. Foster, 1929), and George Fitzmaurice's drama The Locked Door (1929). Following her divorce, she briefly visited Europe before returning to Hollywood in late 1930 with her mother. Her second attempt at acting was no more successful than the first, as she landed work only as an extra. In 1930, she signed her first film contract with producer Samuel Goldwyn to appear as a Goldwyn Girl in Whoopee! (Thornton Freeland, 1930) with Eddie Cantor. She also appeared in City Streets (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931) with Gary Cooper, Ladies of the Big House (Marion Gering, 1931) starring Sylvia Sidney, and The Girl Habit (Edward F. Cline, 1931) for Paramount, and The Mouthpiece (James Flood, Elliott Nugent, 1932) for Warners. Goldwyn and she did not get along, and she began working for Hal Roach Studios, appearing in a string of uncredited supporting roles for the next four years, including Young Ironsides (James Parrott, 1932) with Charley Chase, and Pack Up Your Troubles (1932) with Laurel and Hardy. One of her bigger roles in that period was as a blond 'Goldwyn Girl' in the Eddie Cantor film The Kid from Spain (Leo McCarey, 1932). Goldwyn also used Goddard in The Bowery (Raoul Walsh, 1933) with Wallace Beery, Roman Scandals (Frank Tuttle, 1933), and Kid Millions (Roy Del Ruth, 1934) with Eddie Cantor. The year she signed with Goldwyn, Goddard began dating Charlie Chaplin, a relationship that received substantial attention from the press. They were reportedly married in secret in Canton, China, in June 1936. It marked a turning point in Goddard's career when Chaplin cast her as his leading lady in his box office hit, Modern Times (1936). Her role as 'The Gamin', an orphan girl who runs away from the authorities and becomes The Tramp's companion, was her first credited film appearance and garnered her mainly positive reviews, Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times describing her as "the fitting recipient of the great Charlot's championship". Following the success of Modern Times, Chaplin planned other projects with Goddard in mind as a co-star, but he worked slowly, and Goddard worried that the public might forget about her if she did not continue to make regular film appearances. She signed a contract with David O. Selznick and appeared with Janet Gaynor in the comedy The Young in Heart (Richard Wallace, 1938) before Selznick lent her to MGM to appear in two films. The first of these, Dramatic School (Robert B. Sinclair, 1938), co-starred Luise Rainer, but the film received mediocre reviews and failed to attract an audience. Her next film, The Women (George Cukor, 1939), was a success. With an all-female cast headed by Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Rosalind Russell, the film's supporting role of Miriam Aarons was played by Goddard. Pauline Kael later wrote of Goddard, "she is a stand-out. fun." David O' Selznick was pleased with Paulette Goddard's performances, particularly her work in The Young in Heart, and considered her for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939). Initial screen tests convinced Selznick and director George Cukor that Goddard would require coaching to be effective in the role, but that she showed promise, and she was the first actress given a Technicolor screen test. After he was introduced to Vivien Leigh, he wrote to his wife that Leigh was a "dark horse" and that his choice had "narrowed down to Paulette, Jean Arthur, Joan Bennett, and Vivien Leigh". After a series of tests with Leigh that pleased both Selznick and Cukor, Selznick cancelled the further tests that had been scheduled for Goddard, and the part was given to Leigh. Goddard's next film, The Cat and the Canary (Elliott Nugent, 1939) with Bob Hope, was a turning point in the careers of both actors. The success of the film established her as a genuine star. Her performance won her a ten-year contract with Paramount Studios, which was one of the premier studios of the day. They promptly were re-teamed in The Ghost Breakers (George Marshall, 1940), again a huge hit. Goddard starred with Chaplin again in his film The Great Dictator (1940). In 1942, Goddard was granted a Mexican divorce from Chaplin. The couple split amicably, with Chaplin agreeing to a generous settlement. At Paramount, Goddard was used by Cecil B. De Mille in the action epic North West Mounted Police (1940), playing the second female lead. She was Fred Astaire's leading lady in the acclaimed musical Second Chorus/Swing it (H.C. Potter, 1940), where she met actor Burgess Meredith, her third husband. Goddard made Pot o' Gold (George Marshall, 1941), a comedy with James Stewart, then supported Charles Boyer and Olivia de Havilland in Hold Back the Dawn (Mitchell Leisen, 1941), from a script by Wilder and Brackett, directed by Mitchell Leisen. Goddard was teamed with Hope for a third time in Nothing But the Truth (Elliott Nugent, 1942), then made The Lady Has Plans (Sidney Lanfield, 1942), a comedy with Ray Milland. She co-starred with Milland and John Wayne in Reap the Wild Wind (Cecil B. DeMille, 1942), playing the lead, a Scarlett O'Hara type character. The film was a huge hit. Goddard did The Forest Rangers (George Marshall, 1942) with Fred MacMurray. One of her better-remembered film appearances was in the variety musical Star Spangled Rhythm (George Marshall, 1943), in which she sang "A Sweater, a Sarong, and a Peekaboo Bang" with Dorothy Lamour and Veronica Lake. Paulette Goddard received one Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for So Proudly We Hail! (Mark Sandrich, 1943) opposite Claudette Colbert and Veronica Lake. She didn't win, but it solidified her as a top draw. Goddard was teamed with Fred MacMurray in the delightful comedy Standing Room Only (Sidney Lanfield, 1944) and Sonny Tufts in I Love a Soldier (Mark Sandrich, 1944). In May 1944, she married Burgess Meredith at David O. Selznick's home in Beverly Hills. Goddard's most successful film was Kitty (Mitchell Leisen, 1945), in which she played the title role. Denny Jackson/Robert Sieger at IMDb: "The film was a hit with moviegoers, as she played an ordinary English woman transformed into a duchess. The film was filled with plenty of comedy, dramatic and romantic scenes that appealed to virtually everyone." In The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946), Goddard starred with husband Burgess Meredith under the direction of Jean Renoir. It was made for United Artists. At Paramount she did Suddenly It's Spring (Mitchell Leisen, 1947) with Fred MacMurray, and De Mille's 18th-century romantic drama Unconquered (Cecil B. DeMille, 1947), with Cary Grant. During the Hollywood Blacklist, when she and blacklisted husband Meredith were mobbed by a baying crowd screaming "Communists!" on their way to a premiere, Goddard is said to have turned to her husband and said, "Shall I roll down the window and hit them with my diamonds, Bugsy?" In 1947, she made An Ideal Husband in Britain for Alexander Korda and was accompanied on a publicity trip to Brussels by Clarissa Spencer-Churchill, niece of Sir Winston Churchill and future wife of future Prime Minister Anthony Eden. She divorced Meredith in June 1949 and also left Paramount. In 1949, she formed Monterey Pictures with John Steinbeck. Goddard starred in Anna Lucasta (Irving Rapper, 1949), then went to Mexico for The Torch (Emilio Fernández, 1950). In England, she was in Babes in Bagdad (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1952), then she went to Hollywood for Vice Squad (Arnold Laven, 1953) with Edward G. Robinson, and Charge of the Lancers (William Castle, 1954) with Jean-Pierre Aumont. Her last starring role was in the English production A Stranger Came Home/The Unholy Four (Terence Fisher, 1954). Paulette Goddard began appearing in summer stock and on television, guest-starring on episodes of Sherlock Holmes, an adaptation of The Women, this time playing the role of Sylvia Fowler, The Errol Flynn Theatre, The Joseph Cotten Show, and The Ford Television Theatre. She was in an episode of Adventures in Paradise and a TV version of The Phantom. After her marriage to Erich Maria Remarque in 1958, Goddard largely retired from acting and moved to Ronco sopra Ascona, Switzerland. In 1964, she attempted a comeback in films with a supporting role in the Italian film Gli indifferenti/Time of Indifference (Francesco Maselli, 1964), starring Claudia Cardinale and Rod Steiger, which was her last feature film. After Remarque's death in 1970, she made one last attempt at acting, when she accepted a small role in an episode of the TV series The Snoop Sisters, The Female Instinct (Leonards Stern, 1972) with Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick. Upon Remarque's death, Goddard inherited much of his money and several important properties across Europe, including a wealth of contemporary art, which augmented her own long-standing collection. During this period, her talent at accumulating wealth became a byword among the old Hollywood élite. During the 1980s, she became a fairly well known (and highly visible) socialite in New York City, appearing covered with jewels at many high-profile cultural functions with several well-known men, including Andy Warhol, with whom she sustained a friendship for many years until his death in 1987. Paulette Goddard underwent invasive treatment for breast cancer in 1975, successfully by all accounts. In 1990, she died at her home in Switzerland from heart failure while under respiratory support due to emphysema, She is buried in Ronco Village Cemetery, next to Remarque and her mother. Goddard had no children. She became a stepmother to Charles Chaplin's two sons, Charles Chaplin Jr. and Sydney Chaplin, while she and Charlie were married. In his memoirs, 'My Father Charlie Chaplin' (1960), Charles Jr. describes her as a lovely, caring, and intelligent woman throughout the book. In October 1944, she suffered the miscarriage of a son with Burgess Meredith. Goddard, whose own formal education did not go beyond high school, bequeathed US$20 million to New York University (NYU) in New York City. Sources: Tony Fontana (IMDb), Denny Jackson / Robert Sieger (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb. And, please check out our blog European Film Star Postcards.
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