Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Claudette Colbert!

Born Emilie Claudette Chauchoin in Saint-Mandé, Seine, France, September 13, 1903, to Georges Cauchoin and his wife, her family emigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. She had one brother, Charles, who later became her agent.

She began acting in high school and a few years later in 1923 performed on the Broadway stage in a bit parts. She soon gave up on her plans to be a fashion designer to follow a career in acting. She made her first film called, For the Love of Mike(1927) a silent film filmed in Paramount Studios. Soon, talking films were taking over and Colbert performed in her first talking film, The Hole in the Wall. TCM is celebrating Colbert's birthday by sharing these wonderful films with us:

It Happened One Night (1934). A newspaperman tracks a runaway heiress on a madcap cross-country tour. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Walter Connolly. Dir: Frank Capra.

It's A Wonderful World (1939). A runaway poetess helps a fugitive prove himself innocent of murder charges. Cast: Claudette Colbert, James Stewart, Guy Kibbee. Dir: W.S. Van Dyke II.

Midnight (1939) . An unemployed showgirl poses as Hungarian royalty to infiltrate Parisian society. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore. Dir: Mitchell Leisen.

Boom Town (1940) . Friends become rivals when they strike-it-rich in oil. Cast: Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert.

The Palm Beach Story (1942) .To finance her husband's career, a married woman courts an eccentric millionaire. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor. Dir: Preston Sturges.

The Secret Heart(1946). A recent widow tries to help her emotionally disturbed stepdaughter. Cast: Claudette Colbert, June Allyson, Walter Pidgeon. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard.

Three Came Home (1950) . A woman fights to survive as a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Sessue Hayakawa, Patric Knowles. Dir: Jean Negulesco.

Secret Fury, The (1950). A mysterious figure tries to stop a woman's marriage by driving her mad. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Robert Ryan.

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