Bankhead in 1941
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead
January 31, 1902
Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||December 12, 1968 (aged 66)|
New York City, U.S.
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Resting place||Saint Paul's Churchyard, Kent, Maryland|
(m. 1937; div. 1941)
|Parent(s)||William B. Bankhead|
|Relatives||John Hollis Bankhead |
John Hollis Bankhead II
Always known as just "Tallula", she was one of the most famous actresses of her time. She was born into a wealthy and influential Alabama family. Her father was a leading 'Southern Democrat', and in the 1930s became Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She was a childhood friend of Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Tallula was an actress from the beginning to the end of her life. She acted in nearly 300 film, stage, television, and radio roles. Her personal life was wild. She struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction. She was infamous for her sex life, which included both men and women.
In her 1932 movie Devil and the Deep there were three major co-stars, with Tallulah getting top billing over Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, and Cary Grant. David O. Selznick, producer of Gone with the Wind (1939) called her the "first choice among established stars" to play Scarlett O'Hara. According to a memo from Selznick, November 11, 1936: Bankhead is first choice among established stars – and many votes coming in for her. Although her screen test for the role in black-and-white was superb, she photographed poorly in Technicolor. Selznick also thought that at age 36, she was too old to play Scarlett, who is 16 at the beginning of the film. The role eventually went to Vivien Leigh.
Also notable was her performance in the Alfred Hitchcock film Lifeboat (1943–1944). It was her best on film and won her the New York Film Critics Circle award.
Onstage, Tallula appeared in a revival of Noël Coward's Private Lives, taking it on tour and then to Broadway for the better part of two years. The play's run made her a fortune. On her death, she was worth $2 million, a vast sum in those days.
|1928||Ten Most Remarkable Women In London||–||Won|
|1939||Variety Award for Best Actress of the Year||The Little Foxes||Won|
|1942||New York Drama Critics Award for Best Actress in a Production||The Skin of Our Teeth||Won|
|1942||Variety Award for Best Actress of the Year||The Skin of Our Teeth||Won|
|1944||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress||Lifeboat||Won|
|1950||Radio's Woman of the Year||The Big Show||Won|
|1960||Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6141 Hollywood Blvd||Motion pictures||Inducted|
|1961||Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play||Midgie Purvis||Nominated|
|1972||American Theater Hall of Fame||Lifetime achievement||Won|
References[change | change source]
- Obituary Variety, December 18, 1968.
- Schumach, Murray (December 13, 1969). "Tallulah Bankhead Dead at 65; Vibrant Stage and Screen Star" (PDF). The New York Times. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- Carrier, Jeffrey L. (January 1, 1991). Tallulah Bankhead: A Bio-bibliography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313274527. Retrieved August 11, 2016 – via Google Books.
- "The Milwaukee Journal – Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
- "Inductees". Alabama Women's Hall of Fame. State of Alabama. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Haskell, Molly 2009. Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11752-3
- Lambert, Gavin 1976. GWTW: The Making of Gone With the Wind. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 5-530-86392-2