Paulette Goddard

Actor, Chorus girl, Art collector
Amiable, effervescent leading lady, in Hollywood from 1929 but virtually unknown until she very touchingly played a waif opposite second husband Charles Chaplin in "Modern Times" (1936). Goddard was one of the final ... Read more »
Born: 06/02/1910 in Queens, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (35)

The Snoop Sisters 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Gli Indifferenti 1964 (Movie)

(Actor)

On Trial 1956 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

Stranger Came Home 1954 (Movie)

Angie (Actor)

Charge of the Lancers 1953 (Movie)

Tanya (Actor)

Vice Squad 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

Variety Girl 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

Duffy's Tavern 1945 (Movie)

(Actor)

Reap the Wild Wind 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hold Back the Dawn 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

Nothing But the Truth 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Great Dictator 1940 (Movie)

Hannah (Actor)

The Ghost Breakers 1939 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Cat and the Canary 1938 (Movie)

Joyce Norman (Actor)

The Women 1938 (Movie)

Miriam Aarons (Actor)

The Young in Heart 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

Modern Times 1936 (Movie)

Gamin (Actor)

The Kid From Spain 1931 (Movie)

(Actor)

Anna Lucasta (Movie)

Anna Lucasta (Actor)

Dramatic School (Movie)

Nana (Actor)

Hazard (Movie)

Ellen Crane (Actor)

Kitty (Movie)

Kitty (Actor)

Northwest Mounted Police (Movie)

Louvette Corbeau (Actor)

Pot O' Gold (Movie)

Molly McCorkle (Actor)

Proudly We Hail (Movie)

Lt. Joan O'Doul (Actor)

Second Chorus (Movie)

Ellen Miller (Actor)

Standing Room Only (Movie)

Jane Rogers (Actor)

Suddenly It's Spring (Movie)

Mary Morely (Actor)

The Bohemian Girl (Movie)

(Actor)

The Crystal Ball (Movie)

Toni Gerard (Actor)

The Forest Rangers (Movie)

Celia Huston (Actor)

The Lady Has Plans (Movie)

Sidney Royce (Actor)

The Mouthpiece (Movie)

Girl at Party (Actor)

The Torch (Movie)

Maria Dolores (Actor)

Unconquered (Movie)

Abby Hale (Actor)

Biography

Amiable, effervescent leading lady, in Hollywood from 1929 but virtually unknown until she very touchingly played a waif opposite second husband Charles Chaplin in "Modern Times" (1936). Goddard was one of the final contenders for the much sought-after role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" (1939) but ultimately lost out to Vivien Leigh. (One story has it that a possible scandal surrounding her marital status with Chaplin may have kept her from getting the role.) Goddard, an extremely pretty and vivacious brunette, nevertheless became a popular favorite in comedy and period melodrama, remaining a top star at Paramount throughout the 1940s. She is best known as part of George Cukor's all-star distaff ensemble in the riotous "The Women" (1939) and as Bob Hope's co-star in the enjoyable horror comedies "The Cat and the Canary" (1939) and "The Ghost Breakers" (1940).

Besides the Chaplin and Cukor films, probably Goddard's finest performance is to be found in Mitchell Leisen's nicely judged and handsomely designed reworking of the "Pygmalion" myth, "Kitty" (1945). She also appeared in several films opposite her third husband, actor Burgess Meredith, including Jean Renoir's striking and offbeat "The Diary of a Chambermaid" (1946). After making several poor films in the later 40s, Goddard found that her star status had slipped; she and Paramount parted company in 1949 and she continued on for another five years in low-budget fare including "Babes in Bagdad" (1952) and "Vice Squad" (1953). A sharp-witted and alert woman reportedly much admired by H.G. Wells and other intellectuals, Goddard wed her last spouse, novelist Erich Maria Remarque, in the 50s, a union that would last until his death. She made her final screen appearance, following a ten-year absence, in the Italian production "A Time of Indifference" (1964).

Relationships

Charlie Chaplin Actor

Husband
Married June 1, 1936; some controversy surrounded exactly when the two were married She acted opposite Chaplin in his films "Modern Times" (1936) and "The Great Dictator" (1940)

Edgar James Actor

Husband
Divorced 1932; some sources suggested she was as young as 14 when she married James, and as old as 19 when she divorced him

Burgess Meredith Actor

Husband

Erich Maria Remarque Actor

Husband
Married 1958 until his death Sept. 25, 1970

Milestones

1964

One-shot return to films, in a supporting role in the Italian production, "Time of Indifference", based on the Alberto Moravia novel

1954

Played last starring roles in "The Charge of the Lancers" and "The Stranger Came Home"

1949

Stardom faded in the late 1940s; left Paramount after "Bride of Vengeance", in which she played Lucretia Borgia

1949

Formed Monterey Pictures (with John Steinbeck)

1940

First of three films with director Cecil B. DeMille, "Northwest Mounted Police"

1939

Signed contract with Paramount

1936

Appeared as Chaplin's leading lady in "Modern Times"

1929

Signed contract with Roach Studios

1927

Stage acting debut in "The Unconquerable Male"

1926

Stage debut as chorine with Ziegfeld revue; billed for a time as "Peaches"

Appeared as an extra or in bit roles in films including Chaplin's "City Lights" (1931) and such Eddie Cantor musical vehicles as "The Kid from Spain" (1932) and "Kid Millions" (1934)

Achieved star status in the late 1930s in such films as "Dramatic School", "The Young in Heart" (both 1938), "The Women" and "The Cat and the Canary" (both 1939)

Roach contract bought by Charles Chaplin

Bonus Trivia

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At the time of her death, various newspapers reported that the year of Goddard's birth was quite possibly earlier than 1911, in fact possibly as far back as 1904.

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In her later years Goddard endowed a scholarship fund for students in film production and cinema studies at New York University, and upon her death it was announced that she had left the university upwards of $30 million. A staircase in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and one of the university's dormitories were named in her honor, although for a number of years her name was misspelled "Godard" on the staircase.

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During the infamous days of the blacklist in Hollywood in the late 40s, Goddard maintained her famous sharp wit. Asked if she feared the paranoid gossip which was ruining so many careers, she reportedly replied, "If anyone calls me a Communist, I'll hit them over the head with my diamond bracelets." (Story related in the "New York Times" obituary, 1990)

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