Tallulah Bankhead

Actor
Though primarily a talented stage actress, Tallulah Bankhead appeared in a number of features despite her distaste for Hollywood. In the 1920s and 1930s, Bankhead dazzled theater audiences in London and New York, though ... Read more »
Born: 01/31/1902 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA

Filmography

Actor (10)

Die! Die! My Darling! 1965 (Movie)

Mrs Trefoile (Actor)

The Daydreamer 1965 (Movie)

(Actor)

The United States Steel Hour 1953 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

Main Street to Broadway 1953 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

The All-Star Revue 1950 - 1953 (TV Show)

Actor

Lifeboat 1944 (Movie)

(Actor)

Stage Door Canteen 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Cheat (Movie)

Elsa Carlyle (Actor)

The Devil and the Deep (Movie)

Pauline Sturm (Actor)

Thunder Below (Movie)

Susan (Actor)

Biography

Though primarily a talented stage actress, Tallulah Bankhead appeared in a number of features despite her distaste for Hollywood. In the 1920s and 1930s, Bankhead dazzled theater audiences in London and New York, though she ultimately became more famous for her tempestuous personality and endless string of love affairs than for her stage performances. In fact, it was the idea of Tallulah Bankhead - with her uninhibited nature, hard-drinking lifestyle and sultry come-hither voice calling everyone "Daaahling" - that became her claim to fame. She made her film debut with "Tarnished Lady" (1931), directed by George Cukor, and proceeded to make a handful of unsuccessful pictures like "The Cheat" (1931) and "Faithless" (1932) before turning back to the bright lights of Broadway. Bankhead was both acclaimed in "The Little Foxes" (1939) and "The Skin of Our Teeth" (1942) - both of which catered to her flamboyant nature - and ridiculed, as she was for "Antony and Cleopatra" (1937). Lured back to Hollywood by none other than Alfred Hitchcock, she delivered her strongest big screen performance in "Lifeboat" (1944), but fell under the weight of Otto Preminger's heavy-handed "A Royal Scandal" (1945). Following stints on anthology television and the success of her autobiography, Bankhead's star faded amidst a haze of alcohol and pills, as evidenced by her ragged appearance in "Die! Die! My Darling" (1965). Still, while other stage actresses fell into obscurity after their deaths, Bankhead remained a source of constant fascination that stood as a testament to both her talents and her over-the-top persona.

Relationships

William Bankhead

Father
served as speaker of the US House of Representatives

Adelaide Bankhead

Mother
died from blood poisoning after giving birth to Tallulah in 1903

Eugenia Bankhead

Sister
survived her

Jack Bankhead

Grandfather
served as a US Senator paternal grandfather

Anthony Bosdari

Companion
an Italian count engaged in 1929

John Emery Actor

Husband
Married August 31, 1937 divorced June 13, 1941

Patsy Kelly Actor

Companion

EDUCATION

Fairmont School for Girls

Washington , Washington D.C.

Mary Baldwin School

Staunton , Virginia

Convent of the Holy Cross

Washington , Washington D.C.

Milestones

1980

Was portrayed by Carrie Nye in the TV-movie "The Scarlett O'Hara War" about the search for an actress to play the leading role in the 1939 film version of "Gone With the Wind"

1966

Was a "special guest villainess" on the campy TV cult classic, "Batman"; portrayed the Black Widow (date approximate)

1965

Supplied a voice to the animated fantasy film "The Daydreamer"

1965

Last acting lead in a feature film, "Die! Die! My Darling!/Fanatic"

1953

Acted in "Main Street to Broadway" after an eight-year absence from the screen

1952

Published autobiography

1942

Made a cameo appearance in the all-star WWII fundraising film, "Stage Door Canteen"

1942

Returned to a leading role in films with her part in Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat"

1932

Last film roles for a decade in "The Devil and the Deep" and "Thunder Below"

1932

Made cameo appearance in "Make Me a Star"

1931

Signed to Paramount contract and returned to US; first film under contract, "Tarnished Lady"

1928

Appeared in two British films: "His House in Order" and "A Woman's Law"

1923

Moved to London where starred as lead in 15 West End stage productions

1919

First major stage performance in "Footloose" (date approximate)

1918

Screen debut in "When Men Betray"

1917

Won a film-magazine contest at age 15; prize was a trip to NYC where she made her stage acting debut in "Squab Farm"

Toured in a revival of the Noel Coward comedy, "Private Lives"

Appeared on live TV in the early 1950s on such anthology dramas as "The All-Star Revue" and "The United States Steel Hour"

Bonus Trivia

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Some sources list Ms. Bankhead's date of birth as 1903.

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When asked "Are you Tallulah Bankhead?" Bankhead is reputed to have answered "What's left of her." (Quoted in Halliwell)

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Named for paternal grandmother, who in turn was named after Tallulah Falls, Georgia.

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