In this Book

Claudette Colbert
summary
Claudette Colbert's mixture of beauty, sophistication, wit, and vivacity quickly made her one of the film industry's most famous and highest-paid stars of the 1930s and 1940s. Though she began her career on the New York stage, she was beloved for her roles in such films as Preston Sturges's The Palm Beach Story, Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra, and Frank Capra's It Happened One Night, for which she won an Academy Award. She showed remarkable prescience by becoming one of the first Hollywood stars to embrace television, and she also returned to Broadway in her later career. This is the first major biography of Colbert (1903-1996) published in over twenty years. Bernard F. Dick chronicles Colbert's long career, but also explores her early life in Paris and New York. Along with discussing how she left her mark on Broadway, Hollywood, radio, and television, the book explores Colbert's lifelong interests in painting, fashion design, and commercial art. Using correspondence, interviews, periodicals, film archives, and other research materials, the biography reveals a smart, talented actress who conquered Hollywood and remains one of America's most captivating screen icons. Bernard F. Dick is professor of communication and English at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is the author of Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars; Engulfed: The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood; Forever Mame: The Life of Rosalind Russell (University Press of Mississippi); and other books.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Chapter 1. Lily of Saint-Mand
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. Chapter 2. Becoming Claudette Colbert
  2. pp. 15-35
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  1. Chapter 3. Commuting to Work
  2. pp. 36-57
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  1. Chapter 4. “Ready When You Are, C. B.”
  2. pp. 58-76
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  1. Chapter 5. That Wonderful Year
  2. pp. 77-99
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  1. Chapter 6. A Night to Remember
  2. pp. 100-108
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  1. Chapter 7. The End of a Modern Marriage
  2. pp. 109-120
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  1. Chapter 8. Life after Oscar
  2. pp. 121-145
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  1. Chapter 9. Blaze of Noon
  2. pp. 146-166
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  1. Chapter 10. Claudette and the “Good War”
  2. pp. 167-178
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  1. Chapter 11. Slow Fade to Legend
  2. pp. 179-200
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  1. Chapter 12. The Last Picture Shows
  2. pp. 201-214
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  1. Chapter 13. The Long Voyage Home
  2. pp. 215-230
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  1. Chapter 14. She’s Back on Broadway
  2. pp. 231-246
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  1. Chapter 15. The Stigma
  2. pp. 247-262
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  1. Chapter 16. Slow Fade to Black
  2. pp. 263-283
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  1. Chapter 17. Envoi
  2. pp. 284-298
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  1. Broadway Plays
  2. p. 299
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  1. Major Radio Appearances
  2. pp. 300-301
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  1. Major Television Appearances
  2. p. 302
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  1. Filmography
  2. pp. 303-304
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  1. Source Notes
  2. pp. 305-318
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 319-329
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