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She was outspoken, uninhibited, and it's said that any who met her never forgot her. Tallulah Bankhead’s final acting assignments included a “Special Guest Villain” stint on the TV series Batman (1966–68); when advised that the series was considered “high camp,” her response was vintage Tallulah: “Don’t tell me about camp, dahling! Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (1902 –1968) (she was named after her paternal grandmother, who, in turn, was named after the town of Tallulah Falls in Georgia) was an American stage and screen actress known for her deep voice, flamboyant personality, romances with men and women, and for her support of liberal causes, all the more notable for her coming from Alabama at a time of Southern conservatism. It was also during this period that she was briefly married to actor John Emery. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. She rented a home at 1712 Stanley Street, in Hollywood, and began hosting parties that were said to "have no boundaries". Bankhead appeared in "A Man For Oona," part of the television anthology series United States Steel Hour. The real Bankhead, an Alabama native who was born in Huntsville and raised in Jasper, might appreciate this portrayal. Bankhead was quite political throughout her life, and though her family were Southern Democrats, she differed from them in her support for Harry Truman's reelection in 1948. Nobody can be exactly like me. rumor that she had an affair with Hattie McDaniel. Famous as an actress, she was famous, too, for her many affairs, her infectious personality and witticisms like "There is less to this than meets the eye" and "I'm as pure as the driven slush." Every item on this page was chosen by a Town & Country editor. . This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Two notable ones are Tallulah Bankhead, played by Paget Brewster, and Hattie McDaniel, played by Queen Latifah. ", Tallulah Bankhead died in New York City of double pneumonia arising from influenza, complicated by emphysema, at the age of 66 on December 12, 1968, and is buried in Saint Paul's Churchyard, Chestertown, Maryland. Almost childlike in her immodesty, a beaming Tallulah accepted She was photographed here for Vogue. Bankhead, the daughter of Alabama congressman and future speaker of the House William Brockman Bankhead, was named after her paternal grandmother, whose name was inspired by Tallulah Falls, Georgia. Bankhead was born in Huntsville, Alabama to speaker of the United States House of Representatives William Brockman Bankhead and Adelaide Eugenia Sledge. But whenever the Bankhead character appears on screen, she’s an unpredictable force of nature. Here she is playing the character in a revival of the play. [citation needed] However, later reports show that Bankhead disliked de Acosta greatly, finding her unattractive, and was most likely never involved with her sexually, on one occasion telling friends that de Acosta looked like "a mouse in a topcoat". According to author Brendan Gill, when Bankhead entered the hospital for an illness, an article was headed "Tallulah Hospitalized, Hospital Tallulahized." She continued to play in various performances over the next few years, mostly mediocre. Bankhead (at left ) with a friend at the premiere of the film The Private Life of Don Juan at the New London Pavilion. Looking for some great streaming picks? “A big Broadway actress, came to Hollywood, didn’t have the success that she wanted.”, Tallulah Bankhead, an Alabama native, made her fame in the theater during the 1930s and early '40s. Actress. Tallulah Bankhead and her sister were enrolled at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York. Senator Richard Nixon and his wife Pat (second left) speak with Bankhead at the same party given by Hedda Hopper (second right). She had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy which took several hours. Although Bankhead found Hollywood and the film industry boring, she liked the money that could be earned, so persevered with her acting for two years. After a succession of mediocre “sex dramas” that made few demands on her talent, Bankhead confounded her critics with her brilliant performance as a troubled young waitress in the London production of Sidney Howard’s They Knew What They Wanted (1925). Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). I invented it!”. 3 (“Outlaws") and No. This rumor had sent shockwaves through the 1920s British establishment. The tragedy devastated her father, who was consumed by depression and alcoholism. The award for that year went to Swanson. The play's run made Bankhead a fortune. She is pictured here with Frederic March in My Sin. During the run of the play, some media accused Bankhead of a running feud with the play's director, Elia Kazan, but both denied it. Here, Polish pianist Arthur Rubenstein kisses Bankhead while Toni Lainer looks on at a party thrown by Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in Beverly Hills. The allegations were based purely on gossip and word of mouth. Bankhead, meanwhile, developed a reputation over the course of her career as a sexual provocateur, often remembered more for her larger-than-life … She had been investigated by MI5 amid rumours she was corrupting pupils at Eton. She returned to the U.S. in 1931, settling in Hollywood. A natural performer, she turned to acting as a teenager and eventually found a home on the London stage during the 1920s. Die! Bankhead is seen here in a promotional shot for Paramount Pictures, wearing a black satin dress. Look for the Bankhead character in the trailer below, at the 1:51 and 2:33 marks. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. (AL.com file photo), Bankhead, born into a family regarded as political royalty in Alabama, rebelled against convention at an early age. Her fame grew during the 1930s and early ’40s with performances on Broadway, most notably in Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes" and Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth.”, Her film career didn’t have the same luster, but Bankhead earned acclaim for her performance in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat,” released in 1944. Although a heavy drinker and consumer of sleeping pills (she was a life-long insomniac), Bankhead continued to perform in the 1950s and 1960s on Broadway, in the occasional film, as a highly-popular radio show host, and in the new medium of television. She was born in Huntsville, Alabama, in the United States. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tallulah-Bankhead, Alabama Women's Hall of Fame - Biography of Tallulah Brockman Bankhead, Turner Classic Movies - Biography of Tallulah Bankhead, Encyclopedia of Alabama - Biography of Tallulah Bankhead, Tallulah Bankhead - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Though she received good notices for her last performances, her career as one of the greats of the American stage was coming to an end. Bankhead (right) in a scene with Florence Reed during the New York production of "The Skin of Our Teeth." The dossier, assembled when she was 32, contains allegations that while in Britain the actress: In the whole of the file there was no credible evidence that Miss Bankhead had any "abnormal" sexual tendencies, or that any grounds existed to keep her out of Britain. Her portrayal won her the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Performance, but Bankhead and Hellman feuded over the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland: Bankhead (a staunch anti-Communist) was said to want a portion of one performance's proceeds to go to Finnish relief; Hellman (an equally staunch Stalinist) objected strenuously, and the two women didn't speak for the next quarter of a century. Her last appearance on screen came in March 1967 as the villainous Black Widow in the Batman TV series. Her family sent her to various schools in an attempt to keep her out of trouble, which included a year at a Catholic convent school (although her father was a Methodist and her mother [who died at her birth], was an Episcopalian). She is seen here in 1955 with Harry Belafonte in Las Vegas, with her poodle Dolores in her lap. Bankhead returned to America (and the silver screen) in 1931, making three "talkie" films that year: Tarnished Lady, The Cheat, and My Sin. True, the husky-voiced diva appears in only a handful of scenes, popping up during two episodes -- No. In fact, Bankhead is often quoted as saying, “My father warned me about men and booze, but he never said anything about women and cocaine.” Also: “I’m pure as the driven slush.” And: "It’s the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.”, “Hollywood” allows the Bankhead character to indulge herself with abandon, even delving into an oft-repeated rumor that she had an affair with Hattie McDaniel, the Oscar-winning actress who played Mammy in “Gone With the Wind.” (Queen Latifah is cast as McDaniel.).

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