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Claudette Colbert

Biography | Filmography | Awards | Downloads | Image Credits

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A poster and still from one of her most famous roles, the title character in Cecil B. DeMille's CLEOPATRA (1934) which was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Memorable Quotations:

  • "Your ego is absolutely colossal!" --as Ellie Andrews in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934).
  • "I come from a long line of stubborn idiots." --as Ellie Andrews in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934).
  • "Never buy a saddle on the chance that the horse may be thrown in." --as Nicole de Loiselle in BLUEBEARD'S 8TH WIFE (1938).
  • "He doesn't know it yet, but this time he's bought a wash basin." --as Nicole de Loiselle in BLUEBEARD'S 8TH WIFE (1938).
  • "I always put iodine on people when I bite them." --as Nicole de Loiselle in BLUEBEARD'S 8TH WIFE (1938).
  • "I'll kick.  I'll bite.  I'll scratch.  I'll fight you with every vegetable at my disposal." --as Nicole de Loiselle in BLUEBEARD'S 8TH WIFE (1938).
  • "Why do you think a woman puts a man into a straight jacket?  Only because she loves him." --as Nicole de Loiselle in BLUEBEARD'S 8TH WIFE (1938).
  • "Alright.  You shoot me if you want to.  But I'm going to scream.  I'm going to keep screaming 'til I die." --as Edwina Corday in IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD (1939).
  • "I swear by my eyes..." --as Edwina Corday in IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD (1939).
  • "I can't bear it if you think of me as just a common, ordinary liar." --as Edwina Corday in IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD (1939).
  • "Anyway, men don't get smarter as they get older. They just lose their hair." --as Gerry Jeffers in THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942).
  • "You have no idea what a long-legged gal can do without doing anything." --as Gerry Jeffers in THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942).
  • "When I think of the years I spent learning to be irresistible to my husband-- and all I had to do was cackle." --as Betty MacDonald in THE EGG AND I (1947).
  • "Men have no sense at all when it comes to women." --as Betty MacDonald in THE EGG AND I (1947).

In Preston Sturges' 1942 comedy THE PALM BEACH STORY, Colbert leaves her failing-inventor husband in search of one with money. She ends up in Palm Beach and meets all kinds of entertaining characters, including those played by William Demarest, Rudy Vallee and Mary Astor. Some say this film is Colbert at her comic best.

In her 1943 Oscar-nominated performance playing mother to Jennifer Jones and Shirley Temple in the wartime drama, SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944) which also starred Hattie McDaniel and Joseph Cotten.

Further Reading:

  • Claudette Colbert: an illustrated biography by Lawrence J. Quirk (New York: Crown, c1985).
  • Claudette Colbert by William K. Everson (New York: Pyramid Publications, 1976).
  • Fast-talking dames by Maria DiBattista (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001).
  • The power of glamour: the women who defined the magic of stardom by Annette Tapert and Ellen Horan (New York: Crown, 1998).
  • The Paramount Pretties by James Robert Parish (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1972).

Other Colbert Related Links:

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Biography | Filmography | Awards | Downloads | Image Credits


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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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