Paulette Goddard Poster


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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 3 June 1910Whitestone Landing, Long Island, New York, USA
Date of Death 23 April 1990Ronco, Switzerland  (heart failure)
Birth NamePauline Marion Goddard Levy
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Paulette Goddard was a child model who debuted in "The Ziegfeld Follies" at the age of 13. She gained fame with the show as the girl on the crescent moon, and was married to a wealthy man by the time she was 16. After her divorce she went to Hollywood in 1931, where she appeared in small roles in pictures for a number of studios. A stunning natural beauty, Paulette could mesmerize any man she met, a fact she was well aware of. One of her bigger roles in that period was as a blond "Goldwyn Girl" in the Eddie Cantor film The Kid from Spain (1932). In 1932 she met Charles Chaplin, and they soon became an item around town. He cast her in Modern Times (1936), which was a big hit, but her movie career was not going anywhere because of her relationship with Chaplin. They were secretly married in 1936, but the marriage failed and they were separated by 1940. It was her role as Miriam Aarons in The Women (1939), however, that got her a contract with Paramount. Paulette was one of the many actresses tested for the part of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), but she lost the part to Vivien Leigh and instead appeared with Bob Hope in The Cat and the Canary (1939), a good film but hardly in the same league as GWTW. The 1940s were Paulette's busiest period. She worked with Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940), Cecil B. DeMille in Reap the Wild Wind (1942) and Burgess Meredith in The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in So Proudly We Hail! (1943). Her star faded in the late 1940s, however, and she was dropped by Paramount in 1949. After a couple of "B" movies, she left films and went to live in Europe as a wealthy expatriate; she married German novelist Erich Maria Remarque in the late 1950s. She was coaxed back to the screen once more, although it was the small screen, for the television movie The Snoop Sisters: The Female Instinct (1972).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Pauline Marion Goddard Levy was born in Whitestone Landing, New York, on 3 June 1910. She was a beautiful child who began to model for local department stores before she made her debut with Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies at the age of 13. For three years she astounded audiences with her talent.

She married Edgar James when she was 15, but the union was doomed to failure and was dissolved in 1930. By then Paulette had begun to make her mark on Hollywood with a small bit appearance in the film Berth Marks (1929). Her age (19) didn't help her in getting better parts. She would continue in bit roles in films such as The Girl Habit (1931), The Mouthpiece (1932), and Young Ironsides (1932). For the next four years she searched for parts but came up empty-handed. It wasn't until 1936 that Paulette would again appear in a motion picture, in Modern Times (1936). Once again she found herself with a bit part. Finally, after ten years she gained a decent part in The Women (1939), and Paulette thought that maybe her career was finally taking off. In her next film, she played Joyce Norman in The Cat and the Canary (1939), which was intended to be a send-off vehicle for Bob Hope. It not only did that, but it also established Paulette as a genuine star. Her performance won her a ten-year contract with Paramount Studios, which was one of the premier studios of the day.

Her next feature film was with the great Fred Astaire in the acclaimed musical Second Chorus (1940). Later that year she once again teamed up with Bob Hope for the film The Ghost Breakers (1940), and once again the movie was a huge hit. This was just the beginning because the 1940s was the decade that kept her busy and in the American movie-going public's eyes. Motion pictures such as The Great Dictator (1940) with husband Charles Chaplin, Pot o' Gold (1941), and The Lady Has Plans (1942) were added to her already sparkling resume.

In 1943, Paulette was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the film So Proudly We Hail! (1943)! She didn't win, but it solidified her as a top draw. Although Standing Room Only (1944) with Fred MacMurray didn't bring in the crowds at the box office, the production is still remembered as a delightful comedy, a must-see for any film buff. Paulette reached the pinnacle of her career in Mitchell Leisen's Kitty (1945). The film was a hit with moviegoers, as Paulette played an ordinary English woman transformed into a duchess. The film was filled with plenty of comedy, dramatic and romantic scenes that appealed to virtually everyone. As Abby Hale in Unconquered (1947), Paulette once more found herself with a profit-making flick. This Cecil B. DeMille film paired her with Gary Cooper in an 18th century romantic drama. The critics weren't too keen on it, but the public could not have cared less. They loved this long-running (146 minutes) movie.

The 1950s were not too good for Paulette's career, as she appeared in only six feature films, the last being Charge of the Lancers (1954). She would not be seen again on the silver screen until in Time of Indifference (1964). Her career was just about finished, although she did appear in a made-for-TV film called The Snoop Sisters: The Female Instinct (1972) as Norma Treet. That one was forgettable and Paulette retired from the film world for good. On 23 April 1990, she died of massive heart failure in Ronco, Switzerland, at the age of 79.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Spouse (4)

Erich Maria Remarque (25 February 1958 - 25 September 1970) (his death)
Burgess Meredith (21 May 1944 - 8 June 1949) (divorced)
Charles Chaplin (1 June 1936 - 4 June 1942) (divorced)
Edgar James (28 June 1927 - 9 January 1932) (divorced)

Trivia (26)

Left more than $20 million to New York University on her death.
Was the leading contender for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939). Her inability to produce a marriage certificate to prove she and Charles Chaplin were married, and the appearance of Vivien Leigh on the scene, lost her the part.
She was one of the 20 original The Goldwyn Girls along with Lucille Ball, Virginia Bruce, Ann Dvorak and Betty Grable.
Sources variously cite her year of birth as 1911 and 1914, and the place as Whitestone Landing, New York, USA. However, municipal employees in Ronco, Switzerland, where she died, gave her birth year of record as 1905.
Had no siblings and no children.
Claire Trevor once reminisced on her friendship with Goddard. She said that Goddard was a year older and that they had attended high school and sorority together, and that the guys were "gaga" over the lovely young Paulette.
Owing to her donation of an estimated $20 million, New York University named a residence hall after her. Paulette Goddard Hall is located at 79 Washington Square East in New York City. NYU's Tisch School of the Arts also named its main staircase after her and awards several scholarships to students in her honor.
Is portrayed by Diane Lane in Chaplin (1992) and by Gwen Humble in The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980).
Goddard never had any children, but she became a stepmother to Charles Chaplin's two sons, Charles Chaplin Jr. and Sydney Chaplin, while she and Charlie were married. In his memoirs, "My Father Charlie Chaplin," from 1960, Charles Jr. describes her as a lovely, caring and intelligent woman throughout the book.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives," Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 331-333. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
In Italy, most of her films were dubbed by either Giovanna Scotto; Dhia Cristiani, most notably in The Women (1939); or Rosetta Calavetta.
Married Charles Chaplin the first week in June, 1936, in Canton, China, while on a world cruise.
She suffered a miscarriage in October 1944 while married to Burgess Meredith.
According to "Paulette" by Joe Morella and Edward Z. Epstein, the actress had the inside track on marrying Clark Gable. When he was seeing her off to Mexico to film a movie, she asked him to kiss her goodbye, but Gable refused because of the many newsmen and photographers there. Goddard reportedly replied, "Well, that's that. So long, Sugar!" and with that the romance was over.
She was paired romantically with actor Ray Milland in four films, including the blockbusters Reap the Wild Wind (1942) and Kitty (1945). In his autobiography, Milland wrote that Goddard was "wise, humorous, and with absolutely no illusions." He further claimed that she was the hardest working actress that he had ever worked with.
In 1948, Alexander Korda planned a new version of "Carmen" to star Goddard but abandoned them when Columbia mounted their own version to star Rita Hayworth.
Because she would not do a dangerous stunt in Unconquered (1947), Cecil B. DeMille rejected her acceptance of a key role in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and cast Gloria Grahame, instead.
Although they lived in separate apartments in their 57th Street Manhattan apartment building, Goddard and her husband, Erich Maria Remarque, dined together every night.
Was voted Miss Halloween 1939 by movie viewers in that years October edition of Photoplay Magazine.
She was a staunch Republican and conservative.
In the 1940s, she was a fan of music artist Stan Kenton collecting every one of his albums.
During the filming of The Women (1939), Rosalind Russell actually bit Paulette Goddard in their fight sequence. Despite the permanent scar the bite left Goddard, the actresses remained friends.
Her father was of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and her mother had English ancestry.
Paulette Goddard was David O'Selznick's first choice to play Scarlett O'Hara. He and his wife Irene O'Selznick lived next door to Paulette and Charlie Chaplin. It was Chaplin's unpopular politics that caused her to lose the role.
Suffered from emphysema in later years.

Personal Quotes (15)

Actors and actresses who say they never go to see their own pictures are talking through their hats. You don't have to be a [Sigmund Freud] to know that the most fascinating person in the world - actors or anybody - is yourself.
I lived in Hollywood long enough to learn to play tennis and become a star, but I never felt it was my home. I was never looking for a home, as a matter of fact.
You live in the present and you eliminate things that don't matter. You don't carry the burden of the past. I'm not impressed by the past very much. The past bores me, to tell you the truth; it really bores me. I don't remember many movies and certainly not my own.
[Referring first to Jean Renoir and obliquely to [Charles Chaplin) . . . an amazing man. He likes actors, and situations, and insists on telling a story. This is so unlike most directors who like only other directors . . . one director--you know who I mean."
[Referring to paintings and fine art) I don't like collecting anything I can't pack.
{Referring to husband Erich Maria Remarque) We get along very well, I must say. I'm gregarious, and he's sedentary; it works out fine.
Leave yourself alone as much as possible. Don't worry. I never do. I'm too busy remembering things.
I was quite poor to begin with. But I think a background of poverty is good. You can always go back to living on $20 a week. You feel like a bandit when you take the good things in life.
I love doing TV. It's such a breakneck pace you know. It's kiss and go with your leading man. You meet them in the morning and go right into a clinch. The filming is over before you know their last names.
I think everybody at the studio thought I had a boy friend who owned a garage because I used to go to work every morning in such big cars. Actually, you see, I was financially independent, and my passion was automobiles. I had three of them, all shiny and expensive.
Life was easy as a blonde. I didn't have to think, I didn't have to talk. All I had to do was waltz around.
I am not temperamental. I just know what I want and if I don't have it, I try to get it.
[at the opening of Carol Channing's "Lorelei"] Men no longer prefer blondes; today, gentlemen seem to prefer gentlemen.
I'm always slightly embarrassed to meet other actresses of my vintage. We have so little in common. They're all so dedicated. I find - so desperate.
Nobody onscreen fascinates me as much as Paulette Goddard. I'm probably her greatest fan , bar none. I see my own pictures six or seven times. I also take in my own pictures to see what I do wrong or what I do right.

Salary (12)

The Women (1939) $5,000 /week
The Cat and the Canary (1939) $85,000
The Ghost Breakers (1940) $85,000
North West Mounted Police (1940) $85,000
Second Chorus (1940) $5,000 /week
Pot o' Gold (1941) $5,000 /week
Hold Back the Dawn (1941) $5,000 /week
Nothing But the Truth (1941) $5,000 /week
The Lady Has Plans (1942) $5,000 /week
Reap the Wild Wind (1942) $35,000
Anna Lucasta (1949) $175,000 + % of profits
Sins of Jezebel (1953) $20,000

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