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Annabella Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Paris, France
Died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France  (heart attack)
Birth NameSuzanne Georgette Charpentier

Mini Bio (2)

At age 16, Annabella was chosen by Abel Gance to appear in Napoleon (1927). In the 30s, she became a star of French movies. She made movies in numerous other countries, before being called to Hollywood in 1938, where she met and married Tyrone Power. She remained in the USA until 1947. Then she attempted a comeback in France. She retired from show business in 1954.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Yepok

She arrived in the U.S. at a time when a great surge of foreign feminine mystique was invading Hollywood, led by Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Marlene Dietrich. A stunning and exceptionally gifted star beloved in her native France, Annabella was thrown into a string of mediocre films by her studio during her brief Hollywood courtship and, in the end, became better known as Mrs. Tyrone Power than as the high-quality talent she was.

Born Suzanne Georgette Charpentier, the daughter of a magazine publisher, in La Varenne Saint Hilaire, France, on July 14, 1909 (although sources vary the years from 1904 to 1913), Annabella appeared in Abel Gance's legendary silent epic Napoleon (1927). Director René Clair immediately recognized her gamine appeal and photogenic allure, casting her in his classic Le Million (1931). European stardom was hers.

Although only in her 20s, she was already a widow (due to the death of husband Albert Sorre, a writer) with a young daughter, Anne, to support. She pursued her career with ardent dedication and passion. She appeared on the stages of Berlin and Vienna and continued her professional association with director Clair by giving a superb performance in July 14 (1933) [July 14th]. She continued to shine working alongside the likes of Charles Boyer, Jean Gabin, Albert Préjean and Jean Murat. Her popularity was further heightened by a successful association with writer/director Pál Fejös.

She first arrived in America to shoot a French-language version of a Hollywood film and began mastering English from that point on. Instead of settling in Hollywood, however, she headed to London and away from the Hollywood glitz. She had appeared earlier with Jean Murat in Companion Wanted (1932) and Mademoiselle Josette, ma femme (1933), and the couple married in 1934. She won the Venice Film Festival Award for her glorious performance in Sacrifice d'honneur (1935) [Sacrifice of Honor] and went on to appear with Murat in two other pictures -- Anatole Litvak's Flight Into Darkness (1935) [Flight Into Darkness] and Anne-Marie (1936).

Hollywood beckoned again, this time courtesy of 20th Century-Fox, but the open-faced, ash-blonde beauty continued to resist. They finally arrived on a settlement of sorts -- she would agree to make English-speaking films with the studio but only if they were made in England. Her English-speaking debut was opposite Henry Fonda in Wings of the Morning (1937), which was quite successful. It was the first Technicolor feature ever shot in England and Annabella looked every inch the star.

As her following American movies were given their release, such as Under the Red Robe (1937) with Conrad Veidt and Raymond Massey and Dinner at the Ritz (1937) with Paul Lukas and David Niven, Annabella was drawn into the Hollywood maelstrom despite her desire for privacy. This privacy would be shattered dramatically after the still-married French actress met and fell hard for the studio's main attraction, Tyrone Power. From that time forward, the soon-to-be-divorced Annabella and Power became prime objects of tabloid frenzy. They finally married on April 23, 1939. Hounded by an ever-curious public, the couple soon began having marital troubles, complicated by their inevitable time apart for filming and his war service. His numerous affairs only compounded their problems. She bravely kept a strong front and continued filming, but her vehicles were not up to par. The Baroness and the Butler (1938) with William Powell, Suez (1938), which she filmed with her husband, and Bridal Suite (1939) with Robert Young did little to bolster her American career. After Tonight We Raid Calais (1943) and Bomber's Moon (1943), she ended her contract with 13 Rue Madeleine (1946), and then she was gone.

Divorcing Power in January of 1948, she returned to Europe. Her last French film was released in 1952. Her only child Anne would find love and heartbreak married to the Austrian actor Oskar Werner who self-destructed from depression and chronic alcoholism. Annabella's last years were spent quietly, volunteering at one point in prison welfare. She died of a heart attack at Neuilly sur Seine on September 18, 1996, at the age of 87.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Tyrone Power (23 April 1939 - 26 January 1948) ( divorced)
Jean Murat (4 October 1934 - 1938) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (7)

Accepted Academy Award in 1964 on behalf of Patricia Neal.
Daughter, Ann Power, was adopted by Tyrone Power. She was married to the late actor Oskar Werner.
Made a rare appearance presenting Gregory Peck his Oscar trophy at the 1962 Academy Awards show. She also accepted the 1963 Oscar for Patricia Neal, stating "Pat is expecting her fourth child in London. She wishes you a very special thank you.".
Visited ex-husband Tyrone Power on the set of his last film Solomon and Sheba (1959) while it was filming in Madrid on November 10, 1958. Five days later, he collapsed on the set while filming a duel scene with George Sanders and died of a massive heart attack. She was little seen after that.
In 1941, third husband Tyrone Power adopted Annabella's daughter, Anne, from her first marriage.
According to John Allen, author of a full length article on Annabella in "Films of the Golden Age", Annabella was appearing in her first English-speaking film Wings of the Morning (1937) when she fell for co-star Henry Fonda. He resisted and it took her husband at the time, Jean Murat, to dispel the "rumors".
Her stage name was derived from the Edgar Allan Poe poem "Annabel Lee".

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