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Mrs. Patrick Campbell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trivia (16)  | Personal Quotes (4)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Kensington, London, England, UK
Died in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France  (pneumonia)
Birth NameBeatrice Rose Stella Tanner
Nickname Mrs. Pat

Mini Bio (1)

Mrs. Patrick Campbell was born on February 9, 1865 in Kensington, London, England as Beatrice Rose Stella Tanner. She was an actress and writer, known for Crime and Punishment (1935), One More River (1934) and Riptide (1934). She was married to George Cornwallis-West and Patrick Campbell. She died on April 9, 1940 in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France.

Family (1)

Spouse George Cornwallis-West (6 April 1914 - 9 April 1940)  (her death)
Patrick Campbell (1884 - 1900)  (his death)  (2 children)

Trivia (16)

The original Eliza Doolittle in "Pygmalion" (1914), a part written especially for her by George Bernard Shaw. She was 49 when she played the role. Shaw refused her request to play in the film adaptation two decades later, telling her she was too old.
When talkies came along, she went to Hollywood and became a speech teacher and dialogue coach. She also made instructional films for aspiring actors who wanted to break into talkies.
Was legendary for making astonishingly inappropriate remarks. She undoubtedly lost her chance for a career in Hollywood when, at a party, she approached MGM executive Irving Thalberg, then married to actress Norma Shearer, and said: "Dear Mr. Thalberg, how is your lovely, lovely wife with the tiny, tiny eyes?". Another anecdote is that on the set of Riptide (1934), she reportedly said in a stentorian voice: "Look at that Shearer person. Her eyes are so far apart, you'd have to get a taxi between them".
Beatrice (Stella) Tanner, better known as Mrs. Patrick Campbell, married George Cornwallis-West on 6 April 1914. Cornwallis-West had been previously married to Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston Churchill.
The onset of WWII caught her in the French Pyrenees, ill and destitute. She could not return to England because quarantine laws would have imprisoned her Pekinese, Moonbeam. Her nurse cabled Sara and Gerald Murphy for funds, which were sent but arrived too late and were used to bury Mrs. Campbell in the Cimetiere Urbain at Pau.
She was described by one American producer as a temperamental actress whose "grand sense of humor and outstanding charm made you laugh instead of strangle her".
Her son was killed in WWI, her daughter married an American and moved to Chicago.
The dowager played by Marie Dressler in Dinner at Eight (1933) is reportedly based on her.
Campbell's "One More River" co-star, Jane Wyatt, said about her eating meals with her dog, "... she always wore gloves. Moonbeam would sit beside her, and she would feed him with the same fork. I loved being with her. She was witty and funny. I had a good time with her, and I bet she had a good time with us.
Shaw wanted Campbell to play Lady Britomart in the film version of "Major Barbara," but England;s quarantine laws would have prevented her from bringing her beloved dog Moonbeam with her, so she turned the role down.
Campbell greatly put off co-star Norma Shearer by remaking on her 'tiny little eyes.' She annoyed Shearer further by laughing hysterically at a dramatic scene between Shearer and Herbert Marshall.
Campbell befriended young actress Jane Wyatt during the filming of James Whale's "One More River." Wyatt remembered that Campbell had trouble recalling her lines and most of her scenes were shot a few words at a time.
When she was in Hollywood, Campbell stayed at the Chateau Elysee and would eat her meals in the hotel's dining room.
Her first involvement with film came in 1921 with her reading a prologue and epilogue aloud for four weeks in the initial London engagement for a Biblical epic, "The Dawn of the World.".
When she was publishing some of his letters to her, George Bernard Shaw was angered and would not help her when she had financial problems.
Despite snide comments made by Mrs. Patrick Campbell on Norma Shearer's appearance, Miss Shearer recalled to author Gavin Lambert that one of Irving Thalberg's original casting ideas for "Marie Antoinette" was that of Mrs. Patrick Campbell playing the part of the Countess De Noailles. By the time the film went into production, the role had been given to character actress Cora Witherspoon.

Personal Quotes (4)

It doesn't matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses.
A good woman is a dramatic impossibility.
[on playing the Palace Theater in New York] It was demanding - but very rewarding. I learned so much watching the other artists. I found out that you have to be awfully good in vaudeville. It is a real taskmaster because there are so many acts in it, like slack-wire artists, for instance, that require absolute perfection.
[on Josef von Sternberg] I grasped how foolish I had been to imagine for one moment that there was going to be any intelligent pleasure in working even with this man. He wanted only obedience and silence to get his own effects. Anything in my face and figure that wasn't ugly enough, he made into a camera distortion. The director and the cameraman together did the 'acting' of my short role, helped, I suppose, by the cutting room. When I saw the rushes, I knew beyond question that no director asks for imagination, gifts, or experience from the artist. I had myself wished to put the necessary horror and ugliness into my face, voice, and movements, but instead it was achieved through the exaggeration of every shadow on my face, and even of the pores of my skin.

Salary (1)

The Dancers (1930) $8,000

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