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Ida Lupino

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Also Known As: Died: August 3, 1995
Born: February 4, 1918 Cause of Death: complications from a stroke and colon cancer
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: director, actor, producer, screenwriter, composer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though Paramount had imported her from England as an ingénue, Ida Lupino proved more than merely wise beyond her years when she landed in Hollywood in 1934. The 16-year-old scion of a British acting dynasty, Lupino evinced a husky sensuality that had won her a reputation in her homeland as the British Jean Harlow. Plugged into programmers, the progressive Lupino swiftly grew dissatisfied and shifted to Warner Brothers, landing edgier roles in Raoul Walsh's "They Drive by Night" (1940) and "High Sierra" (1941) with Humphrey Bogart. A lead role as a steely murderess in Charles Vidor's "Ladies in Retirement" (1941) proved an apt showcase for Lupino's acting abilities, but she always had her sights set higher. With second husband Collier Young, Lupino crafted a string of mostly independent dramas with an emphasis on social issues, among them the unwed mother meller "Not Wanted" (1949) and "Outrage" (1950), which concerned the aftermath of a brutal rape. Lupino's "The Hitch-Hiker" (1952) was at once a skewering of the fragile male psyche and an important entry in the suspense subgenre of film noir. Diverting her efforts as a director-for-hire to television following her marriage to actor Howard Duff,...

Though Paramount had imported her from England as an ingénue, Ida Lupino proved more than merely wise beyond her years when she landed in Hollywood in 1934. The 16-year-old scion of a British acting dynasty, Lupino evinced a husky sensuality that had won her a reputation in her homeland as the British Jean Harlow. Plugged into programmers, the progressive Lupino swiftly grew dissatisfied and shifted to Warner Brothers, landing edgier roles in Raoul Walsh's "They Drive by Night" (1940) and "High Sierra" (1941) with Humphrey Bogart. A lead role as a steely murderess in Charles Vidor's "Ladies in Retirement" (1941) proved an apt showcase for Lupino's acting abilities, but she always had her sights set higher. With second husband Collier Young, Lupino crafted a string of mostly independent dramas with an emphasis on social issues, among them the unwed mother meller "Not Wanted" (1949) and "Outrage" (1950), which concerned the aftermath of a brutal rape. Lupino's "The Hitch-Hiker" (1952) was at once a skewering of the fragile male psyche and an important entry in the suspense subgenre of film noir. Diverting her efforts as a director-for-hire to television following her marriage to actor Howard Duff, Lupino made occasional film appearances, albeit often in such drive-in fodder as "The Devil's Rain" (1976) and "Food of the Gods" (1976). At the time of her death in 1995, Lupino was only beginning to be reevaluated as a pioneering female director, as well as a guiding hand in the gestation of American independent cinema.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  The Trouble With Angels (1966) Director
2.
  The Hitch-Hiker (1953) Director
3.
  The Bigamist (1953) Director
4.
6.
  Never Fear (1950) Director
7.
  Outrage (1950) Director
8.
  Teenage Idol, The (1958) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 American Lifestyles (1987) ("Show Business At War" - "Show Business: The War Years")
2.
 Deadhead Miles (1982)
3.
4.
 Food Of The Gods, The (1976) Mrs Skinner
5.
 Devil's Rain, The (1975) Mrs Preston
6.
 Female Artillery (1973) Martha Lindstrom
7.
 Letters, The (1973) Mrs Forrester ("The Forresters: Dear Karen")
8.
 I Love a Mystery (1973) Randolph Cheyne
9.
 Strangers In 7A, The (1972) Iris Sawyer
10.
 Junior Bonner (1972) Elvira [Ellie] Bonner
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1918:
Born in London during a German zeppelin bombing
:
Wrote and produced her first play, "Mademoiselle", at age seven
:
Suffered from polio as a child
:
Joined a touring theater company
1932:
First film appearance (a bit) in "The Love Race", directed by her uncle, Lupino Lane
1932:
Official film acting debut at age 14 in "Her First Affaire", promoted as "the English Jean Harlow"
1933:
Went to US under contract to Paramount; tested (unsuccessfully) for "Alice in Wonderland"
1934:
US film debut in "Search for Beauty"
1937:
Left film acting for about a year after the failure of "Fight for Your Lady"; spent time writing and composing music, including the score for one of her father's shows and a piece, "Aladdin Suite", performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
1939:
Achieved star status with "The Light That Failed"
1940:
Signed contract with Warner Bros.
1941:
Reported in "Picturegoer" magazine that "she gave up a contract at $1700 a week rather than play in unsuitable stories"
1946:
First film as producer (uncredited co-producer), "Young Widow"
1947:
Left Warner Bros.
1947:
Formed Arcadia Productions with Benedict Bogeaus; no films produced
1948:
First film credited as producer (also first film for own company, Emerald Productions, Inc. which she co-founded with Collier Young and Anson Bond and named after her mother), "The Judge"
1948:
Performed her own songs, including "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", for her role as a nightclub singer in the film noir, "Road House"
1949:
Took over directing "Not Wanted" for an ailing Elmer Clifton; uncredited
1949:
Credited feature film directing and co-writing debut, "Never Fear"
1950:
Changed name of production company to The Filmakers; took on writer Marvin Wald as another partner
1951:
Joined with David Niven, Dick Powell and Charles Boyer to form Four Star Productions
1951:
Reportedly helmed portions of the feature "On Dangerous Ground" while director Nicholas Ray was ill
:
Appeared on a rotating basis (with David Niven, Charles Boyer and Dick Powell) on "Four Star Playhouse", a CBS-TV dramatic anthology series
:
Formed Bridget Productions (named after her daughter by Howard Duff)
1956:
Acted in last feature films for 13 years, "While the City Sleeps" and "Strange Intruder"
:
Directed episodes of TV series such as "Have Gun--Will Travel" (the episode "Lady With a Gun" 1959), "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (ep. "Sybilla" 1960), "The Untouchables" (ep. "Man in the Cooler" 1963) and "The Fugitive" (ep. "The Glass Tightrope" 1963)
:
Produced, co-starred (opposite then-husband Howard Duff) and directed episodes of the CBS sitcom, "Mr. Adams and Eve"
1966:
Directed last feature film, "The Trouble with Angels"
1969:
Returned to acting in feature films in "Backtrack"
1982:
Appeared in cameo role in only film of the 1980s, "Deadhead Miles"
:
Health declined; moved to Motion Picture Home
1987:
Featured in footage used in "American Lifestyles", a six-part compilation film using material from the "March of Time" newsreels from 1939 to 1950
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Clarence House Preparatory and Boarding School: -
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art: London , England - 1931

Notes

Lupino's birth year is open to question: other dates given are 1914, 1916 and 1919.

"'My father once said to me, 'You're born to be bad,' she recalled. 'And it was true. I made eight films in England before I came to America, and I played a tramp or a slut in all of them.'" --From TThe Hollywood Reporter, August 7, 1995.

"Although she won a best actress award from the New York Film Critics in 1943 for her role as a domineering sister in The Hard Way", she came to view her Hollywood acting career a failure and once referred to herself as 'the poor man's Bette Davis.'" --From The Hollywood Reporter, August 7, 1995.

"Her films [as a director] display the obsessions and consistencies of a true auteur. ... What is most interesting about her films are not her stories of unwed motherhood or the tribulation of career women, but the way in which she uses male actors: particulary in "The Bigamist" and "The Hitchhiker" (both 1953), Lupino was able to reduce the male to the same sort of dangerous, irrational force that women represented in most male-directed examples of Hollywood film noir." --Richard Koszarski in "Hollywood Directors 1914-40" (Oxford University Press, 1976)

"She regarded her own directorial career as an unconventional choice for a woman, and had remarked in an interview that she'd rather be cooking her man's dinner. However, the content and technical virtuosity of her work belie this statement and point to a very wily director who knows the uses of conventionality as a tool." --Barbara Scharres in The Film Center Gazette (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, February 1987).

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Louis Hayward. Actor. Born on March 19, 1909; married in 1938; divorced in 1945; acted opposite Lupino in "Ladies in Retirement" (1941); died on February 21, 1985.
husband:
Collier Young. Executive, producer. Married in 1948; divorced in 1950; met Lupino while working as Harry Cohn's executive assistant at Columbia; formed Filmakers, Inc. production company together; co-owned company with Lupino until 1980.
husband:
Howard Duff. Actor. Born on August 24, 1913; married in October 1951; divorced in 1983; had been living apart for the last 11 years of their marriage; acted together in such films as "Woman in Hiding" (1950), "Jennifer" (1953), "Private Hell 36" (1954) and "While the City Sleeps" (1956), as well as the TV series, "Mr. Adams and Eve" (1957-58); father of Lupino's daughter Bridgett; died on July 8, 1990.

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
George Lupino. Actor, dancer.
father:
Stanley Lupino. Comedian, actor. Born in London on May 15, 1893; died in 1942.
mother:
Connie Emerald. Actor.
godfather:
Ivor Novello. Actor, playwright, composer. Born on January 15, 1893; died in 1951.
uncle:
Lupino Lane. Comedian, actor, director. Born on June 6, 1892; died in 1959; starred in many popular comedy shorts in Hollywood in the 1920s and in such feature films as "The Love Parade" (1929).
uncle:
Wallace Lupino. Actor.
uncle:
Barry Lupino. Actor.
uncle:
Mark Lupino.
sister:
Rita Lupino. Actor. Appeared in several films directed by Lupino.
daughter:
Bridgett Mirella Duff. Born on April 23, 1952; father, Howard Duff; nominal inspiration for TV production company for series "Mr. Adams and Eve" (1957-58), starring Lupino and Howard Duff.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Queen of the B's: Ida Lupino Behind the Camera"
"Ida Lupino"
"Ida Lupino: A Biography" University of Kentucky Press

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