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Paulette Goddard

Paulette Goddard

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Also Known As: Marion Levy, Pauline Marion Goddard Levee Died: April 23, 1990
Born: June 3, 1910 Cause of Death: Emphysema
Birth Place: Queens, New York, USA Profession: actor, chorus girl, art collector

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Amiable, effervescent leading lady, in Hollywood from 1929 but virtually unknown until she very touchingly played a waif opposite second husband Charles Chaplin in "Modern Times" (1936). Goddard was one of the final contenders for the much sought-after role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" (1939) but ultimately lost out to Vivien Leigh. (One story has it that a possible scandal surrounding her marital status with Chaplin may have kept her from getting the role.) Goddard, an extremely pretty and vivacious brunette, nevertheless became a popular favorite in comedy and period melodrama, remaining a top star at Paramount throughout the 1940s. She is best known as part of George Cukor's all-star distaff ensemble in the riotous "The Women" (1939) and as Bob Hope's co-star in the enjoyable horror comedies "The Cat and the Canary" (1939) and "The Ghost Breakers" (1940). Besides the Chaplin and Cukor films, probably Goddard's finest performance is to be found in Mitchell Leisen's nicely judged and handsomely designed reworking of the "Pygmalion" myth, "Kitty" (1945). She also appeared in several films opposite her third husband, actor Burgess Meredith, including Jean Renoir's striking and offbeat...

Amiable, effervescent leading lady, in Hollywood from 1929 but virtually unknown until she very touchingly played a waif opposite second husband Charles Chaplin in "Modern Times" (1936). Goddard was one of the final contenders for the much sought-after role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" (1939) but ultimately lost out to Vivien Leigh. (One story has it that a possible scandal surrounding her marital status with Chaplin may have kept her from getting the role.) Goddard, an extremely pretty and vivacious brunette, nevertheless became a popular favorite in comedy and period melodrama, remaining a top star at Paramount throughout the 1940s. She is best known as part of George Cukor's all-star distaff ensemble in the riotous "The Women" (1939) and as Bob Hope's co-star in the enjoyable horror comedies "The Cat and the Canary" (1939) and "The Ghost Breakers" (1940).

Besides the Chaplin and Cukor films, probably Goddard's finest performance is to be found in Mitchell Leisen's nicely judged and handsomely designed reworking of the "Pygmalion" myth, "Kitty" (1945). She also appeared in several films opposite her third husband, actor Burgess Meredith, including Jean Renoir's striking and offbeat "The Diary of a Chambermaid" (1946). After making several poor films in the later 40s, Goddard found that her star status had slipped; she and Paramount parted company in 1949 and she continued on for another five years in low-budget fare including "Babes in Bagdad" (1952) and "Vice Squad" (1953). A sharp-witted and alert woman reportedly much admired by H.G. Wells and other intellectuals, Goddard wed her last spouse, novelist Erich Maria Remarque, in the 50s, a union that would last until his death. She made her final screen appearance, following a ten-year absence, in the Italian production "A Time of Indifference" (1964).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Snoop Sisters, The (1972) Norma Treat
2.
 Time of Indifference (1965) Maria Grazia Ardengo
3.
 The Unholy Four (1954) Angie Vickers
4.
 Charge of the Lancers (1954) Tanya
5.
 Paris Model (1953) Betty Barnes
6.
 Sins of Jezebel (1953) Jezebel
7.
 Vice Squad (1953) Mona Ross
8.
 Babes in Bagdad (1952) Kyra
9.
 The Torch (1950) MariĆ” Dolores PeƱafiel
10.
 Bride of Vengeance (1949) Lucretia Borgia
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1926:
Stage debut as chorine with Ziegfeld revue; billed for a time as "Peaches"
1927:
Stage acting debut in "The Unconquerable Male"
1929:
Signed contract with Roach Studios
:
Appeared as an extra or in bit roles in films including Chaplin's "City Lights" (1931) and such Eddie Cantor musical vehicles as "The Kid from Spain" (1932) and "Kid Millions" (1934)
:
Roach contract bought by Charles Chaplin
1936:
Appeared as Chaplin's leading lady in "Modern Times"
:
Achieved star status in the late 1930s in such films as "Dramatic School", "The Young in Heart" (both 1938), "The Women" and "The Cat and the Canary" (both 1939)
1939:
Signed contract with Paramount
1940:
First of three films with director Cecil B. DeMille, "Northwest Mounted Police"
1949:
Stardom faded in the late 1940s; left Paramount after "Bride of Vengeance", in which she played Lucretia Borgia
1949:
Formed Monterey Pictures (with John Steinbeck)
1954:
Played last starring roles in "The Charge of the Lancers" and "The Stranger Came Home"
1964:
One-shot return to films, in a supporting role in the Italian production, "Time of Indifference", based on the Alberto Moravia novel
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

At the time of her death, various newspapers reported that the year of Goddard's birth was quite possibly earlier than 1911, in fact possibly as far back as 1904.

In her later years Goddard endowed a scholarship fund for students in film production and cinema studies at New York University, and upon her death it was announced that she had left the university upwards of $30 million. A staircase in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and one of the university's dormitories were named in her honor, although for a number of years her name was misspelled "Godard" on the staircase.

During the infamous days of the blacklist in Hollywood in the late 40s, Goddard maintained her famous sharp wit. Asked if she feared the paranoid gossip which was ruining so many careers, she reportedly replied, "If anyone calls me a Communist, I'll hit them over the head with my diamond bracelets." (Story related in the "New York Times" obituary, 1990)

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Edward James. Lumber tycoon. Married 1927-1929; some sources suggest that she was as young as 14 when she married James and as old as 19 when she divorced him.
husband:
Charles Chaplin. Director, actor. Married 1933/36-1942; some controversy surrounding exactly when Chaplin and Goddard were married.
husband:
Burgess Meredith. Actor. Married May 21, 1944; divorced June 6, 1949.
husband:
Erich Maria Remarque. Novelist. Married 1950 until his death in 1970.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

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