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Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah Bankhead



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Also Known As: Died: December 12, 1968
Born: January 31, 1902 Cause of Death: pneumonia
Birth Place: Huntsville, Alabama, USA Profession: Cast ... actor


Though primarily a talented stage actress, Tallulah Bankhead appeared in a number of features despite her distaste for Hollywood. In the 1920s and 1930s, Bankhead dazzled theater audiences in London and New York, though she ultimately became more famous for her tempestuous personality and endless string of love affairs than for her stage performances. In fact, it was the idea of Tallulah Bankhead - with her uninhibited nature, hard-drinking lifestyle and sultry come-hither voice calling everyone "Daaahling" - that became her claim to fame. She made her film debut with "Tarnished Lady" (1931), directed by George Cukor, and proceeded to make a handful of unsuccessful pictures like "The Cheat" (1931) and "Faithless" (1932) before turning back to the bright lights of Broadway. Bankhead was both acclaimed in "The Little Foxes" (1939) and "The Skin of Our Teeth" (1942) - both of which catered to her flamboyant nature - and ridiculed, as she was for "Antony and Cleopatra" (1937). Lured back to Hollywood by none other than Alfred Hitchcock, she delivered her strongest big screen performance in "Lifeboat" (1944), but fell under the weight of Otto Preminger's heavy-handed "A Royal Scandal" (1945). Following stints on anthology television and the success of her autobiography, Bankhead's star faded amidst a haze of alcohol and pills, as evidenced by her ragged appearance in "Die! Die! My Darling" (1965). Still, while other stage actresses fell into obscurity after their deaths, Bankhead remained a source of constant fascination that stood as a testament to both her talents and her over-the-top persona.

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