Tallulah Bankhead
American actress
Tallulah Bankhead
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was an American actress of the stage and screen, talk-show host, and bonne vivante. Bankhead was also known for her deep voice, flamboyant personality, romances with men and women, and support of liberal causes, which broke with the tendency of Southern Democrats at the time to support a more conservative agenda. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1981.
Biography
Tallulah Bankhead's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Tallulah Bankhead
News
News abour Tallulah Bankhead from around the web
Sunnyside Women's Missionary Union visits Dunaway Gardens - Newnan Times-Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Visitors in its heyday included Walt Disney and Tallulah Bankhead. "We went out there on June 17 and were given a tour -- then lunch catered by Redneck Gourmet," said WMU member Linda Pike. "We wanted to take advantage of what our own town has to offer
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'As Bees in Honey Drown' runs Sept. 9-Oct. 9 at Rising Action Theatre in Fort ... - MiamiHerald.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
An eccentric diva, inspired by the likes of Auntie Mame, Sally Bowles, Holly Go Lightly and Tallulah Bankhead, Alexa is a self-described promoter of British rock stars, and is now in the market for an even greater dose of fame
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Tennessee Williams Festival Continues Panel Discussion 9/24 - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
He will also note Williams's interactions with legendary actors including Laurette Taylor, Marlon Brando, Geraldine Page and Tallulah Bankhead. His major thesis will be that Williams's passage through Broadway over twenty years made his reputation,
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Hamptons Journal: Celebrity Autobiography at Guild Hall/The Tale of the ... - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
Matthew Broderick reading Tommy Lee's advice on what to do with a woman's "gummy bear" stole a show that also featured Mario Cantone revealing what Tallulah Bankhead did with a variety of cats and Joy Behar reading from Madonna's now out-of-print sex
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Artist painted her life in bright colors - Tampabay.com
Google News - over 5 years
"She was part Auntie Mame, part Tallulah Bankhead and part queen mother," said longtime friend Jim Porter. Her work has filled private and public collections, raised big bucks for AIDS prevention and brightened countless living rooms
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Book Review: GAY LETTERS From Millicent to Maude - Gayapolis
Google News - over 5 years
With mentions and anecdotes about Colette, Adlai Stevenson, Lillian Gish, Gary Grant, Randolph, Blanche DuBois, Dorothy Kilgallen, Tab Hunter and Tallulah Bankhead to name but just a few notable individuals of yesteryear! The writings are bitchy,
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Daily technical outlook - FXstreet.com
Google News - over 5 years
Tallulah Bankhead Good morning. The week starts with euro pushing on intraday support formed by the median retrace value of Friday's rally, at 1.4350 – see hourly chart below. I reiterate my view that it's probably best to sell on rallies and weakness,
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Pop culture Q&A: Lizabeth Scott got her start on stage and starred in films - Kansas City Star
Google News - over 5 years
Before the movies, she was a stage actress (understudying Tallulah Bankhead, to whom she was sometimes compared) and a model. Producer Hal Wallis put her in movies where, as "The Film Encyclopedia" says, she was promoted as similar to Lauren Bacall and
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The 2000 Year Old Man, at 85 - Wall Street Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Mr. Cavett tells of Chico Marx randily propositioning Tallulah Bankhead, and Fred Astaire trashing Katharine Hepburn—forgetting that the windows of his limo were wide open with pedestrians in earshot. At one point Carl Reiner, 89, stands up in the
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Tovah Feldshuh Brings Aging Is Optional at Cape May Stage 8/8 - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
She also starred as the legendary Tallulah Bankhead in her own Tallulah Hallelujah!, which was chosen as one of the Ten Best Plays of the Year by USA Today. Among other roles, Ms. Feldshuh has portrayed Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop, Jean Brodie in The
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"Lucille Ball at 100 and 'I Love Lucy' at 60" Celebration at the Hollywood ... - Benzinga
Google News - over 5 years
The famous first national TV Guide (April 3, 1953) featuring Desi, Jr. on the cover as the $50 million baby Elizabethan gown worn by Lucy opposite guest Tallulah Bankhead (“The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” 1957). Overalls worn by Lucy in co-star Gale
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Silvio Narizzano Dead at 84: Directors Guild Nominee for GEORGY GIRL - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Narizzano's first feature film was Hammer's Fanatic (1965), notable as Tallulah Bankhead's last movie. Along the lines of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Strait Jacket, The Witches, and other such fare, Fanatic was a
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Todd Helton and Carlos Gonzalez bookend big hits to give Rockies walk-off win - Purple Row
Google News - over 5 years
~Tallulah Bankhead "Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too." ~Greg, age 8 by jrockies on Jul 20, 2011 10:06 PM MDT reply actions Something to say? Choose one of these options to log in
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Tovah Feldshuh Brings Aging Is Optional at Cape May Stage - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
She also starred as the legendary Tallulah Bankhead in her own Tallulah Hallelujah!, which was chosen as one of the Ten Best Plays of the Year by USA Today. Among other roles, Ms. Feldshuh has portrayed Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop, Jean Brodie in The
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Seattle needs more shrines to writers - Crosscut
Google News - over 5 years
Henry Fonda, James Dean, Tallulah Bankhead, John Malkovich, Nick Nolte: These are how many of us really remember Steinbeck's work. The museum is made with kids in mind: You can see a replica of the Red Pony in a corral. A lot of money went into the
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The Greatest Hollywood Director You May Never Have Heard Of - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Adapted from Lillian Hellman's Broadway smash (which starred Tallulah Bankhead), this third and final collaboration between Wyler and Davis, again playing a viper in petticoats, is a caustic, chilling mood piece set in the turn-of-the-century South
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Your blog moment of the day..... - oralhealthjournal.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Steps to creativity........what really really disturbs me is of the four of you who read this, three have no idea who Tallulah Bankhead is...........sob......... Nobody can be exactly
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Tallulah Bankhead
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1968
    Age 66
    On December 12, 1968, Bankhead died in St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan at 7:45 am, aged 66.
    More Details Hide Details The cause of death was pleural pneumonia, complicated by emphysema due to cigarette smoking, malnutrition, and possibly a strain of the flu which was endemic at that time. Her last coherent words reportedly were a garbled request for "Codeine... bourbon." A private funeral was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Kent County, Maryland, on December 14. A memorial service was held at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New York City on December 16. She was buried in Saint Paul's Churchyard, near Chestertown, Maryland, where her sister lived. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Bankhead has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6141 Hollywood Blvd. Bankhead was famous not only as an actress, but also for her many affairs, compelling personality, and witticisms such as, "There is less to this than meets the eye." and "I'm as pure as the driven slush." Bankhead was an avid baseball fan whose favorite team was the New York Giants. This was evident in one of her famous quotes, through which she gave a nod to the arts: "There have been only two geniuses in the world, Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare. But, darling, I think you'd better put Shakespeare first."
    She also appeared on NBC's famous lost Tonight Show Beatles interview that aired on May 14, 1968.
    More Details Hide Details Sitting behind the interview desk and beside Joe Garagiola, who was substituting for an absent Johnny Carson, she took an active role during the interview, questioning Paul McCartney and John Lennon. George Harrison and Ringo Starr were not present and were in England at the time, as noted during the interview.
  • 1967
    Age 65
    Her last appearances onscreen came in March 1967 as the villainous Black Widow in the Batman TV series, and on the December 17, 1967, episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour comedy-variety TV series, in the "Mahta Harry" skit.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1956
    Age 54
    In 1956, Bankhead appeared as Blanche DuBois (a character inspired by her) in a revival of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire (1956).
    More Details Hide Details Williams had wanted Bankhead for the original production, but she turned it down. Tennessee Williams himself (they were close friends) called her Blanche "the worst I have seen", accusing her of ruining the role to appease her fans who wanted camp. She agreed with this verdict, and made an effort to conquer the audience which her own legend had drawn about her, giving a performance two weeks later of which he remarked: "I'm not ashamed to say that I shed tears almost all the way through and that when the play was finished I rushed up to her and fell to my knees at her feet. The human drama, the play of a woman's great valor and an artist's truth, her own, far superseded, and even eclipsed, to my eye, the performance of my own play." The director remarked that her performance exceeded Jessica Tandy and Vivien Leigh's in the role. However, the initial reviews had decided the production's fate, and the producer pulled the plug after 15 performances.
    In 1956, playing the truth game with Tennessee Williams, she confessed, "I’m fifty-four, and I wish always, always, for death.
    More Details Hide Details I’ve always wanted death. Nothing else do I want more." Bankhead's most popular television appearance was the December 3, 1957 The Ford Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show. Bankhead played herself in the classic episode titled "The Celebrity Next Door". The part was originally slated for Bette Davis, but Davis had to bow out after cracking a vertebra. Lucille Ball was reportedly a fan of Bankhead and did a good impression of her. By the time the episode was filmed, however, both Ball and Desi Arnaz were deeply frustrated by Bankhead's behavior during rehearsals. It took her three hours to "wake up" once she arrived on the set and she often seemed drunk. She also refused to listen to the director and she did not like rehearsing. Ball and Arnaz apparently did not know about Bankhead's antipathy to rehearsals or her ability to memorize a script quickly. After rehearsals, the filming of the episode proceeded without a hitch and Ball congratulated Bankhead on her performance.
  • FORTIES
  • 1944
    Age 42
    In 1944, Alfred Hitchcock cast her as cynical journalist Constance Porter in her most successful film, both critically and commercially, Lifeboat.
    More Details Hide Details Her superbly multifaceted performance was acknowledged as her best on film and won her the New York Film Critics Circle award. A beaming Bankhead accepted her New York trophy and exclaimed, "Dahlings, I was wonderful!", Bankhead appeared in a revival of Noël Coward's Private Lives, taking it on tour and then to Broadway for the better part of two years. The play's run made Bankhead a fortune.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1941
    Age 39
    Bankhead filed for divorce in Reno, Nevada, in May 1941.
    More Details Hide Details It was finalized on June 13, 1941. The day her divorce became final, Bankhead told a reporter, "You can definitely quote me as saying there will be no plans for a remarriage." Bankhead had no children, but she had four abortions before she was 30. She was the godmother of Brook and Brockman Seawell, children of her lifelong friend, actress Eugenia Rawls, and Rawls's husband, Donald Seawell.
  • 1940
    Age 38
    Although Bette Davis played the leading character in 1940 film version, she openly admitted in later years that she had emulated Bankhead in the role.
    More Details Hide Details Bankhead continued to play in various performances over the next few years, gaining excellent notices for her portrayal of Elizabeth in a revival of Somerset Maugham's The Circle. Returning to Broadway, Bankhead's career stalled at first in unmemorable plays. When she appeared in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra with her then-husband, John Emery, the New York Evening Post critic John Mason Brown wrote, "Tallulah Bankhead barged down the Nile last night as Cleopatra – and sank." David O. Selznick, producer of Gone with the Wind (1939) called her the "first choice among established stars" to play Scarlett O'Hara. Although her screen test for the role in black-and-white was superb, she photographed poorly in Technicolor. Selznick also reportedly believed that at age 36, she was too old to play Scarlett, who is 16 at the beginning of the film (the role eventually went to Vivien Leigh). Selznick sent Kay Brown to Bankhead to discuss the possibility of Bankhead playing prostitute Belle Watling in the film, which she turned down. The search for Scarlett O'Hara was documented in the "The Scarlet O'Hara Wars" episode of the miniseries Moviola, where the very similar Carrie Nye played Bankhead, being nominated for an Emmy Award.
  • 1937
    Age 35
    Bankhead married actor John Emery, the son of stage actors Edward Emery (circa 1861–1938) and Isabel Waldron (1871–1950), on August 31, 1937, at her father's home in Jasper, Alabama.
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  • 1934
    Age 32
    In 1934, after recuperating in Alabama, she returned to England.
    More Details Hide Details After only a short stay, she was called back to New York to play in The Little Foxes.
  • 1933
    Age 31
    In 1933, Bankhead nearly died following a five-hour emergency hysterectomy due to venereal disease.
    More Details Hide Details Only when she left the hospital, she stoically said to her doctor, "Don't think this has taught me a lesson!" Rumors about Bankhead's sex life have lingered for years, and she was linked romantically with many notable female personalities of the day, including Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Cornell, Eva Le Gallienne, Hope Williams ("who had a boy's body"), Beatrice Lillie, and Alla Nazimova, as well as writer Mercedes de Acosta and singer Billie Holiday. Actress Patsy Kelly confirmed she had a sexual relationship with Bankhead when she worked for her as a personal assistant. John Gruen's Menotti: A Biography notes an incident in which Jane Bowles chased Bankhead around Capricorn, Gian Carlo Menotti and Samuel Barber's Mount Kisco estate, insisting that Bankhead needed to play the lesbian character Inès in Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit (which Paul Bowles had recently translated). Bankhead locked herself in the bathroom and kept insisting, "That lesbian! I wouldn't know a thing about it."
    In 1933, Bankhead nearly died following a five-hour emergency hysterectomy due to venereal disease, which she claimed she had contracted from George Raft.
    More Details Hide Details Only 70 lb (32 kg) when she left the hospital, she stoically said to her doctor, "Don't think this has taught me a lesson!".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1932
    Age 30
    An interview that Bankhead gave to Motion Picture magazine in 1932 generated controversy.
    More Details Hide Details In the interview, Bankhead ranted wildly about the state of her life and her views on love, marriage, and children: I'm serious about love. I'm damned serious about it now... I haven't had an affair for six months. Six months! Too long... If there's anything the matter with me now, it's not Hollywood or Hollywood's state of mind... The matter with me is, I WANT A MAN!... Six months is a long, long while. I WANT A MAN! Time ran a story about it, and, back home, Bankhead's father and family were perturbed. Bankhead immediately telegraphed her father, vowing never to speak with a magazine reporter again. For these and other offhand remarks, Bankhead was cited in the Hays Committee's "Doom Book", a list of 150 actors and actresses considered "unsuitable for the public" which was presented to the studios. Bankhead was at the top of the list with the heading: "Verbal Moral Turpitude". She publicly called Hays "a little prick".
    She later said, "Dahling, the main reason I accepted part was to fuck that divine Gary Cooper!" Later in 1932, Bankhead starred opposite Robert Montgomery in Faithless.
    More Details Hide Details
    Her 1932 movie Devil and the Deep is notable for the presence of three major co-stars, with Bankhead receiving top billing over Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, and Cary Grant; it is the only film with Cooper and Grant as the film's leading men.
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  • 1931
    Age 29
    Bankhead returned to the United States in 1931, but Hollywood success eluded her in her first four films of the 1930s.
    More Details Hide Details She rented a home at 1712 Stanley Street, in Hollywood, and began hosting parties that were said to "have no boundaries". Bankhead's first film was Tarnished Lady (1931), directed by George Cukor and the pair became fast friends. Bankhead behaved herself on the set and filming went smoothly, but she found film-making to be very boring and did not have the patience for it. She did not like Hollywood, either; when she met producer Irving Thalberg, she asked him, "How do you get laid in this dreadful place?" Thalberg retorted, "I'm sure you'll have no problem. Ask anyone." Although Bankhead was not very interested in making films, the opportunity to make $50,000 per film was too good to pass up.
  • 1924
    Age 22
    Her fame as an actress was ensured in 1924 when she played Amy in Sidney Howard's They Knew What They Wanted.
    More Details Hide Details The show won the 1925 Pulitzer Prize. While in London, Bankhead bought herself a Bentley, which she loved to drive. She was not very competent with directions and constantly found herself lost in the London streets. She would telephone a taxi-cab and pay the driver to drive to her destination while she followed behind in her car. During her eight years on the London stage, Bankhead earned a reputation for making the most out of inferior material. For example, in her autobiography, Bankhead described the opening night of a play called Conchita: "In the second act... I came on carrying a monkey... On opening night, the monkey went berserk... (he) snatched my black wig from my head, leaped from my arms and scampered down to the footlights. There he paused, peered out at the audience, then waved my wig over his head... The audience had been giggling at the absurd plot even before this simian had at me. Now it became hysterical. What did Tallulah do in this crisis? I turned a cartwheel! The audience roared... After the monkey business I was afraid they might boo me. Instead I received an ovation."
  • 1923
    Age 21
    In 1923, she made her debut on the London stage at Wyndham's Theatre.
    More Details Hide Details In London, she appeared in over a dozen plays over the next eight years, most famously, The Dancers.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1919
    Age 17
    In 1919, after roles in three other silent films, When Men Betray (1918), Thirty a Week (1918), and The Trap (1919), Bankhead made her stage debut in The Squab Farm at the Bijou Theatre in New York.
    More Details Hide Details She soon realized her place was on stage rather than screen, and had roles in 39 East (1919), Footloose (1919), Nice People (1921), Everyday (1921), Danger (1922), Her Temporary Husband (1922), and The Exciters (1922). Though her acting was praised, the plays were commercially and critically unsuccessful. Bankhead had been in New York for five years, but had yet to score a significant hit. Restless, Bankhead moved to London.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1902
    Age 0
    Ada died of blood poisoning (septicemia) on February 23, 1902, three weeks after Bankhead's birth.
    More Details Hide Details Coincidentally, her maternal grandmother had died giving birth to her mother. On her deathbed, Ada told her sister-in-law to "take care of Eugenia, Tallulah will always be able to take care of herself". Bankhead was baptized next to her mother's coffin. William B. Bankhead was devastated by his wife's death, which sent him into a bout of depression and alcoholism. Consequently, Tallulah and her sister Eugenia were mostly reared by their paternal grandmother, Tallulah James Brockman Bankhead, at the family estate called "Sunset" in Jasper, Alabama. As a child, Bankhead was described as "extremely homely" and overweight, while her sister was slim and prettier. As a result, she did everything in her efforts to gain attention, and constantly sought her father's approval. After watching a performance at a circus, she taught herself how to cartwheel, and frequently cartwheeled about the house, sang, and recited literature that she had memorized. She was prone to throwing tantrums, rolling around the floor and holding her breath until she was visibly blue in the face. Her grandmother often threw a bucket of water on her to calm her down during these outbursts.
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