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Claudette is considered one of the greatest film stars of all time.  She was very popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  She was born on this day September 13, 1903 as Lily Claudette Chauchoin in Paris, Seine, France.  Her family emigrated to the United States of America when she was three years old.  Three years later her family settled in New York City where she would become a US citizen.  From her early school days she wanted to be on Broadway, she acted in some plays during high school and made her stage debut at the age of fifteen at the Provincetown Playhouse in the play The Widow’s Veil.  She would make her Broadway debut in 1923 in the stage production of The Wild Wescotts.  Although Broadway was the place to be in those days not Hollywood, the Great Depression forced her to seek other income as many of the play houses were shutting down.  She was now using her Grandmothers maiden name Colbert, when she made her first film in New York City, For The Love of Mike, her only silent film in 1927.  Colbert went on to make many successful films and in 1932 she played the Roman empress Poppaea in Cecil B. DeMille’s movie The Sign of the Cross and also that same year in The Phantom President.  In 1934 paired with Clark Gable, she was selected for Best Actress and won the Academy Award for Best Picture, in the film It Happened One Night, probably her most famous movie.  She was also a big success in the movies Cleopatra and Imitation of Life, both in 1934.  Other movies include The Bride Comes Home in 1935, Midnight in 1939, It’s a Wonderful World in 1939, with James Stewart, also Tomorrow Is Forever in 1946 and Without Reservations in 1946, co-starring John Wayne. In 1955, she filmed Texas Lady then in 1961 the movie Parrish was her final screen performance. At the age of ninety-two Claudette died on July 30, 1996.

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