Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
The Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best screenplay not based upon published material. It was created in 1940 as a separate writing award from the Academy Award for Best Story. Beginning with the Oscars for 1957, the two categories were combined to honor only the screenplay. In 2002, the name of the award was changed from Writing to Writing. See the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, a similar award for screenplays that are adaptations. Noted novelists and playwrights who have received nominations in this category include: John Steinbeck, Noël Coward, Raymond Chandler, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Edward Bond, Arthur C. Clarke, Lillian Hellman, Neil Simon, Paddy Chayefsky, Kenneth Lonergan, Tom Stoppard, Terence Rattigan and Martin McDonagh. Woody Allen has the most nominations in this category with 16, the most awards with 3, though Paddy Chayefsky won the Best Adapted Screenplay in 1955 for his adaptation of his own teleplay and won for Original Screenplay for The Hospital and Network.
Woody Allen holds the record as the oldest winner. Ben Affleck is the youngest winner, at the age of 25 for Good Will Hunting. Richard Schweizer was the first to win for Marie-Louise. Other winners for a non-English screenplay include Albert Lamorisse, Pietro Germi, Claude Lelouch, Pedro Almodóvar. Lamorisse is additionally the only person to win or be nominated for Best Original Screenplay for a short film. Muriel Box was the first woman to win in this category; the Boxes are the first married couple to win in this category. Only three other married couples won an Oscar in another category—Earl W. Wallace and Pamela Wallace, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. In 1996, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen became the only siblings to win in this category. Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola are the only father-daughter pair to win. Preston Sturges was nominated for two different films in the same year: Hail the Conquering Hero and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. Oliver Stone achieved the same distinction for Platoon and Salvador.
Maurice Richlin and Stanley Shapiro were nominated in 1959 for both Operation Petticoat and Pillow Talk and won for the latter. At the 2018 ceremony, Get Out writer-director Jordan Peele became the first African-American to win in this category. Winners are listed first followed by the other nominees. Academy Award for Best Story Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Screenplay List of Big Five Academy Award winners and nominees Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
12th Academy Awards
The 12th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, honored the best in film for 1939. The ceremony was held on February 29, 1940, at a banquet in the Coconut Grove at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, it was hosted by Bob Hope. David O. Selznick's production Gone with the Wind received the most nominations of the year with thirteen. Other films receiving multiple nominations included: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; this was the first year. This was the first time that two awards for cinematography were presented. Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to receive an Academy Award, winning in the Best Supporting Actress category for Gone with the Wind. AMPAS presented Academy Awards of Merit in twenty categories. Nominees for each award are listed below. Academy Honorary Awards were presented to: Douglas Fairbanks "recognizing the unique and outstanding contribution of Douglas Fairbanks, first President of the Academy, to the international development of the motion picture."
Motion Picture Relief Fund "acknowledging the outstanding services to the industry during the past year of the Motion Picture Relief Fund and its progressive leadership." Presented to Jean Hersholt, President. William Cameron Menzies "for outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone with the Wind." The Technicolor Company "for its contributions in bringing three-color feature production to the screen." The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award was presented to David O. Selznick; the Academy Juvenile Award was presented to Judy Garland for The Wizard of Oz. Prior to the announcement of nominations, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Gone with the Wind were the two films most tipped to receive a significant number of nominations. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington premiered in Washington with a premier party hosted by the National Press Club who found themselves portrayed unfavourably in the film. S. Senate. Joseph P. Kennedy, the U. S. Ambassador to Britain urged President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the studio head Harry Cohn to cease showing the film overseas because "it will cause our allies to view us in an unfavourable light".
Among those who campaigned in favour of the film were Hedda Hopper who declared it "as great as Lincoln's Gettysburg speech", while Sheilah Graham called it the "best talking picture made". Screen Book magazine stated that it "should win every Academy Award". Frank Capra, the director, James Stewart, the film's star were considered front runners to win awards. Gone with the Wind premiered in December 1939 with a Gallup poll taken shortly before its release concluding that 56.5 million people intended to see the film. The New York Film Critics Award was given to Wuthering Heights after thirteen rounds of balloting had left the voters deadlocked between Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Gone with the Wind; the press were divided in their support for the nominated actors. Time magazine favoured Vivien Leigh and used her portrait for their Christmas 1939 edition, The Hollywood Reporter predicted a possible win by Leigh and Laurence Olivier with the comment that they "are, for the moment, just about the most sacred of all Hollywood's sacred cows".
West Coast newspapers in Los Angeles, predicted Bette Davis would win for Dark Victory. Observing that Davis had achieved four box office successes during the year, one paper wrote, "Hollywood will stick by its favourite home-town girl, Bette Davis". Capra was the incumbent President of the Academy, in a first for Academy Awards ceremonies, sold the rights for the event to be filmed. Warner Bros. obtained the rights, for $30,000 to film the banquet and the presentation of the awards, to use as a short, it was shot by the cinematographer Charles Rosher. Variety noted the stars in attendance were conscious of being filmed at the event for the first time and the event was marked by glamour with fashion-conscious actresses wearing the best of gowns and jewellery; the Los Angeles Times printed a accurate list of winners, despite a promise to withhold the results of the voting, so many of the nominees learned before arriving at the ceremony who had won. Among these were Clark Gable and Bette Davis.
Following the banquet, Capra opened proceedings at 11pm with a short speech before introducing Bob Hope who made his first appearance as host of the awards. Looking at a table laden with awards awaiting presentation, he quipped, "I feel like I'm in Bette Davis' living room". Mickey Rooney presented an Academy Juvenile Award to Judy Garland, who performed Over the Rainbow, a "Best Song" nominee from The Wizard of Oz; as the evening progressed, Gone with the Wind won the majority of awards, Bob Hope remarked to David O. Selznick, "David, you should have brought roller skates". Making a speech, Selznick paused to extend praise and gratitude to Olivia de Havilland, a "Best Supporting Actress" nominee, made it clear in his speech he knew she had not won. Fay Bainter presented the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, prefacin
Diane Keaton is an American film actress and producer. She is the recipient of various accolades including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards, the AFI Life Achievement Award. Keaton began her career on stage and made her screen debut in 1970, her first major film role was as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather, but the films that shaped her early career were those with director and co-star Woody Allen, beginning with Play It Again, Sam in 1972. Her next two films with Allen and Love and Death, established her as a comic actor, her fourth, Annie Hall, won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Keaton subsequently expanded her range, she became an accomplished dramatic performer, starring in Looking for Mr. Goodbar and received Academy Award nominations for Reds, Marvin's Room and Something's Gotta Give; some of her popular films include Baby Boom, Father of the Bride, Father of the Bride Part II, The First Wives Club, The Other Sister, The Family Stone and Book Club. In addition to acting, she is a photographer, real estate developer and singer.
Diane Keaton was born as Diane Hall on January 5, 1946, in California. Her mother, Dorothy Deanne, was amateur photographer. Keaton was raised a Free Methodist by her mother, her mother won the "Mrs. Los Angeles" pageant for homemakers, she has credited Katharine Hepburn, whom she admires for playing strong and independent women, as one of her inspirations. Keaton is a 1964 graduate of Santa Ana High School in California. During her time there, she participated in singing and acting clubs at school, starred as Blanche DuBois in a school production of A Streetcar Named Desire. After graduation, she attended Santa Ana College, Orange Coast College as an acting student, but dropped out after a year to pursue an entertainment career in Manhattan. Upon joining the Actors' Equity Association, she changed her surname to Keaton, her mother's maiden name, as there was an actress registered under the name of Diane Hall. For a brief time, she moonlighted at nightclubs with a singing act, she would revisit her nightclub act in Annie Hall and And So It Goes, a cameo in Radio Days.
Keaton began studying acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. She studied acting under the Meisner technique, an ensemble acting technique first evolved in the 1930s by Sanford Meisner, a New York stage actor/acting coach/director, a member of The Group Theater, she has described her acting technique as, " only as good as the person you're acting with... As opposed to going it on my own and forging my path to create a wonderful performance without the help of anyone. I always need the help of everyone!" According to Jack Nicholson, "She approaches a script sort of like a play in that she has the entire script memorized before you start doing the movie, which I don't know any other actors doing that."In 1968, Keaton became a member of the "Tribe" and understudy to Sheila in the original Broadway production of Hair. She gained some notoriety for her refusal to disrobe at the end of Act I when the cast performs nude though nudity in the production was optional for actors. After acting in Hair for nine months, she auditioned for a part in Woody Allen's production of Play It Again, Sam.
After nearly being passed over for being too tall, she won the part. After being nominated for a Tony Award for Play It Again, Keaton made her film debut in Lovers and Other Strangers, she followed with guest roles on the television series Love, American Style and Night Gallery, Mannix. Between films, Keaton appeared in a series of deodorant commercials. Keaton's breakthrough role came two years when she was cast as Kay Adams, the girlfriend and eventual wife of Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 film The Godfather. Coppola noted that he first noticed Keaton in Lovers and Other Strangers, cast her because of her reputation for eccentricity that he wanted her to bring to the role, her performance in the film was loosely based on her real life experience of making the film, both of which she has described as being "the woman in a world of men." The Godfather was an unparalleled critical and financial success, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year and winning the Best Picture Oscar of 1972.
Two years she reprised her role as Kay Adams in The Godfather Part II. She was reluctant, stating that, "At first, I was skeptical about playing Kay again in the Godfather sequel, but when I read the script, the character seemed much more substantial than in the first movie." In Part II, her character changed becoming more embittered about her husband's activities. Though Keaton received widespread exposure from the films, her character's importance was minimal. Time wrote that she was "invisible in The Godfather and pallid in The Godfather, Part II."Keaton's other notable films of the 1970s included many collaborations with Woody Allen. She
John Joseph Nicholson is an American actor and filmmaker who has performed for over sixty years. He is known for playing a wide range of starring or supporting roles, including satirical comedy and dark portrayals of anti-heroes and villainous characters. In many of his films, he has played the "eternal outsider, the sardonic drifter", someone who rebels against the social structure, his most known and celebrated films include the road drama Easy Rider. Nicholson has not acted in a film since How Do You Know in 2010, but does not consider himself to be retired, he has directed three films, including The Two Jakes, the sequel to Chinatown. Nicholson's 12 Academy Award nominations make him the most nominated male actor in the Academy's history. Nicholson has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice – one for the drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the other for the romantic comedy As Good as It Gets, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the comedy-drama Terms of Endearment.
Nicholson is one of three male actors to win three Academy Awards. Nicholson is one of only two actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s, he has won six Golden Globe Awards, received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In 1994, at 57, he became one of the youngest actors to be awarded the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award, he has had a number of high-profile relationships, most notably with Anjelica Huston and Rebecca Broussard, was married to Sandra Knight from 1962 until their divorce in 1968. Nicholson has five children – one with Knight, two with Broussard, one each with Susan Anspach and Winnie Hollman. Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937, in Neptune City, New Jersey, the son of a showgirl, June Frances Nicholson. Nicholson's mother was of Irish and German descent, she married Italian-American showman Donald Furcillo in 1936, before realizing that he was married. Biographer Patrick McGilligan stated in his book Jack's Life that Latvian-born Eddie King, June's manager, may have been Nicholson's biological father, rather than Furcillo.
Other sources suggest. As June was only seventeen years old and unmarried, her parents agreed to raise Nicholson as their own child without revealing his true parentage, June would act as his sister. In 1974, Time magazine researchers learned, informed Nicholson, that his "sister", was his mother, his other "sister", was his aunt. By this time, both his mother and grandmother had died. On finding out, Nicholson said it was "a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn't what I'd call traumatizing... I was pretty well psychologically formed". Nicholson grew up in New Jersey, he was raised in his mother's Roman Catholic religion. Before starting high school, his family moved to an apartment in New Jersey. "When Jack was ready for high school, the family moved once more—this time two miles farther south to old-money Spring Lake, New Jersey's so-called Irish Riviera, where Ethel May set up her beauty parlor in a rambling duplex at 505 Mercer Avenue." "Nick", as he was known to his high school friends, attended nearby Manasquan High School, where he was voted "Class Clown" by the Class of 1954.
He was in detention every day for a whole school year. A theatre and a drama award at the school are named in his honor. In 2004, Nicholson attended his 50-year high school reunion accompanied by his aunt Lorraine. In 1957, Nicholson joined the California Air National Guard, a move he sometimes characterized as an effort to "dodge the draft". After completing the Air Force's basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Nicholson performed weekend drills and two-week annual training as a fire fighter assigned to the unit based at the Van Nuys Airport. During the Berlin Crisis of 1961, Nicholson was called up for several months of extended active duty, he was discharged at the end of his enlistment in 1962. Nicholson first came to Hollywood in 1954, he took a job as an office worker for animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera at the MGM cartoon studio. They offered him a starting-level job as an animator, but he declined, citing his desire to become an actor, he trained to be an actor with a group called the Players Ring Theater, after which time he found small parts performing on the stage and in TV soap operas.
He made his film debut in a low-budget teen drama The Cry Baby Killer. For the following decade, Nicholson was a frequent collaborator with the film's producer, Roger Corman. Corman directed Nicholson on several occasions, most notably in The Little Shop of Horrors, as masochistic dental patient and undertaker Wil
64th Academy Awards
The 64th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, honored the best films of 1991 in the United States and took place on March 30, 1992, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles beginning at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards in 23 categories; the ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Gil Cates and directed by Jeff Margolis. Actor Billy Crystal hosted the show for the third consecutive year. Three weeks earlier, in a ceremony held at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles on March 7, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Tom Hanks; the Silence of the Lambs won five awards including Best Picture. Other winners included Terminator 2: Judgment Day with four awards and the Beast, JFK with two, City Slickers, Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment, The Fisher King, In the Shadow of the Stars, Mediterraneo, Session Man, Thelma & Louise with one.
The telecast garnered more than 44 million viewers in the United States. The nominees for the 64th Academy Awards were announced on February 19, 1992, at 5:38 a.m. PST at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Karl Malden, president of the Academy, the actress Kathleen Turner. Bugsy led all nominees with ten nominations; the winners were announced during the awards ceremony on March 30, 1992. The Silence of the Lambs became the first horror film to win Best Picture and the first film to be released on home video prior to winning that award. Moreover, it was the third film to win the "Big Five" major categories for picture, lead acting performances, screenwriting; the other two films to achieve this feat were 1934's It Happened One Night and 1975's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. Best Actress winner Jodie Foster became the eleventh person to win the aforementioned category twice and at the age of 28, became only the second person after Luise Rainer to win two Academy Awards before the age of 30.
Boyz n the Hood's John Singleton became the first African-American to be nominated for Best Director and the youngest nominee in that category. Nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress Diane Ladd and Laura Dern became the first mother and daughter nominated in the same year. Winners are highlighted in boldface and indicated with double dagger. Satyajit Ray George Lucas The following individuals presented awards or performed musical numbers: Riding on the success of 63rd Academy Awards which won several Emmys, AMPAS rehired Gil Cates for the third consecutive year, he christened the 1992 ceremony with the theme "Pure Joy of the Movies" explaining that "Motion pictures provide us with laughter, adventure and a deeper understanding of ourselves. With all the extraordinary events that are taking place today, it's wonderful that we can still get away to see a film."A month before the festivities, Cates recruited actor and comedian Billy Crystal to host the ceremony for the third straight year.
According to Variety columnist Army Archerd, Crystal planned to perform a bungee jump stunt as part of his entrance at the beginning of the ceremony. However, the act was scrapped due to high insurance costs for the Academy and Crystal coming down with the flu. Instead, wearing Hannibal Lecter's mask from The Silence of the Lambs, was hauled onto the stage by two men. Several other people were involved in the production of the ceremony. Choreographer Debbie Allen supervised the Best Song nominee performances and the Best Original Score dance number. Film composer and musician Bill Conti served as musical director of the ceremony. In tandem with the theme of the ceremony, Chuck Workman produced a montage highlighting famous movie scenes from past and present. At the time of the nominations announcement on February 19, the combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees at the US box office was $393 million with an average of $78.7 million per film. The Silence of the Lambs was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $130.7 million in domestic box office receipts.
The film was followed by Beauty and the Beast, The Prince of Tides, JFK, Bugsy. Of the 50 top-grossing movies of the year, 72 nominations went to 15 of them. Only Silence of the Lambs and the Beast, Cape Fear, The Prince of Tides, JFK, Boyz n the Hood and Louise, The Fisher King, Bugsy were nominated for Best Picture, acting, or screenwriting; the other top 50 box office hits that earned nominations were Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Addams Family and Star Trek VI: the Undiscovery Country. Several days before the ceremony, LGBT activist groups such as Queer Nation and Out in Film announced plans to stage a protest outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion; the organizations were voicing their complaints regarding derogatory and unflattering portrayals of homosexuals in film such as The Silence of the Lambs, JFK, the upcoming film Basic Instinct. Queer Nation spokesman Rick Wilson said that the demonstrators "would stop cars from getting to the Oscars. It'll be a stall-in".
Wilson announced plans to disrupt the proceedings inside the theater. In response, producer Gil Cates stated, "Anyone can protest about anything they want outside the show." But he said that the standard, "generic response" to somethin
William Wyler was an American film director and screenwriter. Notable works include Ben-Hur, The Best Years of Our Lives, Mrs. Miniver, all of which won Academy Awards for Best Director, as well as Best Picture in their respective years, making him the only director of three Best Picture winners as of 2018. Wyler received his first Oscar nomination for directing Dodsworth in 1936, starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor, "sparking a 20-year run of unbroken greatness."Film historian Ian Freer calls Wyler a "bona fide perfectionist", whose penchant for retakes and an attempt to hone every last nuance, "became the stuff of legend." His ability to direct a string of classic literary adaptations into huge box-office and critical successes made him one of "Hollywood's most bankable moviemakers" during the 1930s and 1940s and into the 60's. Through his talent for staging and camera movement, he turned dynamic theatrical spaces into cinematic ones, he helped propel a number of actors to stardom and directing Audrey Hepburn in her Hollywood debut film, Roman Holiday, directing Barbra Streisand in her debut film, Funny Girl.
Both of these performances won Academy Awards. He directed Olivia de Havilland to her second Oscar in The Heiress and Laurence Olivier in Wuthering Heights, for his first Oscar nomination. Olivier credited Wyler with teaching him, and Bette Davis, who received three Oscar nominations under his direction and won her second Oscar in Jezebel, said Wyler made her a "far, far better actress" than she had been. Other popular Wyler films include: Hell's Heroes, The Westerner, The Letter, Friendly Persuasion, The Big Country, The Children's Hour and How to Steal a Million. Wyler was born to a Jewish family in Alsace, his Swiss-born father, started as a traveling salesman but became a thriving haberdasher in Mulhouse. His mother, was German-born, a cousin of Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures. During Wyler's childhood, he attended a number of schools and developed a reputation as "something of a hellraiser", being expelled more than once for misbehavior, his mother took him and his older brother Robert to concerts and the theatre, as well as the early cinema.
Sometimes at home his family and their friends would stage amateur theatricals for personal enjoyment. Wyler was supposed to take over the family haberdashery business in France. After World War I, he spent a dismal year working in Paris at 100.000 Chemises selling shirts and ties. He was so poor that he spent his time wandering around the Pigalle district. After realizing that Willy was not interested in the haberdashery business, his mother, contacted her distant cousin, Carl Laemmle who owned Universal Studios, about opportunities for him. Laemmle was in the habit of coming to Europe each year, searching for promising young men who would work in America. In 1921, while traveling as a Swiss citizen, met Laemmle who hired him to work at Universal Studios in New York; as Wyler said: "America seemed as far away as the moon." Booked onto a ship to New York with Laemmle upon his return voyage, he met a young Czech man, Paul Kohner, aboard the same ship. Their enjoyment of the first class trip was short-lived, however, as they found they had to pay back the cost of the passage out of their $25 weekly income as messengers to Universal Pictures.
After working in New York for several years, serving in the New York Army National Guard for a year, Wyler moved to Hollywood to become a director. Around 1923, Wyler arrived in Los Angeles and began work on the Universal Studios lot in the swing gang, cleaning the stages and moving the sets, his break came. But his work ethic was uneven, he would sneak off and play billiards in a pool hall across the street from the studio, or organize card games during working hours. After some ups and downs, Wyler put all his effort into it, he started as a third assistant director and by 1925 he became the youngest director on the Universal lot directing the westerns that Universal was famed for turning out. Wyler was so focused on his work that he would dream about "different ways to get on a horse". In several of the one-reelers, he would join the posse in the inevitable chase of the'bad man', he directed his first non-Western, the lost Anybody Here Seen Kelly?, in 1928. This was followed by The Shakedown and The Love Trap.
He proved himself an able craftsman. In 1928 he became a naturalized United States citizen, his first all-talking film, Universal's first sound production to be filmed on location, was Hell's Heroes, filmed in the Mojave Desert in 1929. In the early 1930s Wyler directed a wide variety of films at Universal, ranging from high profile dramas such as The Storm, A House Divided, Counsellor at Law, to comedies like Her First Mate and The Good Fairy, he became well known for his insistence on multiple retakes, resulting in award-winning and critically acclaimed performances from his actors. After leaving Universal he began a long collaboration with Samuel Goldwyn for whom he directed such classics as Dodsworth, These Three, Dead End, Wuthering Heights, The Westerner, The Littl
Claudette Colbert was an American stage and film actress. Colbert began her career in Broadway productions during the late 1920s and progressed to motion pictures with the advent of Talking pictures. Associated with Paramount Pictures, she shifted to working as a freelance actress, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in It Happened One Night, received two other Academy Award nominations. Other notable films include The Palm Beach Story. With her round face, big eyes, aristocratic manner, flair for light comedy, as well as emotional drama, Colbert was known for a versatility that led to her becoming one of the industry's best-paid stars of the 1930s and 1940s and, in 1938 and 1942, the highest-paid star. During her career, Colbert starred in more than 60 movies. Among her frequent co-stars were Fred MacMurray in seven films, Fredric March in four films. By the early 1950s, Colbert had retired from the screen in favor of television and stage work, she earned a Tony Award nomination for The Marriage-Go-Round in 1959.
Her career tapered off during the early 1960s, but in the late 1970s she experienced a career resurgence in theater, earning a Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago theater work in 1980. For her television work in The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Emmy Award nomination. In 1999, the American Film Institute posthumously voted Colbert the 12th-greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema. Émilie Claudette Chauchoin was born in 1903 in Saint-Mandé, France, to Jeanne Marie and Georges Claude Chauchoin. Although christened "Émilie", she was called "Lily"; because she had an aunt living with her by the name of Émilie. The aunt was her maternal grandmother's adopted child, Emilie Loew, not a blood relative, worked as a dressmaker, never married. Colbert's nickname "Lily" came from Jersey-born actress Lillie Langtry. Jeanne, Emilie Loew, Colbert's grandmother, Marie Augustine Loew, were born in the Channel Islands between England and France, thus were fluent English speakers before coming to the U.
S. though French and English were spoken in the family circle. Colbert's brother, Charles Auguste Chauchoin, was born in the Bailiwick of Jersey. Jeanne held various occupations. While Georges Chauchoin had lost the sight in his right eye and had not settled into a profession, he worked as investment banker, suffering business setbacks. Marie Loew had been to the U. S. and Georges' brother-in-law was living in New York City. Marie was willing to help Georges financially, but encouraged him to try his luck in the U. S. To pursue more employment opportunities and her family, including Marie and Emilie Loew, emigrated to Manhattan in 1906, they lived in a fifth-floor walk-up at 53rd Street. Colbert stated that climbing those stairs to the fifth floor every day until 1922 made her legs beautiful, her parents formally changed her legal name to Lily Claudette Chauchoin'. Georges Chauchoin worked as a minor official at First National City Bank. Before Colbert entered public school, she learned English from her grandmother Marie Loew and continued to be fluent in French.
She had hoped to become a painter since she had grasped her first pencil. Her family was naturalized in the U. S. in 1912. Her mother wanted to become an opera singer. Colbert studied at Washington Irving High School, where her speech teacher, Alice Rossetter, encouraged her to audition for a play Rossetter had written. In 1919, Colbert made her stage debut at the Provincetown Playhouse in The Widow's Veil at the age of 15. However, Colbert's interest still leaned towards painting, fashion design, commercial art. Intending to become a fashion designer, she attended the Art Students League of New York, where she paid for her art education by working as a dress-shop employee. After attending a party with writer Anne Morrison, Colbert was offered a bit part in Morrison's play and appeared on the Broadway stage in a small role in The Wild Westcotts, she had been using the name Claudette instead of her first name Lily since high school, for her stage name, she added her maternal grandmother's maiden name, Colbert.
Her father, died in 1925 and her grandmother, Marie Loew, died in New York in 1930. After signing a five-year contract with producer Al Woods, Colbert played ingenue roles on Broadway from 1925 through 1929. Through the influence of Woods, she was cast in Frederick Lonsdale's The Fake, but was replaced by Frieda Inescort before it opened. Woods tried to promote Colbert as his "British discovery". During this period she disliked being typecast as a French maid. Colbert said, "In the beginning, they wanted to give me French roles … That's why I used to say my name Col-bert just as it is spelled instead of Col-baire. I did not want to be typed as'that French girl.'" She received critical acclaim on Broadway in the production of The Barker as a carnival snake charmer. She reprised this role for the play's run in London's West End. Colbert was noticed by the theatrical producer Leland Hayward, who suggested her for the heroine role in For the Love of Mike, a silent film now believed to be lost; the film didn't fare well enough at the box-office.
In 1928, Colbert signed a contract with Paramount Pictures. Colbert's elegance and musical voice were among her best assets. In The Hole in the Wall, audience