Bankhead, Tallulah

In-person signature & sentiment of the notorious stage, screen, radio & TV actress

Price: $110.00

Description:
(1902-1968) Actress, daughter of House Speaker (1936-40) William B. Bankhead (D-AL), niece of Senator John H. Bankhead II, granddaughter of Senator John H. Bankhead. At 15, she won a movie-magazine beauty contest and persuaded her family to let her move to New York where she made her stage debut in 1918. In 1923, she debuted on the London stage and appeared in over a dozen plays in the next 8 years. Her fame as an actress was ensured in 1924 in Sidney Howard's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “They Knew What They Wanted”. By the end of the decade, she was one of England's best-known and most notorious celebrities. She returned to the US in 1931 and became a peripheral member of the Algonquin Round Table, known as a hard-partying girl-about-town, famed for her wit and her outspokenness. Her first film was “Tarnished Lady” (1931), directed by George Cukor, and the pair became fast friends. She was linked romantically with many actors and notable female personalities. She was David O. Selznick "first choice among established stars" to play Scarlett O'Hara but she photographed poorly in Technicolor and at 36 was too old to play Scarlett, who is 16 at the beginning of the film. Returning to Broadway, her performance in Lillian Hellman's “The Little Foxes” (1939) won her the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Performance. More success and the same award followed her 1942 performance in Thornton Wilder's “The Skin of Our Teeth”. In 1944, Alfred Hitchcock cast her as cynical journalist Constance Porter in her most successful film, “Lifeboat”; her performance won her the New York Film Critics’ Circle Award. After WW II, she appeared in a revival of Noel Coward's “Private Lives”, taking it on tour and then to Broadway for the better part of 2 years; the play's run made Bankhead a fortune, and she could command 10% of the gross and was billed larger than any other actor in the cast. Her career slowed in the mid-50s, and she became a heavy drinker and consumer of sleeping pills. She continued to perform in the 50s & 60s on Broadway, in occasional films, as a popular radio show host, and in the new medium of television. In 1950, NBC spent millions over 2 seasons of “The Big Show”, in which she was not only mistress of ceremonies but also performed monologues and songs. She appeared as Blanche DuBois in a 1956 revival of Tennessee Williams's “A Streetcar Named Desire”, and received a Tony nomination for her performance in the short-lived 1961 Mary Coyle Chase play, “Midgie Purvis”. Her last theater appearance was in another Williams play, “The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore” (1963). Her last motion picture was British horror film “Fanatic” (1965), released in the US as “Die! Die! My Darling!” Her last TV appearances were in 1967 as the villainous Black Widow in the “Batman” series, and on an episode of “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”. In-person Autograph Sentiment (“Sincerely”) Signed on a 4 ½ x 6 pale yellow autograph album page, 1 ½ x 1 ¾ small portrait affixed at lower right under signature. Signature (and small magazine portrait) of character actor Claude Stroud on verso (no see-thru).

Condition: Very good
Type:Autograph Sentiment Signed






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Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




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