Wednesday 18 April 2012

Actress of the Month: Ruth Chatterton

This is the begining of my 'Actress of the Month' segment discussing the most famous women of the Precode era. The first, for whats left of the month of April, is Ruth Chatterton who I consider to be the Queen of the Precodes. Below is a short bio of her life and, sadly, her too short acting career.

A strong, modern woman onscreen and off, Ruth Chatterton made her portrayals of feisty, elegant and always articulate society women popular in the Precode Era. At age 14, Ruth followed her passion for acting to a successful stage career staring in such works as, Daddy Long Legs (1914) and The Magnolia Lady (1924). With the coming of sound in 1927, Ruth was brought to Hollywood not predominately for her looks or acting talent but her eloquent speech in a period where sound technology was young and most of the top actors of the period had heavy European accents.  Her most memorable Precode portrayals include as the bold, capable business owner in Female (1933) and the struggling mother, turned brothel Madame during the San Francisco earthquake in Frisco Jenny (1993).  After her acting career slowly died down, Ruth began a successful stint as a novelist and later, broke the gender stereotype, by learning to flying and often navigating around the USA solo. Ruth died age 68 from a cerebral haemorrhage in 1961. 

Ruth Cool Quote:  As Alison Drake in Female (1933)

“I know for some women, men are a household necessity; myself, I'd rather have a canary.”

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