I think I need to make my next ‘Name That Star’ a little harder next time or at least think about changing the name of the image when I upload it. Haha. But to me, the most interesting feature of the photos is the amount Paulette changed from both eras. She definitely rivalled the Queen of the Hollywood transition, Joan Crawford, and definitely were a factor in her future fame. Her blonde tresses were not only an indication of the style trends of the early thirties (note some of Bette Davis’s ridiculous Precode hair do’s) but also her close and trusting relationship with her second husband, Charlie Chaplin, who she met in 1932 during her Goldwyn Girl days and who reportedly persuaded Paulette to alter her hair colour. Below is a little article about Paulette’s blonde days, her early relationship with Chaplin and her transition into becoming a brunette.
The Blonde Hair and Charlie Chaplin
Paulette Goddard began her film career, like many classic actresses, as a blonde. I have read somewhere that she originally began wearing platinum wigs over her natural brunette locks for her first roles in several Laurel and Hardy and Hal Roach shorts. The blonde hair stuck and she reportedly dyed her lengths after receiving more significant parts and a place in the popular ‘Goldwyn Girls’ troupe. She appeared as a chorus girl in several Eddie Cantor musicals, for example, ‘The Kid from Spain’ (1932), ‘Roman Scandals’ (1933) and ‘Kid Millions’ (1934). Her life changed when, in 1932, she met legendary film director, writer and actor Charlie Chaplin. According to CharlieChaplin.com, Chaplin was invited to a weekend cruise aboard a yacht owned by United Artist chairman and president, Joe Schenck. The pair met during the party and Chaplin gave Paulette sound financial advice regarding a proposition of a $50,000 investment she was going to make into a dodgy movie company. They became close from this meeting.
Chaplin and Paulette during late 1932:
It was during the period between her film appearance in ‘Kid Millions’ (1934) and her next role as ‘The Gamin’ in Chaplin’s classic, ‘Modern Times’ (1936) that Paulette was persuaded by Chaplin to change her hair colour back to a more natural – and some say more beautiful – raven. The part was only a minor role but it was definitely a step-up from her chorus girl background. The alteration to her appearance and her positive professional and personal relationship with the film-maker enhanced her standing among the Hollywood community. Although the six year marriage ended in 1942, its conclusion was probably the least bitter and sensational of all Chaplin’s divorces perhaps due to the friendship they still shared or Paulette’s enduring gratitude over Chaplin’s good hair style advice from a decade before.
Chaplin and Paulette in ‘Modern Times’ (1936)