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Constance Bennett Edit Profile

Producer , Actress

Constance Bennett was an American actress and producer.

Background

Bennett, Constance was born on October 22, 1904 in New York City. She was the older sister of actresses Joan and Barbara Bennett, and the daughter of Richard Bennett (1873-1944—matinee idol onstage and Major Amberson on-screen).

Education

Educated at private schools—Miss Chandor’s (New York). Mistress Merrill’s (Mamaroneck, New York), Mme. Balsan’s (Paris).

Career

In the early 1930s, Constance Bennett was one of the classiest and highest-paid stars, despite a rather fitful allegiance to Hollywood.

She had a tiny part in her father’s The Valley of Decision (16), and then small roles in Reckless Youth (22, Ralph Ince); Evidence (22, George Archainbaud); What's Wrong with Women? (22, R. William Neill)—before Goldwyn put her in Cytherea (24, George Fitzmaurice).

In the next few years, she quickly built up her reputation: Married? (24, George Terwilliger); The Goose Hangs High (25, James Cruze); Code of the West (25, William K. Howard); My Son (25, Edwin Carewe); My Wife and I (25, Millard Webb); The Goose Woman (25, Clarence Brown); Sally. Irene and Mary (25. Edmund Goulding); and The Pinch Hitter (26, Joseph Hemibery).

But at this point, Bennett eloped with a millionaire, Philip Bland, and dropped out of films. She returned three years later, divorced, but ready to marry again. to the Marquis de la Falaise. Her agent, Myron Selznick, successfully negotiated the break in her career and, thanks to her fetching voice, got her huge salaries over the next few years: This Thing Called Love (29, Paul L. Stein); Son of the Gods (30, Frank Lloyd); Rich People (30, Edward H. Griffith); Common Clay (30, Victor Fleming); Three Faces East (30, Roy del Ruth); Sin Takes a Holiday (30, Stein); The Easiest Way (31, lack Conway); Born to Love (31, Stein); Bought (31, Archie Mayo); Lady With a Past (32, Griffith); What Price Hollywood? (32, George Cukor), in which she is well cast is the Brown Derby waitress who becomes (inexplicably) a star; Two Against the World (32, Mayo); Rockabye (32, Cukor); Our Betters (33, Cukor); Bed of Roses (33, Gregor) La Cava); After Tonight (33, Archainbaud); Moulin Rouge (34, Sidney Lanfield); The Affairs of Cellini (34, La Cava); Outcast Lady (34, Robert Z. Leonard); After Office Hours (35, Leonard); Ladies in Love (36, Griffith); Topper (37, Norman Z. McLeod); Merrily We Live (38, McLeod); Service De Luxe (38, Rowland V. Lee); Topper Takes a Trip (39, McLeod); and Tailspin (39, del Ruth).

By then, her box-office stock had slumped, she married (briefly) Gilbert Roland, but she worked on through the 1940s: Escape to Glory (40, John Brahm); Law of the Tropics (41, Ray Enright); Two-Faced Woman (41, Cukor); Wild Bill Hickock Rides (42, Enright); Madame Spy (42, Neill); Paris Underground (46, Gregory Ratoff), produced by Bennett herself with Grade Fields as an unlikely costar; Centennial Summer (46, Otto Preminger); The Unsuspected (47, Michael Curtiz); Smari Woman (48, Edward A. Blatt); As Young as You Feel (51, Harmon Jones); It Should Happen to You (54, Cukor); and Madame X (65, David Lowell Rich), in which she is arguably younger looking than her “daughter-in-law” Lana Turner.

Personality

She was a social figure in Hollywood, an expert gambler, much inclined to money and men, a fashion plate, and an arbiter of style. Very cunningly, she placed herself as someone who did not really need pictures—this allowed her to be bored, disdainful, and not even that good. She stressed the pose of an amused outsider, anil she was so pretty, as well is heartless, that her humor was the more striking. High 1930s romantic comedv had few cleverer exponents, even if Topper is as much as most people know today. A good life of the Bennett sisters might help redress the blllnce.

Connections

She married Philip Plant , but divorced.; her second husband was Marquis de la Falaise, November 22, 1931, but soon the couple divorced. Later she marrried once again to John Theron Coulter.

Children: Lorinda, Gyl Christina.

father:
Richard Bennett

mother:
Adrienne (Morrison) Bennett

spouses:
Philip Plant

Marquis de la Falaise

John Theron Coulter

children:
Lorinda Bennett

Gyl Christina Bennett