Claudette Colbert, born Émilie "Lily" Chauchoin (September 13, 1903 – July 30, 1996), was a French-American actress from UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood known for playing modern women with sophisticated wit.

Claudette began her acting career on Broadway, generally typecast as the FrenchMaid. Wanting to get away from this, she moved to Hollywood in 1928. She signed up with [[{{Creator/Paramount}} Paramount Pictures]], and gradually received roles with the bigwigs of the 1930s Hollywood: ''Film/TheSmilingLieutenant'' directed by Creator/ErnstLubitsch, and two Creator/CecilBDeMille films, ''The Sign of the Cross'' and ''Film/{{Cleopatra|1934}}''.

Then the movie that changed it all: Creator/FrankCapra’s classic ScrewballComedy ''Film/ItHappenedOneNight''--no one thought it would amount to anything, least of all Claudette. Before the film’s shooting, she famously asked for [[OnlyInItForTheMoney a doubling of her salary (making it $50,000)]] and that the film wrap up before her planned ski vacation. Fortunately, the film succeeded and shot Claudette to movie stardom, winning the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for Best Actress and achieving success as a top comedienne.

She’s also the only actress to star in three films nominated for Best Picture in the same year (1934): Capra’s ''Film/ItHappenedOneNight'', De Mille’s ''Film/{{Cleopatra|1934}}'', and John Stahl’s ''Film/{{Imitation of Life|1934}}''.

Claudette worked with the best directors of the time (Creator/ErnstLubitsch, Creator/CecilBDeMille, Creator/FrankCapra, and Creator/PrestonSturges), was dedicated to her work, and a shrewd woman; during TheThirties, she was the best paid star in Hollywood, negotiating her way to the top, and continuing to work hard in TheForties.

Less active in films during TheFifties, she returned to Broadway and received a Tony for her work in ''The Marriage Go-Round'' (1958), and later, an Emmy for the TV movie ''The Two Mrs. Grenvilles'' (1987).

She died in 1996, a legend of the silver screen.
!!Select Claudette Colbert Films:
* ''Film/TheSmilingLieutenant'' (1931) — With Creator/MiriamHopkins and Creator/MauriceChevalier.
* ''The Sign Of the Cross'' (1932) — A Creator/CecilBDeMille epic, highly controversial for showing Claudette naked in a milk bath.
* ''[[Film/{{Cleopatra 1934}} Cleopatra]]'' (1934) — Stylish Art Deco sets and [[CostumePorn outfits]]. [[https://mindreels.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/claudette-colbert-cleopatra-1934.jpg Oh]], [[http://www.williamhpeck.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Picture13.341105909_std.jpg my]] [[https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-em6kuGTWqt8/Ue_KJYusZiI/AAAAAAAAAEM/p3w_a4Oil3U/s640/Claudette-Colbert-Cleopatra-1934-5.jpg goodness]].
* ''[[Film/ImitationOfLife1934 Imitation of Life]]'' (1934) — Dramatic film about racism: two women from different social strata (one white and one black) become friends and raise their children together. It follows their rise to wealth and their tribulations.
* ''Film/ItHappenedOneNight'' (1934) — ScrewballComedy of the highest order, directed by Creator/FrankCapra and co-starring Creator/ClarkGable
* ''The Gilded Lily'' (1935) — First of seven films with Creator/FredMacMurray, also co-starring Creator/RayMilland.
* ''Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife'' (1938) — Another Lubitsch film, co-starring with Creator/GaryCooper
* ''Film/DrumsAlongTheMohawk'' (1939) — With Creator/HenryFonda.
* ''Film/{{Midnight|1939}}'' (1939) — Delightful ScrewballComedy with Creator/DonAmeche, Creator/JohnBarrymore, and Creator/MaryAstor. Also boasts a screenplay by Creator/BillyWilder and Charles Brackett.
* ''Film/ItsAWonderfulWorld'' (1939) — ScrewballComedy with Creator/JimmyStewart.
* ''Film/ThePalmBeachStory'' (1942) — Creator/PrestonSturges ScrewballComedy with Creator/JoelMcCrea.
* ''Film/SinceYouWentAway'' (1944) — With Joseph Cotten and Creator/ShirleyTemple.
* ''Film/TomorrowIsForever'' (1946) -- With Creator/OrsonWelles, George Brent, and 8-year-old Creator/NatalieWood
* ''Film/ThunderOnTheHill'' (1951) -- FilmNoir with Creator/AnnBlyth.