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Tallulah Bankhead

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TALLULAH BANKHEAD was born in Huntsville, Alabama on January 31, 1903 to former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives William Bankhead and his wife. She was educated in a convent, but left Alabama for New York and the stage after winning a beauty contest at the age of 15.

Bankhead played several stage roles and made two silent films before leaving for London in 1923 where she became a sensation-- famous for her deep, raspy voice on-stage and her flamboyant behavior off-stage. In England she made two more films and upon return to the U.S. in 1930, signed a contract with Paramount. While the stage remained her primary medium (her successes including The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman, The Skin of Our Teeth, and Private Lives) Bankhead did turn in several worthy film performances, most notably that of reporter Connie Porter in Alfred Hitchcock's LIFEBOAT (1944).

Biographical information from Cinemania '95.

Return to the Tallulah Bankhead main page.

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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