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Ruth Chatterton (December 24, 1893 – November 24, 1961) was an American actress.

Early life

Born in New York Citymarker on Christmas Eve 1893, of English and French extraction to Walter Smith and Lillian Reed Chatterton, she was on Broadwaymarker by the age of 14, as a dancer.

Film career

Her first film was Sins of the Fathers in 1928, and almost all of her films were pre-Code. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for two films: Madame X (1929) and Sarah and Son (1930). She starred in the Paramount Pictures all-star revue Paramount on Parade (1930).

Her stage experience enhanced many of her film performances when the "silents" segued to the "talkies." Although her first "talkies" were merely filmed stage productions, her enunciation and acting were appreciated by the public and critics alike. When she left Paramount, her initial studio, for Warner Brothers (along with Kay Francis and William Powell), it was noted that the brothers Warner needed an infusion of "class."

She co-starred in the film Dodsworth (1936), for Samuel Goldwyn and United Artists, which is widely regarded as her finest film, although not a pre-Code film. Chatterton's last film was A Royal Divorce in 1938. However, she appeared on U.S. television in several plays, including a TV adaptation of Dodsworth, in which she recreated her film role. Her last television appearance was as Gertrude in a 1953 adaptation of Hamlet, with Maurice Evans in the title role, on the Hallmark Hall of Fame. She then relocated to England.

Later life

Having left acting, she began a successful writing career, producing several novels. She was also one of the few aviatrices at the time, and was acquainted with Amelia Earhart. Chatterton crisscrossed the U.S. several times solo.

Ruth Chatterton is interred in the Lugar Mausoleum
Chatterton's first husband was actor Ralph Forbes; they married in the mid 1920s. From 1932 to 1934, Chatterton was married to her younger, frequent film co-star George Brent, a fellow Warners player in the 1930s. Her third and last husband was Barry Thomson, to whom she was married from 1942 to his death in 1960. Chatterton had no children.

She died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 67 in Norwalk, Connecticutmarker in 1961. Ruth Chatterton was cremated and is interred in a niche in the Lugar Mausoleum (Section 11, Lot 303) at Beechwoods Cemetery in New Rochellemarker, NYmarker.

Occasional, much-younger co-star Bette Davis recalled that Chatterton was "very kind" to her at Warners when Davis was starting out on her career.

Chatterton has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker at 6263 Hollywood Blvd.


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