Claudette Colbert was a French-born American actress, and a leading lady for two decades.
Colbert began her career in Broadway productions during the 1920s, progressing to film with the advent of talking pictures. Initially associated with Paramount Pictures, Colbert later gradually shifted to working as a freelance actor. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in It Happened One Night, and also received Academy Award nominations for Private Worlds and Since You Went Away. With her round apple-face, Colbert was known as an expert screwball comedienne, but her dramatic range enabled her to easily encompass melodrama and to play characters ranging from vamps to housewives. During her successful career, Colbert starred in more than sixty movies. She was the industry's biggest box-office star in 1938 and 1942.
By the mid 1950s, she had largely retired from the screen in favor of television and stage work, earning a Tony Award nomination for The Marriage-Go-Round in 1959. Her career tapered off during the early 1960s, but in the late 1970s she experienced a career resurgence in theater, earning a Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago theater work in 1980.