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Extraordinary American actress.
Alabama-born Bankhead first appeared on the stage in 1918 and caused a sensation on her first night in London in a C.B.Cochran production of The Dancers (1923). Over the next few years she became a major international celebrity, with women copying her hairdos, her clothes and the husky inflexion of her voice.
When the talkies arrived Bankhead went to Hollywood to play the same sort of parts she had always done on stage – sophisticated, jaded and very glamorous. The titles are indicative – Tarnished Lady (1931), My Sin (1931) and The Cheat (1931). Eventually she was dropped by Paramount and went to work at MGM, flatly refusing to sign a binding contract. She returned to the stage in 1933 and soon achieved in New York the fame she’d achieved in London.
Later film credits include Hitchcock’s Lifeboat (1943), the Ernst Lubitsch comedy Czarina (also titled A Royal Scandal, 1945) and even a Hammer Horror, Frantic (1965).
Bankhead achieved her greatest fame on American radio in the 1940s, hosting The Big Show. A very witty lady, she had great fun insulting her guests and her breathy catchphrase. Hello Daahlings, became nationally famous.Bankhead had a scandalous private life, wrecking her great beauty and her health with drugs (cocaine), alcohol and sex (both genders, single and multiple).
This is a very rare vintage black and white 8.25" x 6.75" fan magazine photograph (probably a very finely executed artist's impression, though it's been so well done that it's difficult to tell!), nicely signed in ink. The image has been neatly matted behind a stone-grey mount, with overall dimensions of 12" x 10.75", and is now ready for display framing. In excellent condition.