Tallulah Bankhead

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Bankhead, Tallulah

(təlo͞o`lə), 1903–68, American actress, b. Huntsville, Ala.; daughter of William Brockman BankheadBankhead, William Brockman,
1874–1940, U.S. Representative from Alabama (1917–40), b. Lamar co., Ala. Chairman of the House rules committee (1934–35), Democratic floor leader (1935–36), and Speaker of the House (1936–40), he was one of the
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. After her debut in 1918, Bankhead had great success on the London stage, where she appeared (1923–30) in 16 plays. She was particularly acclaimed for her performance on Broadway as Regina in The Little Foxes (1939) and, in film, as a shipwrecked journalist in Lifeboat (1944). In the latter, she brought to the role the wit, sophisticated aplomb, and uninhibited behavior that made her a legend.


See her autobiography (1952); memoir by E. Rawls (1979); biographies by B. Gill (1972), L. Israel (1972), K. Tunney (1973), and J. Lobenthal (2004); J. Mackrell, Flappers (2014).

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Bankhead, Tallulah (Brockman)

(1903–68) stage and film actress; born in Huntsville, Ala. Known for her husky, drawling voice and her sultry man-eating roles, she was first noticed in The Little Foxes in 1939.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.