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Subject: ARCHIVE: December 12, 1968 ~It was 50 years ago today, we lost acting great Tallulah Bankhead, star of stage, films, and TV, known for her husky voice, outrageous personality, and devastating wit, originating some of the 20th century theater's preeminent roles in comedy and melodrama, and always a popular TV panelist/guest, dies after a lifetime of excess at age 66. ...

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Date Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 02:01:00pm

Tallulah Bankhead
[ Tallulah Brockman Bankhead ]
(January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968)

American actress of the stage and screen. Bankhead was known for her husky voice, outrageous personality, and devastating wit. Originating some of the 20th century theater's preeminent roles in comedy and melodrama, she gained acclaim as an actress on both sides of the Atlantic. Bankhead became an icon of the tempestuous, flamboyant actress, and her unique voice and mannerisms are often subject to imitation and parody.

Tallulah was a member of the Brockman Bankhead family, a prominent Alabama political family; her grandfather and uncle were U.S. Senators and her father served as an 11-term member of Congress, the final two as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Tallulah's support of liberal causes such as civil rights broke with the tendency of the Southern Democrats to support a more typically aligned agenda and she often opposed her own family publicly. Primarily an actress of the stage, Bankhead did have one hit film—Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat—as well as a brief but successful career on radio. She later made appearances on television as well.

In her personal life, Bankhead struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction, and was infamous for her uninhibited sex life. Bankhead was capable of great kindness and generosity to those in need, supporting disadvantaged foster children and helping several families escape the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Bankhead was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1972, and the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1981. Upon her death, Bankhead had amassed nearly 300 film, stage, television, and radio roles.

Learn MORE on the iconic actress …

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Subject Author Date
LONG LIVE 'Black Widow'! ...She was the best!Wednesday, December 12, 02:08:23pm
The Wits of Miss Tallulah BankheadEstelle WinwoodWednesday, December 12, 05:43:57pm
Dick Cavett told a cleaned up version of Chico Marx's amorous pursuit of BankheadPunch line :"And so you shall, you old-fashioned boy."Thursday, December 13, 10:30:16am
Her father was once Speaker of the House (NT)During the FDR eraThursday, December 13, 10:31:54am

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