Claudette Colbert was known for her comedic timing and her beauty as one of the highest earning starlets of the 1930s and 1940s.
The other day, my mom and dad went to a local vintage market (I was working) and brought me back some gorgeous makeup ads from the 30s and 40s. They know me so well!
I ran home and scanned them in, and proceeded to do a deep dive on each advertisement. One of my favorite things is sharing the research I find with you guys so we can all learn some history along the way.
I also got my wisdom teeth out on Tuesday and I have been in bed watching old movies since. I was inspired to check out The Palm Beach Story from this advertisement and definitely fell in love with Claudette Colbert. I think there is a special place in my heart for the Old Hollywood actresses that can pull off some great comedy. I mean, who doesn't love Lucille Ball or Doris Day? I think I've always loved the glamour of Hollywood starlets combined with a good sense of humor. Do you tend to agree?
Below I share with you a scan of one of the advertisements they found for me. Stay tuned and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more vintage makeup ads!
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Claudette Colbert was a popular actress in the 1930s and 1940s known for her "fine comic timing and her unique ability to portray characters who thrived in whatever situation they found themselves."
She was born in 1903 as Émilie Claudette Chauchoin in Saint Mandé, France. Her family moved to the United States to pursue more employment opportunities. She was initially interested in the arts and fashion design when her teacher encouraged her to audition for a play. Her initial success was attributed to the versatility of her speech; she was able to use both a British and Mid-Atlantic accent as well as her ability to speak French.
No, there is no known connection between Claudette Colbert and Stephen Colbert, besides their shared surname.
Claudette Colbert never had any children.
The Palm Beach Story is a screwball comedy about a married couple in financial trouble waiting for some money to come through to resolve their problems. The wife (Claudette Colbert) decides they should get a quick divorce in Palm Beach and she should subsequently marry a wealthy man just to send the money back to her new ex-husband.
The above ad was promotional material for Max Factor and Claudette's upcoming film The Palm Beach Story which released in New York City December 10, 1942 and the rest of the states on January 1, 1943.
Claudette Colbert is probably best known for her roles in the following films:
It Happened One Night (1934)
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Claudette Colbert starred opposite Clark Gable in It Happened One Night. They both won the Oscars for Best Actress and Best Actor respectively for their performances in the film.
Yes, Claudette Colbert played Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night. She was initially dissatisfied with the romantic comedy, but ended up winning the Academy Award for her performance in the role.
Claudette Colbert played the titular role in Cleopatra, that is, Cleopatra herself. The film was the highest grossing of the year 1932.
The above makeup ad is from December 1942. At the time, World War II was still raging on. The United States was still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor the previous December. You can see in the lower right hand corner of the ad that people were still being encouraged to buy United States Savings Bonds to aid in the war efforts.
In this article I found describing Christmas-time 1942, although the United States was involved in a war abroad, Christmas was relatively prosperous at home. Almost everyone had communicated with a soldier and sent him a package or two for the holiday. While people at home wanted for not in material goods, everyone's minds were abroad with their loved ones in the service, wondering when (or if) they would be celebrating Christmas together in person.
Yes! Max Factor has been in business since 1909. It was purchased in 1991 for $500 million by Proctor & Gamble.
Max Factor was responsible for several innovations in the makeup space, including popularizing the word make-up itself. Max Factor worked primarily in movie cosmetics, focusing on creating beauty solutions to glamorize actresses that could then be accessed by the general public.
He recognized that makeup needed to be customized to each individual actress to give her the best look on camera. Over the years he became responsible for the signature looks of several different Hollywood starlets including Jean Harlow, Clara Bow, Claudette Colbert, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, and Judy Garland.
They do not, however, sell the Max Factor Hollywood Face Powder anymore.
Have you ever seen any Claudette Colbert movies? The Palm Story is the only one I have seen but I would love to see It Happened One Night next!