Annabella (1909–1996)

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Annabella (1909–1996)

French actress. Born Suzanne Georgette Charpentier in La Varenne-Saint-Hilaire, near Paris, France, on July 14, 1909; died on September 18, 1996, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France; daughter of a publisher; married Jean Murat (an actor; divorced); married Tyrone Power (an actor), in 1939 (divorced 1948); children: (first marriage) Anna Murat (who was married to German actor Oskar Werner).

Selected filmography:

Napoleon (1926); Maldone (France, 1928); Le Million (1931); Un Soir de Rafle (France, 1931); Paris-Mediterranée (France, 1932); La Quatorze Juillet (July 14th, France, 1933); La Bataille (France, 1933); Caravan (United States, 1934); L'Equipage (Flight into Darkness, France, 1935); Veille d'Armes (1935); La Bandera (Escape from Yesterday, France, 1935); La Citadel du Silence (The Citadel of Silence, France, 1937); Under the Red Robe (1937); Dinner at the Ritz (1937); Wings of the Morning (1937); Hôtel du Nord (France, 1938); The Baroness and the Butler (United States, 1938); Suez (United States, 1938); Bridal Suite (United States, 1939); Tonight We Raid Calais (United States, 1943); Bomber's Moon (United States, 1943); 13 Rue Madeleine (United States, 1947); Dernier Amour (France, 1949); Don Juan (Spain, 1950).

In 1926, Annabella made her film debut at 16 with a small role in Abel Gance's Napoleon. Her first break came in 1931, when she was

hired by René Clair for the lead in his Le Million, because, he said, she bore a striking resemblance to silent star Bessie Love . Annabella was featured once again in his 1933 movie La Quatorze Juillet (July 14th). In 1935, by then one of France's most celebrated young performers, she was voted best actress at the Venice Biennale for her performance in Veille d'Armes. She journeyed to England for three movies in 1936: Under the Red Robe, Dinner at the Ritz, and the first color film made in Britain, Wings of the Morning (all released in 1937).

By the late 1930s, Annabella was one of the most sought-after actresses in continental filmmaking, working in Britain, France, Hungary, Germany, and Austria. Though Hollywood beckoned, it offered her little. She interspersed her Los Angeles sojourns with stage work, appearing in Chicago in Blithe Spirit and on Broadway in Jacobowsky and the Colonel (1944) and Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit (1946), which was directed by John Huston. Following her divorce from Tyrone Power in 1948, she returned to Europe to nurse her mother. She then retired to her farm in the French Pyrenees and volunteered for prison welfare work.


Lamparski, Richard. Whatever Became of …? 1st and 2nd Series. NY: Crown, 1967.

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