Bennett, Constance (1904–1965)

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Bennett, Constance (1904–1965)

American actress and star of the original Topper series. Born in New York, New York, on October 22, 1904; died of cerebral hemorrhage in Fort Dix, NewJersey, on July 24, 1965; daughter of actor Richard Bennett and actressAdrienne Morrison ; sister of actressesBarbara Bennett (1902–1958) andJoan Bennett (1910–1990); married Chester Moorehead, in 1921 (annulled); married Philip Plant, in 1925 (divorced 1929); married Henri Falaise (the Marquis de la Coudraye), in 1931 (divorced 1940); married Gilbert Roland, in 1941 (divorced 1944?); married John Coulter, in 1946; children: (second marriage) Peter Bennett; (fourth marriage) Lorinda and Christina Consuelo ("Gyl").


The Valley of Decision (bit, 1916); Reckless Youth (1922); Evidence (1922); What's Wrong With the Women? (1922); Cytherea (1924); Into the Net (1924); The Goose Hangs High (1925); Code of the West (1925); My Wife and I (1925); My Son (1925); The Goose Woman (1925); Sally, Irene and Mary (1925); Wandering Fires (1925); The Pinch Hitter (1925); Married? (1926); This Thing Called Love (1929); Rich People (1930); Son of the Gods (1930); Common Clay (1930); Three Faces East (1930); Sin Takes a Holiday (1930); The Easiest Way (1931); Born to Love (1931); The Common Law (1931); Bought (1931); Lady With a Past (1932); What Price Hollywood (1932); Two Against the World (1932); Rockabye

(1932); Our Betters (1933); Bed of Roses (1933); After Tonight (1933); Moulin Rouge (1934); The Affairs of Cellini (1934); Outcast Lady (1934); After Office Hours (1935); Everything Is Thunder (UK, 1936); Ladies in Love (1936); Topper (1937); Merrily We Live (1938); Service De Luxe (1938); Topper Takes a Trip (1939); Tail Spin (1939); Submarine Zone (Escape to Glory, 1941); Law of the Tropics (1941); Two-Faced Woman (1941); Wild Bill Hickock Rides (1942); Sin Town (1942); Madame Spy (1942); Paris Underground (1945); Centennial Summer (1946); The Unsuspected (1947); Smart Woman Angel on the Amazon (1948); As Young As You Feel (1951); It Should Happen to You (1954); Madame X (1966).

Known as lively and headstrong, Constance Bennett, the eldest of the Bennett sisters, waltzed from her glittering debutante ball into marriage at 16, followed by a quick annulment. Her first major screen role in Cytherea (1924) led to a number of roles in the silents, but a second marriage to steamship and railroad heir Philip Plant diverted her to Europe and the swinging international set.

After the birth of her son Peter and a divorce from Plant in 1929, she returned to the States and established herself as a leading lady in her first talkie, a fast-moving comedy titled This Thing Called Love. Lending her husky voice to both sophisticated comedies and melodramatic tear-jerkers, Bennett is especially remembered for her role as the heroine of Topper (1937), with Cary Grant. She repeated her success with the 1939 sequel, Topper Takes a Trip.

Bennett made her stage debut around the time of her divorce from third husband Henri Falaise in 1940, touring in Noel Coward's comedy Easy Virtue. Other stage performances would follow, as well as two additional marriages, one to screen actor Gilbert Roland (with whom she had two children), and another to Air Force Colonel John Coulter, perhaps her happiest. In addition to performing, Bennett also tried her hand at business with a cosmetics line and "fashion frocks," for which she designed dresses. After Bennett's long absence from the screen, her final movie Madame X, made in 1964, was released after her sudden death from a brain hemorrhage in 1965.

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts

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Bennett, Constance (1904–1965)

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