Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ida Lupino (1918-1995)

The London born actress got her start on the London stage after getting noticed by a stage producer when she came to an audition for her actress mother.  She made her way to Hollywood soon after at the age of 18 working as an extra then getting noticed for her small part in "Peter Ibbetson" 1935 starring Gary Cooper and Ann Harding.  After appearing in "The Light That Failed" 1939 starring Ronald Coleman and Walter Houston Ida was cast for romantic leads beginning in the 1940's after the studio had her change her dark brown hair to bleach blonde.

with Humphrey Bogart looking like the perfect gangster's dame

She starred in the action adventure film "The Sea Wolf" 1941 opposite Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield then in "High Sierra" that same year opposite the great Humphrey Bogart. It would be hard to not get overshadowed by such great actors and Hollywood icons but Ida held her own and received great reviews playing a tough, no nonsense woman in both films. She married South African born actor/director Louis Hayward in 1938.  They divorced in 1945 then she remarried in 1948 to Collier Young who was also an actor before going on to direct many television shows. They divorced in 1951.

with co-star Humphrey Bogart in "High Sierra" 1941

During the 1940's good roles were hard to get with so many young starlets competing for just a few female roles. Ida went on to star in few not so memorable films throughout the 1940's for Warner Brothers before leaving the studio and free lancing on her own without a studio contract. At the end of the decade Ida tried her hand behind the camera directing films hence paving the way for future female directors in Hollywood.  She co-wrote and directed "Not Wanted" 1949 and a few not so memorable melodramas during the early 1950's before directing for television all while appearing in several films throughout the decade.

         with Errol Flynn in "Escape me Never" 1947

click personal check from my collection and photo's for a larger view

Ida appeared in several television series during the late 1950's and 1960's while also directing. She can be seen in several episodes  of  "The Twilight Zone", "Bonanza", "Death Valley Days", "The Virginian" and "Batman".  Two noteworthy television shows that she directed a few episodes of are "The Fugitive" and "The Untouchables".  She married for a third time to actor Howard Duff shortly after her second divorce in 1951. He can be seen in the prime time drama "Flamingo Road" and "Felony Squad" during the 1960's then in "Knotts Landing" during the early 1970's.  They divorced in 1984 and had one daughter together.

Ida passed away from a stroke while being treated for cancer in 1995.  She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale Ca. right beside actor Errol Flynn.  Her grave site can be viewed HERE.  She appeared in over 50 films and over 30 television shows during her career.

Interesting Ida Lupino Facts:

She was the second woman to be admitted to The Directors Guild.

At the age of ten she asked her father to create a working theater for her and her sister. By the time it was completed it had an elaborate stage with working lights, a pit and seating for 100.

She's wildly respected within the film industry as a pioneer for female filmmakers.

She is the only woman to have directed an episode of "The Twilight Zone".

Her highest pay for a film role was $40,000 for "Out of the  Fog" in 1941.

She starred opposite her third husband Howard Duff in the television sitcom "Mr. Adams And Eve" 1957.

Her sister Rita Lupino appeared in several of Ida's films where she directed.

Personal Quotes:

About Jack Warner who offered her a four year contract that she turned down she said "I don't want to be told one day that I am being replaced by some young starlet the way I was told I would be replacing Bette." (Bette Davis was having contract disputes and walked away from her contract fleeing to Europe until she was sued by her studio. Bette won the lawsuit paving the way for other actresses who had been under sole obligation to one studio and loaned out for parts against their liking.

Ida quoted "The beautiful thing about Warner Bro's, while I was there I worked with great people, great directors, writers and actors and when I left not one person said goodbye.

Thanks for stopping by,

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