Yes, she almost played Scarlett in Gone With the Wind.
Paulette Goddard was one of the top stars of the 1940s. AND she managed to marry very interesting men. But how much do you really know about her life and career?
To find out, we hope you took our Monday Quiz yesterday (to refresh, check out the questions in one blog below). Ok, here we go with the answers:
1) Answer: c) Goddard, then a teenaged chorus girl, was perched onstage on a cutout of the moon being serenaded by the baritone leading man of the 1927 musical Rio Rita, a Flo Ziegfeld production. The odd setting and Goddard’s physical attributes caught attention of audiences, and Paulette was soon cast in four short Ziegfeld films. It was the beginning.
2) Answer: c) Paulette emerged from her first marriage, to socialite Edgar James, with a cool $100,000. In today’s dollars the take would be worth about $1.3 million. Not a bad haul for a woman not yet 22.
3) Answer: d) Charlie Chaplin certainly enjoyed Goddard’s physical attributes, but he was deeply impressed by her cool business sense, an attribute not usually found in young starlets.
4) Answer: Goddard did NOT appear with Chaplin in a) Monsieur Verdoux and in c) Limelight. Her services could have been nicely used, especially in the latter.
5) Answer: We don’t believe this question has been definitively settled but the best guess is that Chaplin and Goddard were married on a whirlwind world tour in (b) 1936 in China. He was husband No. 2.
6) Answer: b) George Gershwin. He met Goddard at a late Thirties dinner party, and fell hard. Said Gershwin’s pal, Oscar Levant: the composer fell madly in love with Paulette. He was more in love than I’d ever seen him. The romance eventually fizzled, and Gershwin never made it to the ranks of Paulette’s husbands — in order, 1) James; 2) Chaplin; 3) Burgess Meredith and see below for the identity of No. 4.
7) Answer: c) Clark Gable. He and Goddard had an affair in the late Forties when her career was ebbing as was her marriage to actor Meredith. But Gable, known for being notoriously cheap, would not commit. He insisted that he and Paulette were merely good friends. That they remained.
8) Answer: b) German novelist Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front) married Paulette in 1958, husband No. 4. He was a wealthy sophisticate, had been around the block several times (featuring romances with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich) and wanted to settle down. By all accounts, it was a contented union which lasted until his death in 1970.
9) Answer: c) Paulette had a slightly receding hairline hidden by coiffures that largely covered the top of her broad forehead.
10) Answer: a) True. That indiscreet cinematographer was referring to Cecil B. DeMille’s historical adventure Unconquered, a big hit of the 1947 season. The “young” leads were Goddard (then in her mid Thirties) and Gary Cooper (then 46). The cinematographer had a point.