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Willoughby Goddard

Willoughby Goddard

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Amiable, effervescent leading lady, in Hollywood from 1929 but virtually unknown until she very touchingly played a waif opposite second husband Charles Chaplin in "Modern Times" (1936). Goddard was one of the final contenders for the much sought-after role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" (1939) but ultimately lost out to Vivien Leigh. (One story has it that a possible scandal surrounding her marital status with Chaplin may have kept her from getting the role.) Goddard, an extremely pretty and vivacious brunette, nevertheless became a popular favorite in comedy and period melodrama, remaining a top star at Paramount throughout the 1940s. She is best known as part of George Cukor's all-star distaff ensemble in the riotous "The Women" (1939) and as Bob Hope's co-star in the enjoyable horror comedies "The Cat and the Canary" (1939) and "The Ghost Breakers" (1940). Besides the Chaplin and Cukor films, probably Goddard's finest performance is to be found in Mitchell Leisen's nicely judged and handsomely designed reworking of the "Pygmalion" myth, "Kitty" (1945). She also appeared in several films opposite her third husband, actor Burgess Meredith, including Jean Renoir's striking and offbeat...

Amiable, effervescent leading lady, in Hollywood from 1929 but virtually unknown until she very touchingly played a waif opposite second husband Charles Chaplin in "Modern Times" (1936). Goddard was one of the final contenders for the much sought-after role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" (1939) but ultimately lost out to Vivien Leigh. (One story has it that a possible scandal surrounding her marital status with Chaplin may have kept her from getting the role.) Goddard, an extremely pretty and vivacious brunette, nevertheless became a popular favorite in comedy and period melodrama, remaining a top star at Paramount throughout the 1940s. She is best known as part of George Cukor's all-star distaff ensemble in the riotous "The Women" (1939) and as Bob Hope's co-star in the enjoyable horror comedies "The Cat and the Canary" (1939) and "The Ghost Breakers" (1940).

Besides the Chaplin and Cukor films, probably Goddard's finest performance is to be found in Mitchell Leisen's nicely judged and handsomely designed reworking of the "Pygmalion" myth, "Kitty" (1945). She also appeared in several films opposite her third husband, actor Burgess Meredith, including Jean Renoir's striking and offbeat "The Diary of a Chambermaid" (1946). After making several poor films in the later 40s, Goddard found that her star status had slipped; she and Paramount parted company in 1949 and she continued on for another five years in low-budget fare including "Babes in Bagdad" (1952) and "Vice Squad" (1953). A sharp-witted and alert woman reportedly much admired by H.G. Wells and other intellectuals, Goddard wed her last spouse, novelist Erich Maria Remarque, in the 50s, a union that would last until his death. She made her final screen appearance, following a ten-year absence, in the Italian production "A Time of Indifference" (1964).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) School Reverend
3.
 Laughter in the Dark (1969) Colonel
4.
5.
 The Wrong Box (1966) James White Wragg
6.
 Double Bunk (1961) Prospective purchaser
7.
 The Millionairess (1961) President
8.
 The Secret Partner (1961) Hotelkeeper
9.
 Green Man, The (1956)
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