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Ann Harding

Ann Harding

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Also Known As: Dorothy Walton Gatley Died: September 1, 1981
Born: August 7, 1901 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Fort Sam Houston, Texas, USA Profession: actor, script reader, insurance clerk

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Established Broadway lead who landed a contract in 1929 with Pathe (very soon thereafter part of RKO) and starred in a series of soap operas through the mid-1930s, most typically as suffering heroines who must make noble sacrifices for the men they love. With her ash-blonde hair usually swept back into a bun, the patrician Harding brought a gentle, serene strength to such worthy star vehicles as "When Ladies Meet" (1933) and "The Life of Vergie Winters" (1934) but fared less well in such awkward efforts as "Devotion" (1931) and "Enchanted April" (1935). Ideal for the philosophical sophistication of playwright Phillip Barry, Harding shone in fine adaptations of two of Barry's best comedy-drama talkfests: "Holiday" (1930), for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress, and "The Animal Kingdom" (1932). Two of her best films came late in her reign as a star: the haunting, almost surreal love story "Peter Ibbetson" (1935, opposite Gary Cooper) and the taut suspense melodrama "Love from a Stranger" (1937, with Basil Rathbone).

Established Broadway lead who landed a contract in 1929 with Pathe (very soon thereafter part of RKO) and starred in a series of soap operas through the mid-1930s, most typically as suffering heroines who must make noble sacrifices for the men they love. With her ash-blonde hair usually swept back into a bun, the patrician Harding brought a gentle, serene strength to such worthy star vehicles as "When Ladies Meet" (1933) and "The Life of Vergie Winters" (1934) but fared less well in such awkward efforts as "Devotion" (1931) and "Enchanted April" (1935). Ideal for the philosophical sophistication of playwright Phillip Barry, Harding shone in fine adaptations of two of Barry's best comedy-drama talkfests: "Holiday" (1930), for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress, and "The Animal Kingdom" (1932). Two of her best films came late in her reign as a star: the haunting, almost surreal love story "Peter Ibbetson" (1935, opposite Gary Cooper) and the taut suspense melodrama "Love from a Stranger" (1937, with Basil Rathbone).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956) Mrs. Helen Hopkins
2.
 I've Lived Before (1956) Jane Stone
3.
 Strange Intruder (1956) Mary Carmichael
4.
 The Unknown Man (1951) Stella Mason
5.
 The Magnificent Yankee (1951) Fanny Bowditch Holmes
6.
 Two Weeks with Love (1950) Katherine Robinson
7.
 Christmas Eve (1947) "Aunt Matilda" [Reid]
8.
 It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947) Mary O'Connor
9.
 Janie Gets Married (1946) Lucile Conway
10.
 Those Endearing Young Charms (1945) Mrs. Brandt
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Spent much of her youth moving from one military base to another in the US and Cuba with her mother and father, a career Army officer
:
Worked as an insurance clerk when her family moved to New York; moonlighted as a script reader for the Famous Players-Lasky Company
1921:
Made stage acting debut with the Provincetown Players of Greenwich Village; made it to Broadway the same year
1923:
Was associated with the Hedgerow Theatre in Pennsylvania; appeared in inaugural production of "Candida"
1929:
Began as a film actress at Pathe (soon to be absorbed into RKO) with a leading role in "Paris Bound" opposite fellow newcomer from the stage Fredric March; immediately became a popular star
1936:
Contract dropped by RKO
1937:
Last starring role, in "Love from a Stranger", made in Britain
1942:
Returned to films after a five-year absence to play opposite Edward Arnold in "Eyes in the Night"
1956:
Appeared in last feature film, "Strange Intruder"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Bryn Mawr College: Bryn Mawr , Pennsylvania -

Notes

Harding received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress for her starring role in the 1930 screen adaptation of Philip Barry's play "Holiday" (in the role Katharine Hepburn would essay in the better 1938 remake).

Ann Harding was reportedly responsible for naming the Hedgerow Theatre by quiping "we will perform theater if we have to do it in the hedgerows".

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Harry Bannister. Actor. Married October 21, 1926, divorced 1932; acted in support of Harding in "Her Private Affair" (1929) and "The Girl of the Golden West" (1930).
husband:
Werner Janssen. Symphony conductor. Married 1937, divorced 1962; adopted Grace Kaye with Ann Harding.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Jane Bannister. Father Harry Bannister.
daughter:
Grace Kaye Janssen. Adoptive father Werner Janssen.

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