Paulette Goddard was a model, stage actress, and film actress who was noted for her vibrant personality and exceptional acting abilities. Paulette Goddard did not have a particularly idyllic childhood. Her parents divorced, and she was raised solely by her mother. She dropped out of school early to help her mother.
Goddard began modelling at the age of ten to help support her mother and herself, working for Saks Fifth Avenue and Hattie Carnegie. Her great uncle, Charles Goddard, the owner of the American Druggists Syndicate, was a significant influence in her youth. He was instrumental in Goddard’s career, having introduced her to Broadway mogul Florenz Ziegfeld.
Goddard made her stage debut as a dancer in Ziegfeld’s summer extravaganza, “No Foolin,” in 1926, and it was also the first time she performed under the stage name Paulette Goddard. She made her cinema debut in the Laurel and Hardy short film Berth Marks, in which she played an uncredited role (1929). She made her film debut in 1932 as a Goldwyn Girl in Samuel Goldwyn’s “The Kid from Spain” and went on to work with Hal Roach on several uncredited supporting roles over the next few years. She appeared in twenty films during the 1930s.
Goddard was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the 1943 film ‘So Proudly We Hail!’. Although she didn’t win, it solidified her position as a top draw. During the 1940s, her career graph saw a steep rise as she appeared in a variety of films, including ‘Pot o’ Gold,’ ‘The Lady Has Plans,’ and ‘So Proudly We Hail!’’, ‘The Diary of a Chambermaid,’ and ‘Unconquered.’ Her film career also included minor roles in B-grade films during the 1940s and 1950s.
Goddard took a long break from acting before returning to the silver screen in ‘Time of Indifference,’ her last film, despite appearing in a small role in the made-for-television movie ‘The Snoop Sisters’ in 1972.
During the mid-1950s, Paulette Goddard transitioned to television, appearing in shows such as ‘The Ford Television Theatre,’ ‘Climax!’ ‘Producers’ Showcase,’ and a television remake of ‘The Women.’ She also performed in the summer stock productions of ‘Waltz of the Toreadors’ and ‘Laura.’
Paulette Goddard’s spouses
When Goddard was 17 years old, she married Edgar James, a significantly older lumber tycoon. The marriage was short-lived, lasting only two years. In 1932, she met Charlie Chaplin, and the two hit it off right away. Their romance became a hot topic in Hollywood gossip columns and the media. They married secretly in China as well. Goddard obtained a Mexican divorce and a $1 million settlement after the two divorced in 1942.
Goddard married Erich Maria Remarque, a German novelist, in 1958, and the couple stayed married until Remarque died in 1970. Following Remarque’s death, she acquired his wealth and property in Europe, including a substantial collection of contemporary art, and spent the rest of her life in her opulent Swiss residence.
Paulette Goddard’s death
In the mid-1970s, Goddard was diagnosed with breast cancer and received effective treatment with invasive surgery. She developed emphysema due to her heavy smoking and died of heart failure on April 23, 1990, at 79. She is interred alongside Remarque and her mother in the Ronco Village Cemetery.
Below are some glamorous photos of young Paulette Goddard from her life and career.