Tuesday, May 30, 2017

10 Things You May Not Know About Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino (1918 – 1995) was a London-born actress and director; she became an American citizen in 1948. As a contract player at Warner Brothers, Lupino starred opposite some of their top male stars, including Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, and John Garfield. In the late 1940s she embarked on a career as a director and independent filmmaker.

Ida Lupino, Raoul Walsh, and Humphrey Bogart on the set of High Sierra

1. Her parents both had theatrical backgrounds; her father’s family’s theatrical roots date back to the Italian Renaissance.

2. She was signed to a five-year contract with Paramount Pictures in 1933 where she was dubbed “the English Jean Harlow.”

3. Wanting to be more than just a pretty face, Lupino begged director William A. Wellman to test her for the role of Bessie Broke in The Light That Failed (1939).

4. She next played the femme fatale role in They Drive by Night (1940) where she stole the picture from such established stars as George Raft, Ann Sheridan, and Humphrey Bogart.

Beautiful color studio publicity photo of Ida Lupino
5. In 1941 she starred in three movies: The Sea Wolf costarring Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield, Out of the Fog costarring with Garfield again, and Ladies in Retirement costarring with her then husband, Louis Hayward.

6. During her years as a film director, she was a pioneer of product placement to help with financing.

7. She directed dozens of television episodes for popular series, during the 1950s and 1960s, including The Donna Reed Show, 77 Sunset Strip, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Have Gun Will Travel, Thriller, The Fugitive, Dr. Kildare, The Twilight Zone, and Bewitched. She is the only woman to have directed an episode of the original Twilight Zone and star in one as well.

8. Lupino learned about directing and other behind-the-scenes aspects of filmmaking while she was on suspension at Warner Brothers. When an actor under studio contract turned down a movie role, they were put on suspension. They received no salary during the time the movie they refused to act in was in production. Instead of sitting at home, Lupino visited movie sets and befriended directors like Raoul Walsh and Don Siegel.

Ida Lupino (third from left) on the set of The Trouble With Angels with Rosalind Russell (second from left)

9. She won the National Board of Review award for Best Actress in 1941 (High Sierra and Ladies in Retirement) and 1942 (Moontide) and a New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1943 (The Hard Way), but she was never nominated for an Academy Award.

10. Her last directing job was for the 1966 comedy The Trouble With Angels starring Rosalind Russell and Haley Mills.

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