Tallulah Bankhead

Movie Actress

Tallulah Bankhead was born in Huntsville, Alabama, United States on January 31st, 1902 and is the Movie Actress. At the age of 66, Tallulah Bankhead biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
January 31, 1902
United States
Place of Birth
Huntsville, Alabama, United States
Death Date
Dec 12, 1968 (age 66)
Zodiac Sign
Autobiographer, Film Actor, Stage Actor, Television Actor
Tallulah Bankhead Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 66 years old, Tallulah Bankhead physical status not available right now. We will update Tallulah Bankhead's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.

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Hair Color
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Tallulah Bankhead Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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Tallulah Bankhead Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
John Emery, ​ ​(m. 1937; div. 1941)​
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Dating / Affair
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William B. Bankhead (father)
John H. Bankhead (paternal grandfather), John Hollis Bankhead II (paternal uncle), Walter W. Bankhead (cousin)
Tallulah Bankhead Life

Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was an American actress of stage and film.

Bankhead was known for her husky voice, eccentric appearance, and a witty wit.

She rose to prominence as an actress on both directions of the Atlantic, starting some of the twentieth century theater's most prominent roles in comedy and melodrama.

Bankhead made a name for herself as a flamboyant performer, and her unique voice and demeanor are often subjected to imitate and parody. Bankhead was a member of the Brockman Bankhead family, a prominent Alabama political family; her grandfather and uncle were from the United States; Senators and her father served as an 11-term member of Congress, with the final two as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Tallulah's support for liberal causes such as civil rights went against the Southern Democrats' tendency to promote a more inclusive agenda, and she often opposed her own family openly.

She made television appearances later in life. Bankhead suffered with alcoholism and opioid use, smoked around 120 cigarettes per day, and was known for her promiscuous uninhibited sex life with both male and females, with Bankhead being outspoken about her vices.

Bankhead was generous to those in need, helping many families get out of the Spanish Civil War and World War II.

In 1972, Bankhead was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1972, and in 1981, the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame was established.

Bankhead had amassed nearly 300 film, stage, television, and radio appearances as a result of her death.

Early life

Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was born in Huntsville, Alabama, to William Brockman Bankhead and Adelaide Eugenia "Ada" Bankhead (1738–1799); her great-grandfather, James Bankhead (1738–1799), was born in Ulster, Ireland, and settled in South Carolina. "Tallu" was named after her paternal grandmother, who was in turn named after Tallulah Falls, Georgia. Her father was praised from the Bankhead-and-Brockman political group, as well as Alabama's Democratic Party in general, and especially Alabama. From 1936 to 1940, her father served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Senator John H. Bankhead II's niece and granddaughter of Senator John H. Bankhead. Adelaide "Ada" Eugenia's mother, who was born in Como, Mississippi, was engaged to another man when she met William Bankhead on a trip to Huntsville to purchase her wedding gown. At first sight, the two met in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 31, 1900. Evelyn Eugenia (January 24, 1901 – May 11, 1979), the couple's first child, was born two months prematurely and suffered with vision issues.

Tallulah was born on her parents' second wedding anniversary in the second floor of what is now known as the Isaac Schiffman Building. In 1980, a marker was erected to celebrate the site, and the National Register of Historic Places was inscribed. Her mother died of blood poisoning (sepsis) on February 23, 1902. Coincidentally, her maternal grandmother died giving birth to her mother. Ada's deathbed told her sister-in-law that "take care of Eugenia, Tallulah will always be able to take care of herself." Bankhead was baptized next to her mother's coffin.

William B. Bankhead, who was devastated by his wife's death, descended on bouts of depression and alcoholism. Tallulah and her sister Eugenia were mostly raised by their paternal grandmother, Tallulah James Brockman Bankhead, at the family's home named "Sunset" in Jasper, Alabama. Bankhead was described as "very homely" and overweight as a child, but her sister was smaller and prettier. As a result, she did everything possible to attract interest and regularly sought her father's blessing. She learned how to cartwheel, often cartwheeled about the house, sang, and recalled books she had memorized after a circus performance. She was prone to yelling tantrums, rolling around the floor, and holding her breath until she was blue in the chest. To prevent these outbursts, her grandmother would often throw a bucket of water on her.

The husky voice of Bankhead (which she referred to as "mezzo-basso") was the result of persistent bronchitis as a result of childhood illness. From the start, she was known as a performer and an exhibitor, but she discovered that theatrics attracted her attention at an early age. She discovered she had a talent for mimicry, delighting her classmates by imitating the schoolteachers. Bankhead said she was seen by none other than the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, during her "first appearance." The famous brothers' birthday party was held at her grandmother's house near Montgomery, Alabama, where the guests were invited to dine. "I received the award for the top result, with an impersonation of my kindergarten teacher," Bankhead wrote.

"The judges?

Orville and Wilbur Wright are two sisters from Orville and Wilbur Wright. Bankhead also discovered a propensity for literature, memorizing poems and plays, and reciting them in a vivacious way.

The girls were difficult to handle, especially in Tallulah and Eugenia. William, their father, was working from their Huntsville home as a lawyer, suggested enrolling the children in a convent school (although she was a Methodist and her mother an Episcopalian). Both girls were enrolled in the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattanville, New York, in 1912, when Eugenia was 11 and Tallulah was 10. The girls were enrolled in a variety of schools, each one a step closer to Washington, D.C., as William's political career brought him to Washington. When Bankhead was 15, her aunt encouraged her to take more pride in her appearance by implying that she go on a diet to boost her self-confidence. Bankhead became a southern belle as a result of its transformation. However, the girls weren't really tamed by the schools, as Eugenia and Tallulah went on to have a lot of friendships and affairs throughout their lives. Eugenia was more of an old romantic who married seven times to six different guys in her lifetime, while Tallulah, a younger and even more impulsive person who pursued a career in acting, was more interested in marriage than love, although she did marry actor John Emery in 1937, a marriage that ended in divorce in 1941.

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the wife of American author and expatriate F. Scott Fitzgerald, was also childhood friends with American socialite, later novelist Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.

Personal life

Bankhead was known not only for her acting but also for her numerous affairs, persuasive personality, and witticisms like "There's more to this than meets the eye." "I'm as pure as the driven slush." She was an extrovert, outspoken, and often got naked at private parties. She said she "lived for the time being."

Bankhead, a lifelong baseball fan, whose favorite team was the New York Giants. Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare were two of the world's most influential poets, revealing her admiration for the arts in one of her most famous quotes: "There are only two geniuses in the world." But, darling, I think you'd do well to read Shakespeare first." Despite not being what might then be described as "the typical churchgoing type," bankhead was identified as an Episcopalian.

Eugenia, Bankhead's niece, lived in Chestertown, Maryland, near where Bankhead was buried.

Bankhead, a Democrat, was a member of the United States' Democrat Party, but she broke with many Southerners even more than her father. She endorsed human rights but was vehemently opposed to bigotry and segregation. Bankhead voted for Robert La Follette of the Progressive Party in the 1924 presidential election, but voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every federal election from 1928 to 1968 in order to visit her family and vote in person.

Bankhead endorsed Harry S. Truman's re-election in the 1948 presidential election. Truman not only faced resistance from the Republican Party, but also from splits to his right and to his left from within the Democratic ranks at the time. As Truman defied expectations by defeating Dewey and winning the election, bankhead is credited with helping Truman immeasurably by debasing his rival, New York governor and Republican presidential nominee Thomas E. Dewey. Bankhead was invited to attend the president's inauguration on January 20, 1949, shortly after Truman was elected. While attending the inauguration parade, she booed the South Carolina float that carried then-governor and segregationist Strom Thurmond, who had just run against Truman on the Dixiecrat ticket and split the Democratic vote by running on a racial pro-segregationist platform that ran against Truman.

Bankhead, Adlai Stevenson II in 1952, John F. Kennedy in 1960, and Eugene McCarthy in 1968, all supported Estes Kefauver in Democratic primaries and campaigns of later years. If her original pick failed to receive the nomination, bankhead will quickly switch to fundraising for the winning Democratic nominee, such as Adlai Stevenson II in 1952 and Hubert Humphrey in 1968. Truman, Kefauver, and Stevenson were close friends of Bankhead.

John Emery, a bankhead married actor, died at her father's house in Jasper, Alabama, on August 31, 1937. In May 1941, a bankhead applied for divorce in Reno, Nevada. On June 13, 1941, it was announced. "You can certainly quote me as saying there are no proposals for a remarriage," Bankhead told a reporter on the day that her divorce became irreversibly broken."

There were no children in the family, but she had four abortions before she had a hysterectomy in 1933, when she was 31. She was the godmother of Brook and Brockman Seawell, the children of her lifelong friend, actress Eugenia Rawls, and husband Donald Seawell.

In 1932, Bankhead's interview with Motion Picture magazine ignited controversy. Bankhead talked about the state of her body and her views on love, marriage, and children in the interview.

Time published a tale about it, enraging Bankhead's family. Bankhead telegraphed her father right away, promising not to speak with a magazine reporter again. Bankhead was included in the Hays Committee's "Doom Book," a list of 150 actors and actresses who were considered "unsuitable for the public" and was delivered to the studios. The heading: "Verbal Moral Turpitude" was at the top of the list, with the caption: "Verbal Moral Turpitude." Hays was branded by the woman on public in Hays "a little prick."

Following the publication of the Kinsey news, she was quoted as saying, "I found no surprises in the Kinsey study." To me, the right doctor's clinical notes were old hats. ... I've had a multitude of momentary love affairs. In a way that has not usually been tolerated, a number of these impromptu romances have climaxed. Impulsively, I go into them. Any suggestion of their tenacity is dismissed by me. When a new interest arises, I forget the jitter that goes with them.

According to Anna Thomasson's biographer, Bankhead had an affair with Rex Whistler in 1934, who lost his virginity to her at the age of 29. Thomasson referred to his as "an uncomplicated crash course in sex" and Bankhead's glamour and charisma appealed to the "insynically submissive Rex." "Miss Bankhead is in the bath with Mr Rex Whistler" in a afternoon in early 1934. "I'm just trying to say Rex I'm sure a blonde," Bankhead said down the hall.

For years, rumors of Bankhead's sex life have existed. MI5, the British domestic spy service, attempted to investigate reports that she had been seducing schoolboys at Eton College in the 1920s, but the headmaster refused to cooperate.

Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Hattie McDaniel, Beatrice Lillie, Blyth Daly, Blyth Daly, and singer Billie Holiday all linked romantically with female celebrities of the day, as well as actress Billie Holiday, as well as singer Billie Holiday. When Patsy Kelly worked for Bankhead as a personal assistant, she admitted she had a sexual relationship with the bankhead. Menotti's Menotti: A Biography of John Gruen mentions an incident in which Jane Bowles chased Bankhead around Capricorn, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Samuel Barber's Mount Kisco estate, arguing that Bankhead must play Inès, a lesbian character from Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit (which Paul Bowles had recently translated). "That lesbian!" Bankhead screamed in the toilet and kept insisting, "That lesbian!" I wouldn't know a thing about it."

Bankhead never used the word "bisexual" to describe herself, preferring instead to use the term "ambisextrous."


Tallulah Bankhead Career


Bankhead submitted her photo on September 15, and the winners were given a trip to New York plus a movie ticket from their photographers. However, she didn't bother to give her name or address with the photograph. When browsing the magazine at her local drugstore, Bankhead discovered she was one of the winners. "Who is She?" the magazine's photograph was captioned. "I'm advising the mystery girl to call the newspaper at once." William Bankhead, a congressman from Pennsylvania, wrote to the magazine with a letter containing her duplicate photograph.

Bankhead's win in New York was fleeting: she was paid $75 for three weeks on Who Loved Him Best and had only a small part in it, but she quickly found her niche in New York City. She stepped into the Algonquin Hotel, a hotspot for the cultural and literary elite of the period, where she soared into the hotel's coveted Algonquin Round Table. She was named one of the "Four Riders of the Algonquin," a group of Bankhead, Estelle Winwood, Eva Le Gallienne, and Blyth Daly. Three of the four members were non-heterosexual: Bankhead and Daly were bisexual, and Le Gallienne was a lesbian. As she arrived in New York, bankhead's mother had advised her not to drink alcohol and men, but Bankhead later claimed, "He didn't say anything about women and cocaine." The Algonquin's wild parties introduced cocaine and marijuana, of which she later said, "Cocaine isn't habit-forming, and I know because I've been taking it for years." Bankhead abstinted herself from drinking alcohol and keeping half of her promise to her father. Estelle Winwood, the Algonquin, was befriended by Bankhead. She also met Ethel Barrymore, who tried to convince her not to change her name to Barbara. Bankhead declined, and Vanity Fair later stated that "she's the only actress on both directions of the Atlantic to be recognized by her first name alone."

When Men Betray (1918), Thirty a Week (1918), and The Trap (1919), Bankhead made her stage debut in The Squab Farm in New York in 1919. She soon realized that her role was on stage rather than film, and appeared in 39 East (1921), Footloose (1921), Danger (1922), and The Exciters (1922). Despite the fact that her acting was lauded, the plays were both commercially and critically lacking. Bankhead had been in New York for five years but had yet to score a major hit. Bankhead has migrated to London, but not entirely.

She made her London debut on Wyndham's Theatre in 1923. She appeared in over a dozen plays in London over the next eight years, most notably in The Dancers and in Avery Hopwood's The Gold Diggers, Jerry Lamar. When she appeared in Sidney Howard's They Knew What They Wanted in 1924, her reputation as an actress was secure. The 1925 Pulitzer Prize was awarded to the exhibit.

Bankhead bought herself a Bentley while in London, which she adored to drive. She was not extremely savvy with directions and was often lost in the London streets. While she waited behind in her car, she'd call a taxi and ask the driver to drive to her destination. Bankhead gained a reputation for making the best out of inferior material during her eight years on stage and touring around Great Britain. For example, Bankhead wrote about Conchita's opening night in her autobiography.

Bankhead returned to the United States in 1931, but Hollywood success eluded her in her first four films of the 1930s. She rented a house on 1712 Stanley Street in Hollywood (now 1712 North Stanley Avenue) and began hosting parties that were supposed to "have no boundaries." Tarnished Lady (1931), directed by George Cukor, was Bankhead's first film, and the two became fast friends. On the set and shooting went well, Bankhead was friendly, but she found film-making to be terribly tedious, and she did not have the patience for it. She did not like living in Hollywood after more than eight years of being in the United Kingdom and performing on their television sets; when she first met producer Irving Thalberg, she asked him, "How can you get laid in this gruesome place?" "I'm positive you'll have no problem," Thalberg said. "You should ask anyone." Although Bankhead was not keen on making films, the opportunity to make $50,000 per film was too good to pass up. Devil and the Deep, her 1932 film, is notable for the presence of three main co-stars, with Bankhead getting top billing over Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, and Cary Grant; it is the only film in which Cooper and Grant appear as the film's leading men, even though they do not have any scenes together; "Dahling, the main reason I accepted [the role] was to fuck that divine Gary Cooper," she later said. Bankhead starred opposite Robert Montgomery in Faithless in 1932.

Bankhead, who subsequently starred other actresses in a string of middling plays, went on to Broadway and became a hit Hollywood film starring other actresses. Edward Barry Roberts and Frank Morgan Cavett's 1934 film version of Forsaking All Others, a romantic comedy-drama in which three friends maintain a long-running relationship, was a modest success for Bankhead, but it wasn't all positive and critical success. Both Bankhead's next two short plays, Jezebel by Owen Davis and George Brewer Jr. and Bertram Bloch, were converted into high-profile, prestigious film vehicles for Bette Davis.

But bankhead persevered, despite poor health. Bankhead almost died after a five-hour emergency hysterectomy due to gonorrhea, which she said she had contracted from either Gary Cooper or George Raft in 1933. She weighed in only 70 lb (32 kg) when she left the hospital, vowing to continue her healthy eating habits while stoically telling her doctor, "Don't think this has taught me a lesson."

Bankhead continued to appear in numerous Broadway productions over the next two years, receiving acclaim for her portrayal of Elizabeth in a revival of Somerset Maugham's The Circle. However, when she appeared in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra with her then-husband John Emery, the New York Evening Post critic screamed "Tallulah Bankhead barged down the Nile last night as Cleopatra" and "sank."

David O. Selznick, director of Gone with the Wind (1939), called Bankhead the "first choice among established actors" to play Scarlett O'Hara in the forthcoming film from 1936 to 1938. Although her 1938 screen test for the role in black-and-white was fantastic, she failed in Technicolor. Selznick later believed that at 36 years old, she was too old to play Scarlett, who is 16 at the time (the role later went to Vivien Leigh). Selznick sent Kay Brown to Bankhead to discuss the possibility that Bankhead playing brothel owner Belle Watling was in the film, but she declined.

Regina Giddens' superb portrayal of the cold and ruthless, but also a vivacious Regina Giddens in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes (1939) earned her Variety magazine's Best Actress of the Year award. Regina was hailed as "one of the most electrifying performances in American theater history" by Bankhead. She was on the front page of Life during the campaign. Both the bankhead and playwright Hellman, both adamant women, feuded over Finland's invasion by the Soviet Union. Bankhead, a strong critic of communism from the 1930s, was expected to request a portion of one's proceeds go to Finnish relief, but Hellman (a communist who was a supporter of the Moscow Trials 1936–40) protested adamantly, and the two women did not talk for the next quarter of a century, finally reconciling in late 1963. Nonetheless, Bankhead called Regina in Hellman's play "the best performance I ever had in the theater."

In another Variety award and the New York Drama Critics' Award for Best Actress, Bankhead performed Sabina, the housekeeper and temptress, opposite Fredric March and Florence Eldridge (husband and wife offstage). "Her portrayal of Sabina has comedy and zeal," the New York Sun said of her role in Wilder's masterpiece. To a mere man, how she does it all at the same time is a mystery." On The Skin of Our Teeth, she and Elia Kazan clashed, and Billy Rose, the actress, called him a "loathsome bully" who retorted, "How can anyone bully Niagara Falls?" she retorted. "Irma" is the product of a "ghostly" story.

Constance Porter, the cynical journalist, was cast in her most successful film, both historically and commercially, Lifeboat. Her remarkably diverse appearance was lauded as her best on film and received the New York Film Critics Circle Award for her outstanding work on film. "I was fabulous, I was beautiful," a beaming Bankhead said on her New York trophy.

Bankhead appeared in a revival of Nol Coward's Private Lives, first on tour and then to Broadway for the better part of two years. Bankhead earned the play a fortune. Bankhead's revenues increased from 10% to 10% and was paid more than every other actor in the film, although Estelle Winwood, a frequent co-star and close friend from the 1920s to Bankhead's lifetime, received equal treatment from her.

In 1950, when trying to cut into the ratings lead of The Jack Benny Program and The Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show, which had jumped from NBC radio to CBS radio the previous season, NBC invested millions of dollars on The Big Show, starring "the glamorous, unpredictable" Bankhead as its host, but also performed monologues (often written by Dorothy Parker) and songs. Despite Meredith Willson's Orchestra and Chorus, as well as top guest stars from Broadway, Hollywood, and radio, The Big Show, which earned rave reviews, did not do more than deny Jack Benny and Edgar Bergen's ratings. NBC's The All Star Revue's half-dozen rotating hosts took over for NBC's The All Star Revue on Saturday nights.

In the film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, director Irving Rapper's first pick for Amanda was director Irving Rapper. Amanda Taylor, who created the role of Amanda, was a fan of Bankhead's and also an alcoholic, whose stellar appearance in the original Broadway revival brought an end to years of career decline. Rapper said Bankhead's screen test was the best one he's ever seen: "I was going to be tough, but she was like a baby," she said. I was absolutely floored by her performance. It's the most difficult test I've ever made or seen in my life. I couldn't believe I was seeing such things. Bankhead was completely natural, so touching that no one was even trying to. "The crew was as stunned as well." However, studio director Jack Warner opposed the theory due to his fear of Bankhead's alcohol use, although she promised not to drink before shooting, he refused to allow her to participate. Rather, Gertrude Lawrence was given the role, although most commentators disagreed, since his behaviour was panned by most observers.

Tallulah: My Autobiography, Bankhead's best-selling autobiography. That was published in 1952 by Harper & Bros. Despite the fact that Bankhead's career slowed in the mid-1950s, she never faded from the public eye. Her public and often tumultuous personal life began to jeopardize her reputation as a good actress, prompting rumors that she had been deconstructing herself. Though she was a heavy smoker, heavy drinker, and user of sleeping pills, Bankhead continued to perform in the 1950s and 1960s on Broadway, radio, television, and occasionally in the occasional film, even as her body became more frail from the mid 1950s to her death in 1968.

In 1953, Bankhead was lured to appear in a stage performance at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. She was paid $20,000 a week for her performances, reciting scenes from famous plays, reading poetry, and letters that had the audience in stitches—and she even sang a little. Las Vegas analysts bet that she would fail, but she was a natural performer, and she returned to the Sands for three years.

Around this time, Bankhead began to attract a passionate and devoted following of gay men, some of whom she employed as a driver when her lifestyle began to take its toll on her, affectionately calling them her "caddies." Though she had long struggled with heroin, her symptoms have gotten worse – she started taking dangerous medications to fall asleep, and her maid had to tape her arms down to avoid her from taking pills during her periods of intermittent wakefulness. Bankhead's later years had serious accidents as a result of sleep deprivation and hypnotic drug use. Despite the fact that she never liked being alone, her loneliness with loneliness began to spiral into depression. "I'm 54, and I wish never, always, for death," she said while playing the truth game with Tennessee Williams. I've always wanted death. "I want more than anything else."

The Ford Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Exhibition, 1957, was perhaps the most popular and perhaps most memorable television appearance for the bankhead. In the classic episode titled "The Celebrity Next Door," Bankhead performed herself. Bette Davis had intended to appear, but Davis had to pull out after cracking a vertebra. Lucille Ball was said to be a fan of Bankhead and gave a positive representation of her. Both Ball and Desi Arnaz were seriously offended by Bankhead's behaviour during rehearsals, by the time the episode was shot. When she first landed on the set and often looked inebriated, she took three hours to "wake up." She also refused to listen to the director, and she did not like rehearsing. Ball and Arnaz were apparently unaware of Bankhead's antipathy to rehearsals or her ability to memorize a script quickly. After rehearsals, the filming of the episode went off without a hitch, and Ball congratulated Bankhead for her job.

In 1956, Bankhead appeared in Blanche DuBois (a character influenced by her) in a revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (1947). Williams had intended Bankhead to be involved in the initial project but she turned it down. Shelby Williams (they were close friends) called Blanche "the worst I have seen" while accusing her of destroying the job to please her fans who were eager for camp. She agreed with this decision and made an attempt to please the audience that had gathered around her, and when the play concluded, she rushed up to her and collapsed to my knees at her feet. The human drama, a woman's great vain, and an artist's truth, were all but diminished, and even eclipsed, to my eye, "the performance of my own play" was dominated." In the role, the director observed that her success was superior to those of Jessica Tandy and Vivien Leigh. The initial reports had influenced the project's fate, but after 15 performances, the producer pulled the plug.

Bankhead received a Tony Award for her portrayal of a strange 50-year-old mother in the short-lived Mary Coyle Chase play Midgie Purvis (1961). It was a physically demanding job, and Bankhead insisted on executing the stunts herself, including sliding down a staircase banister. She received praise for her work, but it suffered from numerous revisions and didn't last longer than a month. In The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963), Tony Richardson's last theatrical performance, she appeared in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963), a revival of another Williams play. She had sustained a serious burn on her right hand from a match exploding when she lit a cigarette, and the play was exacerbated by the importance of jewelry props. She used heavy painkillers, but these dried her throat, and most commentators believed that Bankhead's line readings were unintelligible. She appeared in five performances, including in the same unhappy theater as with Antony and Cleopatra, the nadir of her career.

Roy Plomley, one of her last radio appearances, appeared in an episode of the BBC's Desert Island Discs with her. In the interview, Bankhead, who was 62 and audibly ill from respiratory difficulties as a result of emphysema, opened up about how she would be on a desert island, admitting that she "couldn't put a key in the door." I can't do a thing for myself." Host Plomley addressed Bankhead's glory days as the most beloved actress of 1920s London. "She was a very frail and ailing old lady," he recalled later, and I was amazed to see how old and sick she looked as I helped her out of a taxi. She had arrived at her hotel wearing a mink coat slung over two pyjamas, and she leaned heavily on my arm as I assisted her to the lift. Her eyes were still beautiful, and she had a great deal of beauty in her bone structure underneath the wrinkles and ravages of hard living. Her hands were shaky, and she had to ask Monica Chapman to accompany her to help her with her clothes when she wanted to go to the loo loo.

Fanatic (1965), Britain's last motion picture, was in a British horror film. Die! was born in the United States and was marketed as Fanatic.


My Darling!, which she screamed at, was concerned that it was misusing her common catchphrase, but did not succeed in getting it changed. She apologized for "looking older than God's wet nurse" (in the film she wore no makeup and dyed her hair grey, and the director used a scathing close-ups to emphasize her age and frailty). Though her participation in the B-movie horror film was praised by critics and remains popular as a cult film and with her followers, she calls it "a piece of shit." She was paid $50,000 for her role in Fanatic. In the "Mata Hari" skit, she made her last television appearances in March 1967 as the villainous Black Widow in the Batman television series, and in the December 17, 1967, episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour comedies-variety TV series. She appeared in NBC's famous Lost Tonight Show Beatles interview, which aired on May 14, 1968. She was seated behind the interview table and alongside Joe Garagiola, who was substituted for an injured Johnny Carson, and she took an active role during the interview, questioning Paul McCartney and John Lennon. As mentioned during the interview, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were not present and were in England at the time.