known for her husky voice, outrageous personality, and devastating wit.
Originating some of the 20th century theater's preeminent roles in comedy and
melodrama, she gained acclaim as an actress on both sides of the Atlantic.
Bankhead became an icon of the tempestuous, flamboyant actress, and her
unique voice and mannerisms are often subject to imitation and parody.
Primarily an actress of the stage, Bankhead did have one hit on film—Alfred
Hitchcock's Lifeboat—as well as a brief but successful career on radio. She
later made appearances on television as well.
In her personal life, Bankhead struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction,
and was infamous for her uninhibited sex life. Bankhead was capable of great
kindness and generosity to those in need, supporting disadvantaged foster
children and helping several families escape the Spanish Civil War and World
Bankhead died in 1968 at the age of 66. Upon her death, she had amassed
nearly 300 film, stage, television, and radio roles.