"I lived in Hollywood long enough to play tennis and become a star, but I never felt it was my home." - Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard was born Pauline Marion Levy on June 3, 1911, in Long Island, New York. She was a child model and joined the Ziegfeld Follies when she was just thirteen years old. Paulette married Edgar James, a lumber company executive, in 1927. They divorced four years later. Paulette got work as an extra in movies and was chosen by producer Sam Goldwyn to be one of his "Goldwyn Girls". In 1932 she met Charlie Chaplin and secretly married him. Charlie cast Paulette in his films Modern Times and The Great Dictator. Her relationship with Charlie was tumultuous and she had short-lived affairs with composer George Gershwin and director Anatole Litvak. Paulette wanted to play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind but lost the part to Vivien Leigh when she could not prove that she was legally married to Charlie. She starred in many successful films including The Women, Reap The Wild Wind, and Second Chorus.
In 1942 Paulette and Charlie divorced. Paulette married actor Burgess Meredith in 1944. That same year she was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in So Proudly We Hail. Paulette and Burgess formed a production company and made several films together including the 1946 drama The Diary Of A Chambermaid. They tried to have a baby but Paulette suffered several miscarriages. Paulette and Burgess divorced in 1950. She married author Erich Maria Remarque in 1958 and began spending much of her time in Europe. After her husband's death in 1970 Paulette lived a quiet life away from the spotlight. During the 1970s she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. Paulette died on April 23, 1990 from heart failure. She is buried in a private cemetery in Ronco, Switzerland. In her will Paulette left more than twenty-million dollars to New York University.
The Women (1939)