Ann Harding

Active - 1929 - 1956  |   Born - Aug 7, 1901   |   Died - Sep 1, 1981   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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American actress Ann Harding, born Dorothy Walton Gatley, spent her childhood as an "army brat" constantly moving around the U.S. and Cuba. In her late teens, she worked as a freelance script reader for the Famous Players-Lasky company. In 1921 she made her stage acting debut with the Provincetown Players of Greenwich Village; later that year she appeared on Broadway. Soon she was a well-respected leading lady on Broadway and in stock, and as a result, was signed to a movie contract with Pathe in 1929. She was a Hollywood star within a year. Especially popular with women, she was usually cast as a gentle, refined heroine. For her work in Holiday (1930) she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination. For several years she remained a top star, but her career was hurt by typecasting; again and again she appeared in sentimental tearjerkers in which she played the noble woman who makes a grand sacrifice. After marrying symphony conductor Warner Janssen, she quit making films in 1937. Five years later she returned to the screen as a character actress, going on to make a number of films over the next decade, followed by another break of several years and then one last spurt of film acting in 1956. Later she went on to star on Broadway and appear in guest-star roles on TV. Her first husband was actor Harry Bannister.

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