Rose Hobart

Active - 1930 - 1949  |   Born - May 1, 1906   |   Died - Aug 29, 2000   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Crime, Horror

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The daughter of a cellist with the New York Symphony, Rose Hobart's first brush with the arts was a model for several Woodstock-based artists like George Bellows. Splitting her time with her divorced parents, Hobart was educated in boarding schools all over the country. At 15, she began her stage career as a performer in the Chautaqua tent-show circuit. During the 1920s, she appeared on stage with such notables as Eva Le Gallienne, Noel Coward and Ina Claire; in 1929, she replaced Katharine Hepburn in the first Broadway staging of Death Takes a Holiday. She came to films in 1930, once again as a replacement, this time for Janet Gaynor in Frank Borzage's production of Liliom. Many of her leading lady roles were decorative but colorless (e.g. the "good" girl in 1931's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde); she became a much more fascinating screen presence when she began portraying spiteful other women, castrating wives and subtle villainesses. After 1949's Bride of Vengeance, Rose Hobart was involuntarily retired from films, the victim of the Hollywood blacklist; she spent the rest of her professional life as an acting counselor, and in 1995 -- at the age of 88 -- published her memoirs, A Steady Digression to a Fixed Point.

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