Gorgeous actress from Hollywood’s Fantastic Age who starred in the 1930 film Common Clay and in the 1931 film THE NORMAL Law. Among her earliest performing roles is at her father’s 1916 silent film The Valley of Decision. Despite a 1951 scandal regarding her hubby, her agent, and fees of infidelity, she preserved a popular existence in film and tv through the ’60s and in to the ’70s. She was created in Palisades, NJ. Both her parents had been stage stars, and her family members traced their performing roots back again to the 18th hundred years. She starred alongside Grayson Hall in the 1960s cleaning soap opera Dark Shadows.
Date Of Birth February 27, 1910
Died December 7, 1990, Scarsdale, New York, United States
Place Of Birth Palisades Park, NJ
Height 1.63 m
Profession Movie Actress
Spouse David Wilde, Walter Wanger, Gene Markey, John Marion Fox
Children Melinda Markey, Stephanie Guest, Diana Markey, Shelley Antonia Wanger
Nominations Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Daytime Programming - Individuals
Movies Scarlet Street, The Woman in the Window, Father of the Bride, Secret Beyond the Door, Man Hunt, Suspiria, Father's Little Dividend, Little Women, The Reckless Moment, House of Dark Shadows, Trade Winds, The Woman on the Beach, Hollow Triumph, We're No Angels, Bulldog Drummond, The Macomber Affair, Me and My Gal, Confirm or Deny, There's Always Tomorrow, Disraeli, The Son of Monte Cristo, The Housekeeper's Daughter, The House Across the Bay, The Texans, Private Worlds, Desire in the Dust, Highway Dragnet, The Man I Married, Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938, Big Brown Eyes, The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, The Trial of Vivienne Ware, For Heaven's Sake, Arizona to Broadway, The Guy Who Came Back, Moby Dick, Maybe It's Love, Divorce Wars: A Love Story, The Wife Takes a Flyer, Navy Wife, Colonel Effingham's Raid, Wild Geese Calling, I Met My Love Again, Two for Tonight, Artists and Models Abroad, Green Hell, Wedding Present, Wild Girl, The Man Who Reclaimed His Head, She Wanted a Millionaire, She Couldn't Take It
TV Shows Dark Shadows, Too Young to Go Steady
Star Sign Pisces
From 1961 to 1964, Joan was romantically involved with Actor John Emery, and cared for him to the end of his final illness.
Husband Walter Wanger shot Bennett's agent, Jennings Lang, in the groin in 1951 because he discovered they were having an affair and caught them in the act in Lang's car. Wanger was convicted of attempted murder and served a four-month sentence.
Dians Productions, Bennett's production company, was named after her daughter Adrienne (a.k.a, Diana.).
At age 39, Bennett became Tinseltown's youngest and sexiest grandmother when her daughter gave birth. Marlene Dietrich, the former title holder, sent Bennett a telegram thanking her for taking the "heat off her".
Was called "Doanie" by her grandchildren because, allegedly, one of her granddaughters could not say "Joanie" when she was younger.
Granddaughter of Rose Wood and the stage actor Lewis Morrison, birth name: Morris W. Morris (1845 - 1906).
Her grandfather, Morris W. Morris (an actor known as Lewis Morrison on stage), was of English and well-off Spanish ancestry. Joan Bennett spoke of this, in detail, in her 1970 autobiography "The Bennett Playbill". Morris had also served as a lieutenant during the Civil War.
Finalist for the part of Scarlett O'Hara in the classic Gone with the Wind (1939). Vivien Leigh got the role at the last minute. However, the film's producer, David O. Selznick offered to cast her oldest daughter, Diana in the role of Bonnie Blue Butler, Rhett and Scarlett's daughter as a sort of consolation prize. Miss Bennett refused the offer. In reality, Diana, who was 11 years old at the time of the film's premiere, was way too old for the role - the part called for a toddler.
Her first grandchild, Amanda Anderson, was born in March, 1949 to daughter Diana.
Was offered the role of Beth McCarthy in Cocoon (1985). Director Ron Howard wanted to reunite co-star Don Ameche with one of his former leading ladies and he thought of Joan. Unfortunately, she was in frail health at the time and supposedly turned down the role, a decision she later regretted when "Cocoon" became one of the biggest box office hits of 1985 and spawned a sequel. The part was played by Gwen Verdon. Miss Bennett did not, in fact, turn down the role. Rather, she was talked out of taking it by her fourth husband, David Wilde. Wilde insisted that the film too closely resembled the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). He also felt that it was beneath Miss Bennett's dignity to be working under "Opie Taylor" or "Richie Cunningham".
She made five films for Fritz Lang, more than any other American actor or actress who worked with him (many actors disliked working with Lang).
She was one of only three cast members who appeared on Dark Shadows (1966) from the beginning to the end. She appeared on the first episode, June 27, 1966, as well as its last, April 2, 1971.
At the time of her death, Joan had 13 grandchildren. Her first two great-grandchildren were on the way - one of her grandsons and his wife were expecting twins.
Her 78 feature-length films include three bit parts in silents and 6 TV-movies.
Daughters: Adrienne Ralston Fox (became Diana Markey) born 20 February 1928; Melinda Markey born 27 February 1934; Stephanie Wanger, born 26 June 1943; Shelley Wanger, born 4 July 1948.
Meryl Streep can act Polish or English or Australian but she sure as hell can't act blonde.
[on Hollywood attorney Jerry Giesler] Whenever trouble arose in Hollywood, the first cry for legal help was, "Get Giesler!".
My film career faded. A man can go on playing certain roles 'til he's sixty. But not a woman. [in 1984] The "Golden Age" is gone, and with it most of the people of great taste. It doesn't seem to be any fun any more.
[about the attention she was getting as a cast member of the cult series Dark Shadows (1966)] I feel positively like a Beatle.
I don't think much of most of the films I made, but being a movie star was something I liked very much.