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Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah Bankhead
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Augustus Edwin John, 1878 - 1961
Sitter
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead, 31 Jan 1902 - 12 Dec 1968
Date
1930
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 123.8 x 62.9cm (48 3/4 x 24 3/4")
Frame: 142.9 x 81.9 x 9.5cm (56 1/4 x 32 1/4 x 3 3/4")
Topic
Interior
Costume\Jewelry\Necklace\Pearl
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead: Female
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Television
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Honorable and Mrs. John Hay Whitney
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Estate of Augustus John
Object number
NPG.69.46
Exhibition Label
Born Huntsville, Alabama
Renowned for her sultry voice and languorous sophistication, Tallulah Bankhead exuded magnetism—“a remarkable personality with a remarkable name,” to one enchanted critic. She performed not only in America but on the London stage, where she was painted by Augustus John: “At the time, I was the toast of London and that was some toast, dahling.” She twice won the New York Drama Critics Award, as Regina in The Little Foxes in 1939, and as Sabina in The Skin of Our Teeth in 1942. In the late 1940s, Time magazine called her “the theater’s first personality.” But her career spanned the media as well: in Hollywood, she notably starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat (1944); on radio—billed as “the glamorous, unpredictable Tallulah Bankhead”—she emceed NBC’s Sunday-night The Big Show (1950–51). On television, she co-hosted All Star Review and was a popular guest on I Love Lucy and The Jack Benny Show.
Provenance
The sitter until her death; (Coe Kerr Gallery, New York); John Hay Whitney and Mrs. Whitney; gift 1969 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
Bravo!
On View
NPG, South Gallery 321 Mezzanine