Monday, May 19, 2014

Ida Lupino


Ida Lupino's association with Thelma Todd dates back to 1933, when Thelma Todd went to England and made a movie with her father Stanley.

Ida Lupino

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ida Lupino
Ida Lupino publicity.jpg
Born(1918-02-04)4 February 1918
Camberwell, London, England
Died3 August 1995(1995-08-03) (aged 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of deathStroke
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
OccupationActress, director, writer
Years active1931–1978
Spouse(s)Louis Hayward (m. 1938–45)
Collier Young (m. 1948–51)
Howard Duff (m. 1951–83)
ChildrenBridget Duff (b. 1952)
ParentsStanley Lupino
Connie Emerald
RelativesLupino Lane (uncle)
Ida Lupino (4 February 1918[2] – 3 August 1995) was an English-American film actress and director, and a pioneer among women filmmakers. In her forty-eight year career, she appeared in fifty-nine films and directed seven others, mostly in the United States, where she became a citizen in 1948. She co-wrote and co-produced some of her own films as well. She appeared in serial television programmes fifty-eight times and directed fifty other episodes. Additionally, she contributed as a writer to five films and four TV episodes.[3]

Early life and family

Lupino was born in Camberwell, London, to actress Connie O'Shea (Connie Emerald) and music hall entertainer Stanley Lupino, a member of the theatrical Lupino family. Lupino's birth year is 1918 and not 1914 as some biographies have claimed.[2][4]
Her sister, Rita Lupino, born in 1920, became an actress and dancer. During World War II she served as a Lieutenant in the Women's Ambulance and Defense Corps.[5] After taking a hiatus from appearing in films, she composed music for a short time, even having her piece “Aladdin’s Lamp" performed by the L.A. Philharmonic in 1937. She also worked briefly in radio.[6] As a girl, Ida Lupino was encouraged to enter show business by both her parents and her uncle, Lupino Lane, an acrobatic film and stage comic and director. At the age of seven Lupino wrote and starred in the play Mademoiselle for a school production.



Lupino trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for two terms and made her first film appearance in The Love Race (1931), the next year making Her First Affaire, a film her mother originally tested for.[6] She played leading roles in five British films in 1933 at Warner Bros.' Teddington studios and for Julius Hagen at Twickenham, including in The Ghost Camera with John Mills and I Lived with You with Ivor Novello. She moved to Hollywood at the end of that year for the opportunity to play the lead role in Alice in Wonderland (1933).[7]
Lupino starred in over a dozen films in the mid-1930s including The Search for Beauty. This was an international film in which Paramount Studios conceived the idea of a competition amongst the English speaking countries to select the most attractive male and female winners of those countries and a number of USA states. There was, for example a Mr and a Miss Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Scotland etc. who travelled to Hollywood to have a part in the film. The version released in New Zealand, for example, would have the New Zealand winners in it, the Australian version would have the Australian winners and so on. She worked with Columbia in a two film deal, one of which being The Light That Failed (1939), a role she had acquired after running into the director’s office unannounced and demanding an audition.[6] After this performance, she began to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress. As a result, her parts improved during the 1940s, and she described herself as "the poor man's Bette Davis"[8] as she acquired the leftover roles that Bette Davis refused.[9]
Mark Hellinger, associate producer at Warner Bros., was particularly impressed by this performance, and hired her for a role in They Drive by Night (1940), which led to a Warner Bros. contract, which she negotiated to include some free-lance rights.[6] She starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in this film and High Sierra (1941). Warner Bros. received a great amount of defiance from Lupino, who refused roles that she felt were “beneath her dignity as an actress.” As a result, she spent a great deal of her time at Warner Bros. suspended.[9] For her performance in The Hard Way (1943), she won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress. She starred in Pillow to Post (1945), which would be her only comedic role in her film history.[6] She worked regularly and was in demand throughout the 1940s without becoming a major star until later. In 1947, Lupino left Warner Bros. after refusing to renew her contract. She then moved to Columbia Pictures, where she appeared in films such as Road House and On Dangerous Ground before developing a directing career.[6]


Ida Lupino still.jpg
In the mid-1940s, while on suspension for turning down a role,[10] Lupino became interested in directing. Her time on suspension allowed her to spend her time observing the filming and editing processes, which would aid her in her directorial endeavors.[9] She described herself as being bored on set while "someone else seemed to be doing all the interesting work." She co-wrote and co-produced some of her own films as well. She and her husband Collier Young formed an independent company, The Filmakers [sic], and Lupino became a producer, director and screenwriter of low-budget, issue-oriented films.[11] This company would go on to produce twelve feature films, six of which she directed or co-directed, five of which she wrote or co-wrote, three of which she acted in, and one of which she co-produced.[12] Lupino claims she “…did not set out to be a director,”[9] but it was a reality she had to face when her first directing job came unexpectedly in 1949 when Elmer Clifton suffered a mild heart attack and could not finish Not Wanted, a film she co-produced and co-wrote.[6] Lupino stepped in to finish the film but did not take directorial credit out of respect for Clifton. Although the subject of the film was controversial, it received a vast amount of publicity. She was even invited to discuss the film with Eleanor Roosevelt on a national radio programme.[12] She went on to direct her own projects, becoming the first actress to produce, direct and write her own films.[13][14]
In an article for the Village Voice, Carrie Rickey wrote that Lupino was a model of modern feminist filmmaking, stating:
Not only did Lupino take control of production, direction and screenplay, but each of her movies addresses the brutal repercussions of sexuality, independence and dependence.[15]

Lupino (left) directing The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
After four "woman's" films about social issues – including Outrage (1950), a film about rape – Lupino directed her first hard-paced, fast-moving film, The Hitch-Hiker (1953), making her the first woman to direct a film noir. Writer Richard Koszarski noted that:
Her films display the obsessions and consistencies of a true auteur... In her films The Bigamist and The Hitch-Hiker Lupino was able to reduce the male to the same sort of dangerous, irrational force that women represented in most male-directed examples of Hollywood film noir.[16]
Lupino often joked that if she had been the "poor man's Bette Davis" as an actress, then she had become the "poor man's Don Siegel" as a director.[17] In 1952, Lupino was invited to become the "fourth star" in Four Star Productions by Dick Powell, David Niven and Charles Boyer, after Joel McCrea and Rosalind Russell had dropped out of the company.
Because she was a female director, her studio emphasized her femininity, often at the urging of Lupino herself. As one professor puts it “…Lupino’s cinematic tenure can be understood as a varied and complex attempt to control both image and image reception.” She even credited her refusal to renew her contract with Warner Bros. under the pretences of her domesticity, claiming “I had decided that nothing lay ahead of me but the life of the neurotic star with no family and no home.” She wanted to seem unthreatening in a male dominated environment, which is made clear by a statement she made in which she says, “That’s where being a man makes a great deal of difference. I don’t suppose the men particularly care about leaving their wives and children. During the vacation period the wife can always fly over and be with him. It’s difficult for a wife to say to her husband, come sit on the set and watch,” in regards to the benefit of being a male director. Although directing became Lupino’s passion, the drive for money kept her on camera, so that she could acquire the appropriate funds to make her own productions.[9]


Lupino continued acting throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Her directing efforts during these years were almost exclusively television productions such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, The Twilight Zone, Have Gun – Will Travel, Honey West, The Donna Reed Show, Gilligan's Island, 77 Sunset Strip, The Rifleman, The Virginian, Sam Benedict, The Untouchables, Hong Kong, The Fugitive and Bewitched.

Ida Lupino in It Takes a Thief, 1968
Lupino appeared in nineteen episodes of Four Star Playhouse from 1952 to 1956. From January 1957 to September 1958, Lupino starred with her then husband, Howard Duff, in the CBS sitcom Mr. Adams and Eve, in which the duo played husband and wife film stars named Howard Adams and Eve Drake, living in Beverly Hills, California. Duff and Lupino also co-starred as themselves in 1959 in one of the thirteen one-hour installments of The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour. Lupino guest-starred on numerous television programmes, including The Ford Television Theatre (1954), Bonanza (1959), Burke's Law (1963–64), The Virginian (1963–65), Batman (1968), The Mod Squad (1969), Family Affair (1969–70), The Wild, Wild West (1969), Columbo: Short Fuse (1972), Columbo: Swan Song (1974), Barnaby Jones (1974), The Streets of San Francisco, Ellery Queen (1975), Police Woman (1975) and Charlie's Angels (1977), to name a few.
She is also noted as having two distinctions with The Twilight Zone. She is the only woman to have directed an episode ("The Masks") and the only person to have served as both a director and an on-screen performer (in "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine"). She made her final film appearance in 1978 and retired at the age of 60.

Personal life

Lupino in 1979
In June 1948, Lupino became an American citizen.[1][18]


Lupino was married and divorced three times. She married actor Louis Hayward in November 1938. They separated in May 1944 and divorced in May 1945.[19][20] Her second marriage was to producer Collier Young on 5 August 1948. They divorced in 1951.[21] Lupino's third and final marriage was to actor Howard Duff, whom she married on 21 October 1951.[22] The couple had a daughter, Bridget on 23 April 1952.[23] Lupino and Duff divorced in 1983.[24]
In 1983, Lupino petitioned a California court to appoint her business manager, Mary Ann Anderson, as her conservator due to poor business dealings from her prior business management company and her long separation from Howard Duff.


Lupino died from a stroke while undergoing treatment for colon cancer in Los Angeles on 3 August 1995, at the age of 77.[25] Lupino's memoirs, Ida Lupino: Beyond the Camera, were edited after her death and published by Mary Ann Anderson.[26]


Lupino has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to the fields of television and film. They are located at 1724 Vine Street and 6821 Hollywood Boulevard. She won the inaugural Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Devil's Rain [27]


Selected credits as actress and/or director
TitleYearAs actressRoleAs directorNotes
Love Race, TheThe Love Race1931YesMinor supporting role
Her First Affaire1932YesAnne
Ghost Camera, TheThe Ghost Camera1933YesMary Fulton
High Finance1933YesJill
Money for Speed1933YesJane
I Lived with You1933YesAda Wallis
Prince of Arcadia1933YesThe Princess
Search for Beauty1934YesBarbara Hilton
Come on Marines1934YesEsther Smith-Hamilton
Ready for Love1934YesMarigold Tate
Paris in Spring1935YesMignon de Charelle
Smart Girl1935YesPat Reynolds
Peter Ibbetson1935YesAgnes
Fiesta de Santa Barbara, LaLa Fiesta de Santa Barbara1935YesHerself
Anything Goes1936YesHope Harcourt
One Rainy Afternoon1936YesMonique Pelerin
Yours for the Asking1936YesGert Malloy
Gay Desperado, TheThe Gay Desperado1936YesJane
Sea Devils1937YesDoris Malone
Let's Get Married1937YesPaula Quinn
Artists and Models1937YesPaula Sewell/Paula Monterey
Fight for Your Lady1937YesMarietta
Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, TheThe Lone Wolf Spy Hunt1939YesVal Carson
Lady and the Mob, TheThe Lady and the Mob1939YesLila Thorne
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, TheThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes1939YesAnn Brandon
Light That Failed, TheThe Light That Failed1939YesBessie Broke
Screen Snapshots Series 18, No. 61939YesHerselfPromotional short film
They Drive by Night1940YesLana Carlsen
High Sierra1940YesMarie
Sea Wolf, TheThe Sea Wolf1941YesRuth Webster
Out of the Fog1941YesStella Goodwin
Ladies in Retirement1941YesEllen Creed
Life Begins at Eight-Thirty1942YesKathy Thomas
Forever and a Day1943YesJenny
Hard Way, TheThe Hard Way1943YesMrs. Helen Chernen
Thank Your Lucky Stars1943YesHerself
In Our Time1944YesJennifer Whittredge
Hollywood Canteen1944YesHerself
Pillow to Post1945YesJean Howard
Devotion1946YesEmily Brontë
Man I Love, TheThe Man I Love1947YesPetey Brown
Deep Valley1947YesLibby Saul
Escape Me Never1947YesGemma Smith
Road House1948YesLily Stevens
Lust for Gold1949YesJulia Thomas
Not Wanted1949Yes
Never Fear1949Yes
Woman in Hiding1950YesDeborah Chandler Clark
Outrage1950YesCountry Dance AttendeeYes
Hard, Fast and Beautiful1951YesSeabright Tennis Match SupervisorYes
On the Loose1951YesNarrator
On Dangerous Ground1952YesMary Malden
Beware, My Lovely1952YesMrs. Helen Gordon
Hitch-Hiker, TheThe Hitch-Hiker1953Yes
Jennifer1953YesAgnes Langley
Bigamist, TheThe Bigamist1953YesPhyllis MartinYes
Private Hell 361954YesLilli Marlowe
Women's Prison1955YesAmelia van Zandt
Big Knife, TheThe Big Knife1955YesMarion Castle
While the City Sleeps1956YesMildred Donner
Strange Intruder1956YesAlice Carmichael
The Twilight Zone1959YesBarbara Jean TrentonEpisode: The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine
Bonanza1959YesAnnie O'TooleEpisode: The Saga of Annie O'Toole
Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour1959YesHerselfEpisode: Lucy's Summer Vacation
The Twilight Zone1964YesEpisode: The Masks
Bewitched1965YesEpisode: A is for Aardvark
Trouble with Angels, TheThe Trouble with Angels1966Yes
Junior Bonner1972YesElvira Bonner
The Strangers in 7A1972YesIris Sawyer
Devil's Rain, TheThe Devil's Rain1975YesMrs. Preston
Food of the Gods, TheThe Food of the Gods1976YesMrs. Skinner
Charlie's Angels1977YesGloria GibsonTV series
My Boys are Good Boys1978YesMrs. Morton


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Donati, William (1996). Ida Lupino. University Press of Kentucky. p. 143. ISBN 0-813-11895-6. 
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b Recorded in Births Mar 1918 Camberwell Vol. 1d, p. 1019 (Free BMD). Transcribed as "Lupine" in the official births index
  3. Jump up ^ Ida Lupino at the Internet Movie Database
  4. Jump up ^ Acker, Alley, Reel Women - Pioneers of the Cinema, The Continuum Publishing Company, 1991, p. 75, ISBN 0-8264-0499-5
  5. Jump up ^ "Partners in Winning the War: American Women in WWII". National Women's History Museum. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Hagen, Wagner, Ray, Laura (2004). Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc. pp. 103–114. ISBN 978-0-7864-1883-1. 
  7. Jump up ^ Ida Lupino TCM biography. Accessed 4 July 2011.
  8. Jump up ^ Katz, Ephraim; Fred Klein, Ronald Dean Nolan (1998). The Film Encyclopedia (3rd Edition ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. p. 858. ISBN 0-06-273492-X. 
  9. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Orgeron, Marsha (2008). Hollywood Ambitions. Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press. pp. 170–179. ISBN 978-0-8195-6864-9. 
  10. Jump up ^ Rickey, Carrie, "Lupino Noir," Village Voice, October 29 - November 4, 1980, p. 43
  11. Jump up ^ Acker, pp. 75
  12. ^ Jump up to: a b Hurd, Mary (2007). Women Directors & Their Films. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. pp. 9–13. ISBN 0-275-98578-4. 
  13. Jump up ^ Acker, p. 75
  14. Jump up ^ "Never Fear" (1949) would be the first film she would receive directorial credit for. Hagen, Wagner, Ray, Laura (2004). Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc. pp. 103–114. ISBN 978-0-7864-1883-1. 
  15. Jump up ^ Rickey, VV, p. 43, as quoted in Reel Women by Acker, p. 76
  16. Jump up ^ Koszarski, Richard, Hollywood Directors, New York: Oxford University Press, 1976 ISBN 0-19-502085-5 (0-19-502085-5)
  17. Jump up ^ Wood, Bret. "Outrage (1950)". Turner Classic Movies Online. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  18. Jump up ^ O'Dell, Cary (1997). Women Pioneers in Television: Biographies of Fifteen Industry Leaders. McFarland. p. 175. ISBN 0-786-40167-2. 
  19. Jump up ^ "Ida Lupino, Louis Hayward Admit Separation". San Jose Evening News. 19 July 1944. p. 11. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  20. Jump up ^ "Actress Ida Lupino Files Suit For Divorce". St. Petersburg Times. 5 May 1945. p. 13. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  21. Jump up ^ "Ida Lupino To Seek Divorce From Producer". Toledo Blade. 3 September 1951. p. 2. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  22. Jump up ^ "Actress Ida Lupino Wed to Howard Duff". Eugene Register-Guard. 22 October 1951. p. 4. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  23. Jump up ^ "Ida Lupino Mother of 4-LB. Daughter". The Times-News. 26 April 1952. p. 9. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  24. Jump up ^ "Actress, director Lupino dies". The Daily Courier. 6 August 1995. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  25. Jump up ^ "Ida Lupino, 77; Actress, Pioneer Director". Albany Times. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  26. Jump up ^ "Ida Lupino: Beyond the Camera - New from BearManor Media". Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  27. Jump up ^ "The Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror Films". Saturn Awards. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 

External links

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Ida Lupino's association with Thelma Todd began in England in 1933, when Thelma Todd made the movie YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU with her father.

 Ida Lupino continued to associate with Thelma Todd after arriving in the United States. According to the authorities, Ida and Stanley Lupino were among the last people who saw Thelma Todd alive, because they were the ones who were throwing the party for her at the Trocadero.

Ida Lupino and her father in 1936

Ida Lupino's testimony before the Grand Jury was said to lend credence to the suicide theory, a theory considered doubtful by the Grand Jury foreman. But in his book THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THELMA TODD, William Donati said she later changed her story. "Certain people were incriminating a man, who did not murder her at all, and she did not commit suicide... she had just gone into the garage... you get carbon monoxide and you go..."

Murder by carbon monoxide would also be part of a movie Ida Lupino made in 1940.


George Raft, Ida Lupino, Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart. 

This story involves Ida Lupino's character killing her husband with carbon monoxide in order to be free to marry George Raft. When she learns of his plans to marry Ann Sheridan, she tries to put the blame on him. The trial ends with her going insane on the witness stand and confessing to her own guilt, clearing Raft.

 This business was lifted from the 1935 movie BORDERTOWN, which starred Bette Davis and Margaret Lindsay. Some people wondered if the death of Thelma Todd could have been a "copycat murder" inspired by this movie. By coincidence, Margaret Lindsay was also at the Trocadero on the night of Thelma's last party. Lindsay was going with Pat DiCicco, who was Thelma's ex-husband. DiCicco had asked for an invitation, and, while he came to the Trocadero, he remained away from table at which Thelma sat with the Lupinos.

Pat DiCicco was also associated with one of the stars of THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT, George Raft. Both had connections to the New York underworld.

In 1966, Ida Lupino appeared on the BATMAN series with Howard Duff, who she was married to at the time. The character of Batman was created by Bob Kane, who said the character was partly inspired by Roland West's movie THE BAT WHISPERS.

Batman And Me:

"The Entrancing Doctor Cassandra" ( BATMAN episode ):

Thelma Todd and Ida Lupino - Donati's Ida Lupino book:

Newspaper article:,147249



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