Paulette Goddard


"I lived in Hollywood long enough to play tennis and become a star, but I never felt it was my home." ~ Paulette

Paulette Goddard was born Pauline Marion Levy on June 3, 1910, in Long Island, New York. Her parents split up when she was a baby. She joined the Ziegfeld Follies when she was a teenager and often posed nude as a model. In 1927 she married Edgar James, a lumber company executive, but they divorced four years later. Paulette got work as an extra in movies and was chosen by producer Samuel Goldwyn to be one of his "Goldwyn Girls". She got a lot of attention when she began dating Charlie Chaplin in 1932. He cast her in his film Modern Times and they were secretly married. Their relationship was tumultuous and Paulette had short-lived affairs with composer George Gershwin and director Anatole Litvak. She desperately wanted to play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind but lost the part to Vivien Leigh when she could not prove her marriage was legal. Paulette's career really took off when she signed with Paramount pictures. She starred in a string of hits including The Cat And The Canary, Second Chorus, and Hazard.


Paulette divorced Charlie and married Burgess Meredith in 1944. That same year she was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in So Proudly We Hail. She and Burgess formed a production company and together they made the 1946 drama The Diary Of A Chambermaid. They tried to have a baby but Paulette suffered a miscarriage. By the early 1950s her marriage to Burgess was over and she was growing tired of her career. She married author Erich Maria Remarque in 1958 and began spending most of her time in Europe. Paulette was an avid art collector and had millions of dollars worth of jewels. After her husband's death in 1970 she lived a quiet life away from the spotlight. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. Paulette died on April 23, 1990 from heart failure. She is buried in a private cemetery in Ronco, Switzerland. In her will Paulette left more than twenty-million dollars to New York University.