Born Lily Claudette Chauchoin, September 13, 1905 (some sources say 1903), inParis, France; died July 30, 1996, in Bridgetown, Barbados. Actress. Colbertgained wide acclaim as an actress of stage and screen, portraying earthy, yet sophisticated leading ladies. Born in Paris, she moved with her family to New York City in 1910. While attending high school, she studied fashion designat the Art Students League. She met playwright Anne Morrison and landed a part in the production of The Wild Westcotts in 1923, at the playwright's urging. Colbert appeared in several other plays before making her film debut in the silent film For the Love of Mike in 1927. In total, she made sixty-four films, including a series of wartime films, such as Since You Went Away, about life on the homefront, and So Proudly We Hail, detailing the Army Nursing Corps during the Battle of Bataan. Her other films included The Egg and I, DrumsAlong the Mohawk, The Sign of the Cross, I Cover the Waterfront, Imitation ofLife, Three Came Home, and Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra. She received an Academy Award for her performance in the 1934 release of It Happened One Night.The film won five Oscars that year including best picture and best actor forClark Gable. Colbert also made several television appearances, including Blithe Spirit, The Royal Family, and The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (for which she was awarded a Golden Globe). In 1981 Colbert returned to Broadway in A Talent forMurder. Her earlier work on the stage included Tin Pan Alley, The Kingfisher,The Mulberry Bush, and A Kiss in the Taxi. In 1989 she was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.