Constance Cummings
Constance Cummings, CBE (May 15, 1910 November 23, 2005) was an American-born British actress, known for her work on both screen and stage.

Born Constance Halverstadt in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of Dallas Vernon Halverstadt, a lawyer, and his wife, Kate Logan Cummings, a concert soprano. she began as a stage actress, landing her first role on Broadway by the age of 18. While appearing on Broadway, she was discovered by Samuel Goldwyn
Samuel Goldwyn
Samuel Goldwyn was an American film producer, and founding contributor executive of several motion picture studios.-Biography:...

, who brought her to Hollywood in 1931. Between 1931 and 1934, Cummings appeared in more than twenty films, including the Harold Lloyd
Harold Lloyd
Harold Clayton Lloyd, Sr. was an American film actor and producer, most famous for his silent comedies....

 films Movie Crazy
Movie Crazy
- Plot :Harold Hall, a young man with little or no acting ability, desperately wants to be in the movies.After a mix-up with his application photograph, he gets an offer to have a screen-test, and goes off to Hollywood. At the studio, he does everything wrong and causes all sorts of trouble...

and American Madness
American Madness
American Madness is a 1932 American film directed by Frank Capra and starring Walter Huston as a New York banker embroiled in scandal. The story thematically anticipates Capra's 1946 classic It's a Wonderful Life, in which Capra repeats the "run on the bank" scene...

, directed by Frank Capra
Frank Capra
Frank Russell Capra was a Sicilian-born American film director. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was six, and eventually became a creative force behind major award-winning films during the 1930s and 1940s...


She was married to the playwright and screenwriter Benn Levy
Benn Levy
Benn Wolfe Levy was a Labour Party Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom...

 (MBE) from 1933 until his death in 1973. Cummings was uncomfortable in Hollywood and moved to England, where she continued acting, both in movies and on the stage. Few of her films were hits in the U.S., although Blithe Spirit
Blithe Spirit (film)
Blithe Spirit is a British fantasy comedy film directed by David Lean. The screenplay by Lean, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Ronald Neame, and Noël Coward is based on Coward's 1941 play of the same name...

, adapted from the Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

 play, was popular. Levy went on to write and direct films for Cummings, such as The Jealous God (1939); he also served in the United Kingdom Parliament from 1945-50 as the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Eton and Slough. They had a son and a daughter.

She played Mary Tyrone in the Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

's production of Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
Eugene Gladstone O'Neill was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish...

's Long Day's Journey into Night
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Long Day's Journey Into Night is a 1956 drama in four acts written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill. The play is widely considered to be his masterwork...

opposite Sir Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

, to great acclaim, and later recreated the role for a television production. In 1979, she won a Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 for Best Actress for her performance as Emily Stilson in the drama Wings (written by Arthur Kopit), a play about a woman (Stilson), a former aviator who has suffered a stroke, from which she struggles to recover.

On January 1, 1974, Cummings, who resided in the UK for many decades until her death, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (CBE) for her contributions to the British entertainment industry.

She was a committee member of the Royal Court Theatre
Royal Court Theatre
The Royal Court Theatre is a non-commercial theatre on Sloane Square, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is noted for its contributions to modern theatre...

 and the Arts Council
Arts Council of Great Britain
The Arts Council of Great Britain was a non-departmental public body dedicated to the promotion of the fine arts in Great Britain. The Arts Council of Great Britain was divided in 1994 to form the Arts Council of England , the Scottish Arts Council, and the Arts Council of Wales...

. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

 at 6211 Hollywood Blvd.

Selected filmography

  • Traveling Husbands
    Traveling Husbands
    Traveling Husbands is a 1931 American comedy film directed by Paul Sloane and starring Evelyn Brent.- Cast :* Evelyn Brent as Ruby Smith* Frank Albertson as Barry Greene* Constance Cummings as Ellen Wilson* Hugh Herbert as Hymie Schwartz...

  • Invisible Power (1932)
  • Night After Night (1932)
  • Attorney for the Defense
    Attorney for the Defense
    Attorney for the Defense is a 1932 American drama film directed by Irving Cummings and starring Evelyn Brent.- Cast :* Edmund Lowe as William J. Burton* Evelyn Brent as Val Lorraine* Constance Cummings as Ruth Barry* Don Dillaway as Paul Wallace...

  • Billion Dollar Scandal (1933)
  • The Mind Reader (1933)
  • Heads We Go (1933)
  • Broadway Through a Keyhole (1933)
  • Channel Crossing
    Channel Crossing
    Channel Crossing is a 1933 British crime film and starring Milton Rosmer and starring Matheson Lang, Constance Cummings, Anthony Bushell and Nigel Bruce.-Cast:* Matheson Lang - Jacob Van Eeden* Constance Cummings - Marion Slade...

  • Looking for Trouble
    Looking for Trouble
    Looking for Trouble is a 1934 American crime film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Spencer Tracy, Jack Oakie and Constance Cummings. After he is rejected by a woman, a man leaves his safe job and joins a gang that robs banks.-Cast:...

  • Glamour
    Glamour (1934 film)
    Glamour is a 1934 American drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Paul Lukas, Constance Cummings and Phillip Reed. An ambitious chorus girl marries an up-and-coming composer.-Cast:* Paul Lukas ... Victor Banki...

  • This Man Is Mine
    This Man Is Mine (1934 film)
    This Man is Mine is a 1934 American film directed by John Cromwell and starring Irene Dunne. It is based on the play Love Flies in the Window by Anne Morrison Chapin- Plot :...

  • Remember Last Night?
    Remember Last Night?
    Remember Last Night? is a 1935 American mystery comedy film directed by James Whale. The film, based on the novel The Hangover Murders, is about the investigation of the murder of one of a group of friends. The survivors are unable to recall the events of the night of the murder because they were...

  • Seven Sinners
    Seven Sinners (1936 film)
    Seven Sinners is a 1936 British thriller film directed by Albert de Courville and starring Edmund Lowe, Constance Cummings and Felix Aylmer. An American detective and his sidekick are called to Britain to take on a gang of international criminals.-Cast:...

  • Strangers on Honeymoon (1936)
  • Busman's Honeymoon
    Busman's Honeymoon (film)
    Busman's Honeymoon is a 1940 British detective film directed by Arthur B. Woods. An adaptation of the Lord Peter Wimsey story Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers, it starred Robert Montgomery, Constance Cummings, Leslie Banks, Seymour Hicks, Robert Newton and Googie Withers....

  • This England
    This England (film)
    This England is a 1941 British historical drama film directed by David MacDonald and starring John Clements, Constance Cummings and Emlyn Williams...

  • The Foreman Went to France
    The Foreman Went to France
    The Foreman Went to France, also known as Somewhere in France, is a 1942 British World War II war film starring Clifford Evans, Tommy Trinder, Constance Cummings and Gordon Jackson...

  • Blithe Spirit
    Blithe Spirit (film)
    Blithe Spirit is a British fantasy comedy film directed by David Lean. The screenplay by Lean, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Ronald Neame, and Noël Coward is based on Coward's 1941 play of the same name...

  • Into the Blue (1950)
  • Three's Company (1954)
  • John and Julie
    John and Julie
    John and Julie was a 1955 British comedy film. It featured Peter Sellers and Sid James in early screen roles-Plot:John and Julie are two children who personally want to see The Queen's coronation in spite of the fact that their parents have no intention of going. The two decide to run off to...

  • The Intimate Stranger
    The Intimate Stranger
    The Intimate Stranger is a 1956 British drama film directed by Joseph Losey, under the pseudonym Joseph Walton, and starring Richard Basehart, Mary Murphy, Constance Cummings and Roger Livesey. It was also released as Finger of Guilt.-Production:...

  • The Battle of the Sexes
    The Battle of the Sexes (1959 film)
    The Battle of the Sexes is a 1959 British comedy film starring Peter Sellers and directed by Charles Crichton, based on the short story The Catbird Seat, by James Thurber. The story was adapted by Monja Danischewsky.-Cast:* Peter Sellers as Mr...

  • Sammy Going South
    Sammy Going South
    Sammy Going South, retitled A Boy Ten Feet Tall for its later US release, is a 1963 British adventure film directed by Alexander Mackendrick, photographed by Erwin Hillier, and starring Edward G. Robinson, Fergus McClelland and Constance Cummings. The film was based on a novel by W.H. Canaway and...

  • In the Cool of the Day
    In the Cool of the Day
    In the Cool of the Day is a 1963, Metrocolor, American romantic drama film directed by Robert Stevens and starring Peter Finch, Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury, Nigel Davenport, and John Le Mesurier.-Plot:...


External links

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