Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah Bankhead was a stage and screen actress who began her career as a teenager. She was born into a powerful political family in Huntsville, Alabama. Her father, William Bankhead was a Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1936 – 1940. Because her mother passed away shortly after her birth, she was raised by family members and attended school in New York, Washington DC, and Virginia. Bankhead’s career took off after she left for England in 1923, and acted in several stage plays. It was there that she became known for her deep, sultry voice and boisterous personality. She returned to the US in 1931, and performed in several Broadway plays and Hollywood films. Some of her notable work includes Lifeboat (1944), A Royal Scandal (1945), and Die! Die! My Darling (1965). Her career spanned five decades and included film, television, theater, and radio.



Tallulah Bankhead performed at the Coconut Grove Playhouse

On January 16, 1956, Tennessee Williams staged a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Coconut Grove Theatre. The play tells the story of the clash between cultures and classes in the American South through two main characters, Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowlaski. The cast for this staging, including, Tallulah Bankhead as Blanche DuBois, rehearsed at the theatre under the direction of Herbert Machiz and guidance from Williams.As tensions rose between Williams and the cast, especially Bankhead, Williams left Miami for sojourns to Key West and Havana.The play was staged at the Playhouse for only a month before moving to New York City.

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