“Constance Bennett always has been a glamorous figure. During her entire screen career that has been her chief stock in trade. Webster defines glamour as ‘enchantment or alluring charm.’ Can you think of a more fitting description of Miss Bennett? She is the personification of a fascinating woman.” – Darryl Zanuck, who picked her as one of the nine Hollywood queens of 1933.
Common Clay (1930)
“I don’t care what sort of role I play, so long as it has character.” — Constance Bennett
“If an unsympathetic role is more powerful and human than that of a likable heroine, I prefer it.” — Constance Bennett
“When I scream, all that comes out is something like an ‘ee-ee-eek’…And if I really do scream as loudly as possible I can’t talk again for hours.” — Constance Bennett in 1932.
Translation: While filming tense scenes, Bennett and other top female stars didn’t scream on camera. Directors instead relied on screaming doubles to do that for them. Bennett’s double was Alice Doll, who also screamed for Ruth Chatterton and Kay Francis.
Our Betters (1933). With Charles Starrett.
“Hollywood produces a truly prolific rumor crop. Practically any rumor needed for any purpose can be had here for the asking – and the fact that most of them are stupid and untrue apparently enhances their value in the estimation of some editors. Those of us who are ‘public property’ have been inured to reading about our own plans and actions long before the plans are born or the actions are performed.” – Constance Bennett, in an angry letter to Screen Book.
She was specifically angry about the magazine reporting that she was dating Gilbert Roland while still married to Count Henri de la Falaise. In this case, however, the rumors were probably true.
Source: Martin Levin’s Hollywood and the Great Fan Magazines
“I wish I were as sure about anything as Constance is about everything!” – Barbara Bennett talking about her sister.
“Whatever I get out of life, I wish to be by my own efforts. I am frank to admit I want the creature comforts – luxuries that money can bring. I need a million and I’ll earn it.” — Constance Bennett
Photo: Clarence Hewitt (1934)
Moulin Rouge (1934)
Constance‘s father, actor Richard Bennett, once asked a writer what he thought of his daughter.
The writer replied: “I think she looks lovely, almost too beautiful to be true.”
Richard grumbled, “Well, I don’t know. She looks a little too damn sophisticated to me.”
“I only treat others as I want to be treated. But I know what they say about me. You always know everything that is said about you in Hollywood. I know that I am a devil. I’m brutal. I’m mean. And I’m sorry if that’s what they think, but I am as I am and I can’t change.” – Constance Bennett
Source: Katherine Albert (1935)
“She seemed to me the quintessence of a movie star. Everything about her shone — her burnished head, her jewels, her famous smile, her lovely long legs, and the highly publicized fact that she pulled down 30,000 bucks a week.” — David Niven
“I have no desire to grow old acting in motion pictures. I look on my profession as a business and I give it my best efforts, but I don’t want to give it my entire life.” — Constance Bennett
Source: Brian Kellow, The Bennetts: An Acting Family (2004)
Bennett invested in her own line of cosmetics and clothing. This banner is believed to have come from the 1940s. Very rare.
Not long after Bette Davis‘ November 1945 marriage to William Grant Sherry ( hubby No. 3) at the Mission Inn’s St. Francis chapel, Constance Bennett married Col. John Theron Coulter (hubby No. 5) inside the same chapel, days after her divorce was finalized from Gilbert Roland (hubby No. 4). Apparently, Bennett and Coulter had known each other nine months prior to the divorce–I mean–wedding.
“Hurry up, boys,” she told the photographers, “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’m tired.”
Bennett apparently was a little diva-ish, complaining that she didn’t like the Lohengrin processional march. She, therefore, gave last minute orders for the musician to play the “Tannhauser” instead.
After the vows were exchanged, the couple had a brief informal reception at the Inn before moving their party to the Bel-Air Hotel for a more formal one. Then they took off to San Francisco for their honeymoon.
At the Mission Inn, Bennett swore up and down to news reporters that this marriage would be her last one and that Coulter was the one she planned to spend the rest of her life with. And you know what? She was right. The couple stayed married until her death in 1965.