Charlotte Greenwood ~ Character Actress


Charlotte Greenwood

Charlotte Greenwood was born Frances Charlotte Greenwood on June 25, 1890, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was a sickly child and her father left the family when she was very young. Charlotte grew into a healthy, six foot tall woman. She started her career dancing in vaudeville where she became known for her long legs. Her signature dance move was doing a high kick. She was nicknamed "Lady Longlegs". In 1915 Charlotte married actor Cyril Ring. She was deeply in love with him but he left her for another woman. Charlotte married songwriter Martin Broones in 1924. Although she dreamed of becoming a dramatic actress she had greater success in comedy. She starred in a series of stage shows playing a man crazy character named "Letty". The character became so popular that Charlotte starred in the movie version So Long Letty in 1929.

Charlotte GreenwoodCharlotte Greenwood

She appeared in dozens of films including Down Argentine Way, Star Dust, and The Gang's All Here. Charlotte was usually cast as the comedic sidekick and became one the most recognizable character actresses. During World War 2 she joined the Hollywood Victory Caravan and traveled across the country with other film stars raising money. Charlotte returned to the stage in 1950 starring in Cole Porter's Out of This World. She was a devout Christian scientist and her faith made her turn down roles she felt were too risque. In 1955 she played Aunt Eller in the hit musical Oklahoma. Charlotte made a few more films before retiring. She and Martin enjoyed a very happy marriage until his death in 1971. Charlotte died on December 28, 1977 from natural causes. She was cremated and her ashes were scattered at sea. Since she had no children she left her personal papers to playwright William Luce.

Charlotte GreenwoodCharlotte Greenwood