Charlotte Greenwood ~ Character Actress

Charlotte Greenwood

Charlotte Greenwood was a vaudeville star and popular character actress.

She was born Frances Charlotte Greenwood on June 25, 1890, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Charlotte was a sickly child and her father left the family when she was very young. She grew into a healthy, six foot tall woman. Charlotte started her career dancing in vaudeville where she became known for her long legs. Her signature dance move was doing a high kick and she was nicknamed "Lady Longlegs". In 1915 she 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 1929 movie version called So Long Letty.

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. On December 28, 1977 Charlotte died from natural causes at the age of eighty-seven. 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