Joan Bennett (who is Joan Bennett?)

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Joan Bennett (February 27, 1910 – December 7, 1990) was an American stage, film and television actress. Over the course of her career, which spanned over five decades, Bennett evolved from a captivating leading lady to a reliable character actress.

Early Life and Family

Bennett was born in Palisades, New Jersey, to a theatrical family. Her father, Richard Bennett, was a successful stage and screen actor, and her mother, Adrienne Morrison, was the daughter of actress Rose Wood. Bennett was the youngest of three sisters, with her older siblings being actresses Constance and Barbara Bennett.

Career Beginnings

Joan Bennett began her acting career on the stage, making her debut in her father's play "Jarnegan" at the age of 18. In 1929, she signed with Fox Film Corporation and made her first credited appearance in the silent movie "The Valley of Decision".

Hollywood Success

Transitioning to "talkies," Bennett found success with films such as "Bulldog Drummond" (1929) and "Disraeli" (1929). She frequently played beautiful and elegant women, often in romantic roles. In the 1930s, her career continued to flourish, with roles in Howard Hawks' "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1933) and "Mississippi" opposite Bing Crosby (1935).

Film Noir

In the 1940s, Bennett transitioned into film noir with a series of acclaimed performances, most notably in Fritz Lang's movies. She starred as the femme fatale in "Scarlet Street" (1945) and "The Woman in the Window" (1944), which are considered some of her most memorable works.

Television and Theatre

Later in her career, as film roles waned, Bennett ventured into television and theatre. She appeared in several television series throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including "General Electric Theater" and "The Governor & J.J.".

Personal Life

Joan Bennett was married four times: to John Marion Fox, Gene Markey, Walter Wanger, and David Wilde, with each marriage ending in divorce except for her last, as she was widowed. She had four children, including actress Melinda Markey.

Later Years and Death

Bennett's career slowed down in the 1970s, though she did make appearances in both film and television. Her last film appearance was in "Suspiria" (1977), directed by Dario Argento. She passed away from heart failure in Scarsdale, New York, at the age of 80.


Joan Bennett's work in film noir in particular cemented her place in classic Hollywood cinema. She is remembered for her versatility as an actress, able to embody the roles of ingenue as well as more complex, multi-dimensional characters.

Charitable Work

Bennett was also known for her charitable efforts, particularly during World War II, when she organized events and performances to support the war effort.


With a career spanning many genres and eras of Hollywood, any list of her work would be extensive. For a detailed filmography, you can refer to databases such as IMDb: Joan Bennett on IMDb.

Overall, Joan Bennett remains a celebrated figure in classic American cinema. Her contributions to the industry were significant, and her body of work continues to be appreciated by fans of classic films.

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