Do you wonder if Cruella de Vil really existed? Well, yeah ! At least, to create this character, the Disney studios were strongly inspired by the life of Tallulah Bankhead. Born on January 31, 1902, this woman from the United States made a name for herself in the 1940s by playing on the big screen and in particular under the watchful eye of Alfred Hitchcock in Lifeboat.
If until then you tell yourself that there is nothing in common with the villain, well think again. In fact, Tallulah Bankhead lost her mother to sepsis a few weeks after she was born and grew up with a depressed father. Seeking to want to be the center of attention, she ended up developing a talent: that of imitation. And his hoarse voice, which arose due to chronic bronchitis, became his trademark.
Tallulah Bankhead: a descent into hell?
With her well-defined arched eyebrows, her heart-shaped face and her black hair, Tallulah Bankhead then stood out and represented what was most glamorous in the 1940s. on the boards, the childhood friend of Zelda Sayre, the future wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, truly marked show business with her difference.
Once arrived in London, she did not go unnoticed at the wheel of her Bentleys which she drove at full speed. He tells himself, for example, that she regularly got lost and asked taxis to show her the way. The excitement of filming passing her over time, Tallulah Bankhead then immersed herself in a decadent and hedonistic existence, made up of parties, drinks and sex. She died at the age of 66, on December 12, 1968, after a marriage and a divorce, and childless.
Tallulah Bankhead © Youtube Screenshot