As the rich heiress that rejects her wealthy lifestyle, Claudette Colbert marked her name as one of the most classic Hollywood actresses of all time. She played the beguiling Cleopatra and scores of other roles both in silent films and the talkies in this 1934 classic she plays the rich heiress that finds and falls in love with the bumbling, recently fired Clark Gable.
It Happened One Night garnered the top five Academy Awards (unrivaled until 1975, forty-one years later by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – and then again by The Silence of the Lambs (1991).) It won all five of its nominated categories: Best Picture, Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Director (Frank Capra), and Best Adaptation (Robert Riskin)and Claudette won her first and only Best Actress award. Colbert was so convinced that she would lose the Oscar to write-in nominee Bette Davis that she didn’t attended the ceremony. She was summoned from a train station to pick up her Academy Award.