At age 16, Annabella was chosen by 'Abel Gance' to appear in Napoléon vu par Abel Gance (1927) . In the 30s, she became a starof French movies. She made movies in numerous other countries, beforebeing called to Hollywood in 1938, where she met and married'Tyrone Power' . She remained in the USA until 1947.
Then sheattempted a comeback in France. She retired from show business in 1954. She arrived in the U. S. at a time when a great surge of foreign femininemystique was invading Hollywood, led by 'Greta Garbo' ,'Ingrid Bergman (I)' and 'Marlene Dietrich' .
A stunning andexceptionally gifted star beloved in her native France, Annabella wasthrown into a string of mediocre films by her studio during her briefHollywood courtship and, in the end, became better known as Mrs. 'Tyrone Power' than as the high-quality talent she was. Born Suzanne Georgette Charpentier, the daughter of a magazinepublisher, in La Varenne Saint Hilaire, France, on July 14, 1909(although sources vary the years from 1904 to 1913), Annabella appearedin 'Abel Gance' 's legendary silent epic Napoléon vu par Abel Gance (1927) . Director 'René Clair' immediately recognized her gamine appeal and photogenic allure, castingher in his classic Le million (1931) . European stardom was hers.
Although only in her 20s, she was already a widow (due to the death ofhusband Albert Sorre, a writer) with a young daughter, Anne, tosupport. She pursued her career with ardent dedication and passion. Sheappeared on the stages of Berlin and Vienna and continued herprofessional association with director Clair by giving a superbperformance in Quatorze Juillet (1933) [July 14th]. Shecontinued to shine working alongside the likes of'Charles Boyer (I)' , 'Jean Gabin' , 'Albert Préjean' and'Jean Murat' . Her popularity was further heightened by asuccessful association with writer/director 'Pál Fejös' .
She first arrived in America to shoot a French-language version of aHollywood film and began mastering English from that point on. Insteadof settling in Hollywood, however, she headed to London and away fromthe Hollywood glitz. She had appeared earlier with Jean Murat in Paris-Méditerranée (1932) and Mademoiselle Josette, ma femme (1933) , and the couple married in1934. She won the Venice Film Festival Award for her gloriousperformance in Veille d'armes (1935) [Sacrifice of Honor] andwent on to appear with Murat in two other pictures --'Anatole Litvak' 's L'équipage (1935) [Flight Into Darkness]and Anne-Marie (1936) . Hollywood beckoned again, this time courtesy of 20th Century-Fox, butthe open-faced, ash-blonde beauty continued to resist.
They finallyarrived on a settlement of sorts -- she would agree to makeEnglish-speaking films with the studio but only if they were made inEngland. Her English-speaking debut was opposite 'Henry Fonda' in Wings of the Morning (1937) , which was quite successful. It wasthe first Technicolor feature ever shot in England and Annabella lookedevery inch the star. As her following American movies were given their release, such as Under the Red Robe (1937) with 'Conrad Veidt' and'Raymond Massey (I)' and Dinner at the Ritz (1937) with'Paul Lukas (I)' and 'David Niven (I)' , Annabella was drawninto the Hollywood maelstrom despite her desire for privacy. Thisprivacy would be shattered dramatically after the still-married Frenchactress met and fell hard for the studio's main attraction,'Tyrone Power' .
From that time forward, the soon-to-be-divorcedAnnabella and Power became prime objects of tabloid frenzy. Theyfinally married on April 23, 1939. Hounded by an ever-curious public,the couple soon began having marital troubles, complicated by theirinevitable time apart for filming and his war service. His numerousaffairs only compounded their problems. She bravely kept a strong frontand continued filming, but her vehicles were not up to par.
The Baroness and the Butler (1938) with'William Powell (I)' , Suez (1938) , which she filmed withher husband, and Bridal Suite (1939) with'Robert Young (I)' did little to bolster her American career. After Tonight We Raid Calais (1943) and Bomber's Moon (1943) , she ended her contract with 13 Rue Madeleine (1946) , and then she was gone. Divorcing Power in January of 1948, she returned to Europe. Her lastFrench film was released in 1952. Her only child Anne would find loveand heartbreak married to the Austrian actor 'Oskar Werner' whoself-destructed from depression and chronic alcoholism.
Annabella'slast years were spent quietly, volunteering at one point in prisonwelfare. She died of a heart attack at Neuilly sur Seine on September18, 1996, at the age of 87. .
|1||La barcarolle damour||1930||as Gisèle le Kerdec|
|2||La bataille||1933||as La marquise Mitsouko Yorisaka|
|3||Mademoiselle Josette, ma femme||1933||as Josette|
|4||Marie, légende hongroise||1933||as Marie Szabó|
|5||Meet the Stars #6: Stars at Play||1941||as Herself|
|6||The 36th Annual Academy Awards||1964||as Herself - Accepting Best Actress Award for Patricia Neal|
|7||Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood||1995||as Herself / Béatrice|
|8||13 Rue Madeleine||1946||as Suzanne de Beaumont|
|10||Autour dune enquête||1931||as Greta Bienert|
|11||Bombers Moon||1943||as Lt. Alexandra Zorich, MD|
|12||Bonaparte et la révolution||1972||as Violene|
|13||Bridal Suite||1939||as Luise Anzengruber|
|14||Caravane||1934||as Princess Wilma|
|15||Dernier amour||1949||as Hélène Fontenay|
|16||Deux fois vingt ans||1931||as Poldi|
|17||Dinner at the Ritz||1937||as Ranie Racine|
|18||Don Juan||1950||as Lady Ontiveras|
|20||Fantasia Lusitana||2010||as Herself|
|21||Gardez le sourire||1933||as Marie|
|22||Hôtel du Nord||1938||as Renée|
|23||Lhomme qui revient de loin||1950||as Fanny de la Bossière|
|25||La bandera||1935||as Aischa la Slaoui|
|26||La citadelle du silence||1937||as Viana|
|27||La maison de La Flèche||1930||as Betty Harlowe|
|28||Le million||1931||as Béatrice|
|29||Les nuits moscovites||1934||as Natacha Kovrine|
|30||Maldone||1928||as Flora Lévigné|
|31||Napoléon Bonaparte||1935||as Violine Fleuri|
|32||Napoléon vu par Abel Gance||1927||as Violine Fleuri et Désirée Clary|
|33||Paris-Méditerranée||1932||as Solange Pascaud|
|34||Quatorze Juillet||1933||as Anna|
|35||Romance à linconnue||1931||as Mado|
|36||Son altesse lamour||1931||as Annette Wéber|
|38||Suez||1938||as Toni Pellerin|
|39||Tavaszi zápor||1932||as Szabó Mária|
|40||The Baroness and the Butler||1938||as Baroness Katrina Marissey|