Today is Gail Patrick's 100th birthday. And even though I am away from my computer, I'm too big a fan not to at least mention her on her big day. This is what I wrote about her last year:
Born Margaret LaVelle Fitzpatrick in Birmingham, Alabama, Patrick was the dean of women at Howard College and was studying law at the University of Alabama when she entered a nationwide contest for a part in a Paramount film. She didn't win, but she was offered a film contract and moved to Hollywood.Patrick made her film debut in the 1932 film If I Had A Million, starring Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton and George Raft. She typically played arrogant socialites and femme fatales and is best known for three comedic roles—Carole Lombard's scheming sister in My Man Godfrey, a haughty wannabe actress who clashes with Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn in Stage Door and Cary Grant's not-so-favored bride in My Favorite Wife.
Patrick appeared in sixty-two movies between 1932 and 1948.She abandoned acting when she married her third husband, literary agent Cornwell Jackson. One of Jackson's clients was mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner who created the fictional defense lawyer Perry Mason. Patrick (credited now as Gail Patrick Jackson) obtained the rights to Perry Mason and for nine seasons produced one of the most successful television series in American history.
Patrick died of leukemia in 1980 at the age of sixty-nine.
And now because I love you, I offer up once again this public domain copy of her best movie, My Man Godfrey. Enjoy.
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