Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
She was born in London, England, (allegedly under a table during a World War I zeppelin raid), the daughter of music hall entertainer Stanley Lupino . Encouraged to enter show business by both her parents, Lupino made her first film appearance in 1933, in Her First Affaire and worked for several years playing unsubstantial roles. It was after her appearance in The Light That Failed in 1939 that she was taken seriously as a dramatic actress.
Her parts improved during the '40s and she began to describe herself as "the poor man's Bette Davis". While working for Warner Brothers, she would also refuse parts that Davis had rejected, and earned herself suspensions. During this period she became known for her hard boiled roles and appeared in such films as They Drive by Night (1940) and High Sierra (1941). She acted regularly and was in demand throughout the 40s without becoming a major star. In 1947, Lupino left Warner Brothers to become a freelance actress.
It was during a suspension in the late '40s that she began studying the processes behind the camera. Her first directing job came when Elmer Clifton became ill during Not Wanted , a 1949 movie which she co-wrote. Lupino often joked that if she had been the "poor man's Bette Davis", then she had become the "poor man's Don Siegel". From the early '50s she began directing films, mostly melodramas and was one of the few women of her era to achieve success in this field. She directed Outrage in 1950 and tackled the contraversial subject of rape.
She continued acting throughout the '50s, '60s and '70s and her directing efforts during these years were almost exclusively television productions such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, The Donna Reed Show, Gilligan's Island, 77 Sunset Strip, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir , The Rifleman , The Untouchables, The Fugitive, and Bewitched.
After guest starring in TV shows such as Batman, Family Affair, The Mod Squad, Bonanza, Burke's Law, Charlie's Angels, Police Woman, The Streets of San Francisco, and Barnaby Jones, she made her final film appearance in 1978 and retired.
The second woman to be admitted to the Director's Guild (Dorothy Arzner was first), Ida Lupino has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to the fields of television and motion pictures. They are located at 1724 Vine Street and 6821 Hollywood Blvd.
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