Born June 3, 1910 in Whitestone Landing, Queens, New York (though this is disputed, some claiming she was born in Long Island).
Died April 23, 1990 in Ticino, Switzerland
Born Marion Goddard Levy (though also there are claims her birth name was Pauline Goddard Levy, or Pauline Marion Levy, or possibly Marion Pauline Levy).
As a young child she and her mother (Alta Mae Goddard) moved frequently, apparently trying to avoid any contact with Paulette's father, Joseph Russell Levy. She worked as a model and eventually became a "Ziegfeld Girl" making her stage debut in the 1926 No Foolin'.
She married a lumber company president named Edgar James in 1927, then divorced him in 1929. In 1929 she also appeared (uncredited) in the Laurel and Hardy short film Berth Marks and in the Barbara Stanwyck film The Locked Door.
She worked as an extra in a number of films, but had begun dating Charlie Chaplin, who cast her in a starring role in Modern Times in 1936.
Original Page June 2014 | Updated Dec 2017
From former screen legends who have faded into obscurity to new revelations about the biggest movie stars, Valderrama unearths the most fascinating little-known tales from the birth of Hollywood through its Golden Age.
Winner of the 2020 Peter C. Rollins Book Award
Longlisted for the 2020 Moving Image Book Award by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation
Named a 2019 Richard Wall Memorial Award Finalist by the Theatre Library Association