Star Archive

Constance Cummings (1910 - 2005)

Throughout the history of British film there's been a steady drain of talent from the local industry to Hollywood. There's not been much traffic in the other direction. Constance Cummings was an exception.

She was born in Seattle and entered show business as a Broadway chorus girl. Producer Sam Goldwyn spotted her potential and she moved to Hollywood. She was kept busy and was well on the way to becoming a big star when she met English playwright Benn Levy. He was scriptwriting in Hollywood though he'd already contributed to British cinema by writing the dialogue for the talkie version of Blackmail.

Her marriage to Levy took her to England, though there was a court case to endure before she was free of her contract. Their professional partnership proved as successful as the marriage and she appeared in many of his West End hits. She also scored in classical roles. In between her stage work, she managed to fit in a few films.

She didn't film anything like as frequently in Britain as she did in Hollywood, but she did get to appear in one bona fide classic, Blithe Spirit, and several popular successes. However, her commitment to the stage and to her husband's political career (he became a Labour MP in the 1945 election) probably prevented her from becoming a huge screen star.

Even after her film career ended, her stage work continued and she scored her biggest critical success in Long Day's Journey Into Night opposite Laurence Olivier in 1971 at the National. She was still treading the boards in her nineties.

Constance Cummings in Channel CrossingConstance Cummings in Channel Crossing


1931 The Criminal Code (US)
1931 The Last Parade (US)
1931 Lover Come Back (US)
1931 Travelling Husbands (US)
1931 The Guilty Generation (US)
1932 Behind the Mask (US)
1932 The Big Timer (US)
1932 Attorney for the Defense (US)
1932 American Madness (US)
1932 Movie Crazy (US)
1932 The Last Man (US)
1932 Washington Merry-Go-Round (US)
1932 Night After Night (US)
1933 Billion Dollar Scandal (US)
1933 The Mind Reader (US)
1933 Channel Crossing
1933 Broadway Through the Keyhole (US)
1933 Heads We Go
1934 This Man is Mine (US)
1934 Looking for Trouble (US)
1934 Glamour (US)
1935 Remember Last Night? (US)
1936 Seven Sinners
1936 Strangers on a Honeymoon
1940 Busman's Honeymoon
1941 This England
1942 The Foreman Went to France
1945 Blithe Spirit
1950 Into the Blue
1954 Three's Company
1955 John and Julie
1956 Intimate Stranger
1959 The Battle of the Sexes
1963 Sammy Going South
1963 In the Cool of the Day

 Constance Cummings at Amazon UK

 Constance Cummings at Amazon US