Date of Birth : Oct 18th 1902
At the age of 20, she became a chorus girl in New York City. In 1930, she signed with Paramount Pictures, and made her official film debut in Fast and Loose. Her first great success was in Ernst Lubitsch’s Trouble in Paradise (1932), where she proved her charm and her wit as a beautiful and jealous pickpocket. During the remainder of the decade she appeared in such films as The Smiling Lieutenant and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (both 1931), Design for Living (1933), Becky Sharp (1935), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, Barbary Coast (1935), These Three (1936) (her first of four films with director William Wyler) and The Old Maid (1939). Hopkins rejected the role of Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night (1934), the role played by Claudette Colbert.
Hopkins had well-publicized fights with her arch-enemy Bette Davis (Davis was having an affair with Hopkin’s husband at the time, Anatole Litvak), when they co-starred in their two films The Old Maid (1939) and Old Acquaintance (1943). One of the scenes in Old Acquaintance which Davis admitted to enjoying very much was one where she shakes Hopkins hard. There were even press photos taken with both divas in boxing rings with gloves up and director Vincent Sherman between the two.
After Old Acquaintance she didn’t work again in films until The Heiress (1949), where she played a character role as the lead character’s aunt. In Mitchell Leisen’s 1951’s classic screwball comedy The Mating Season she gave a comic performance as Gene Tierney’s over the top mother, Thelma Ritter also co-starred as Tierney’s maid-mother in law. She also acted in The Children’s Hour, which is a remake of her film These Three (1936). In the remake, she played the aunt to Shirley MacLaine, while Maclaine played the role that Hopkins played in the original film.