In , she went to Hollywood where she secured a seven-year contract with Paramount. In , she was wrongfully declared mentally incompetent and committed by her parents to a series of asylums and public mental hospitals, leading to a false rumor that she received a lobotomy. After seven years she was released, and spent some of the remaining years of her life tending the parents who had committed her and taking odd jobs. She died of cancer in In , after winning a trip to Russia to see the Moscow Art Theater, she went to Hollywood where she secured a seven-year contract with Paramount. By the end of , she was one of Paramount's most talked-about new stars, largely by virtue of her loan-out to Goldwyn for the dual role of mother and daughter in Come and Get It Late saw her achieve her long-held theatrical aspirations when she starred in the Group Theatre Broadway production of Clifford Odets ' "Golden Boy", a play in which she continued to tour for most of the second half of after its original Broadway run ended. However, starting in , her erratic behavior and increased drinking started to make her less reliable and sought after. Though she starred in two big budget films after walking out of a Broadway-bound play by Ernest Hemingway , by her star had fallen considerably at Paramount and she was consigned mostly to co-starring appearances.
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Frances Farmer is one of Hollywood's most tragic figures. In , she made her feature-film debut. One year later, she defied the studios and simultaneously began appearing on stage with New York's Group Theater, where she played the female lead in Golden Boy and other Broadway plays of the late '30s. After gaining great critical praise for her dual role in the film Come and Get It , Farmer became a sensation, and it was expected that she would become Paramount's greatest star. However, she suffered from alcoholism and mental illness and had some run-ins with the law, forcing her retirement in Declared insane, Farmer went on to spend seven years in various mental-health hospitals before attempting a comeback in the '50s, when she worked in stock, appeared in one film, and made some TV appearances, including the hosting of a local TV program in Indianapolis. She died of cancer at She was married from to actor Leif Erickson. View All Photos 2.
Things Fall Apart For Frances Farmer
All rights reserved. This article summarizes that research. Other information in this article came from personal correspondence and interviews with a number of people who either knew or worked with Frances during her lifetime.
Wikimedia Commons Frances Farmer. In , Seattle native Frances Farmer made an incredibly consequential decision: The year-old moved to New York, where she hoped to launch her theater career. While more interested in stage acting, Farmer ended up signing a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures, and from to appeared in 15 films alongside stars like Bing Crosby and Cary Grant. She still wanted to be taken seriously as an actress, however, and thus traveled to upstate New York to participate in summer stock, where she caught the attention of playwright and director Clifford Odets. He offered her a part in his play, Golden Boy.