Ida Lupino was born on 4 February 1918 in Camberwell, London, UK & died on 3 August 1995 in Los Angeles, California, U.S., was an English-American film actress and director, and a pioneer among women filmmakers. In her 48-year career, she appeared in 59 films and directed nine others. She also appeared in serial television programmes 58 times and directed 50 other episodes. In addition, she contributed as a writer to five films and four TV episodes.
Lupino was born into a family of performers. Her father, Stanley Lupino, was a music-hall comedian, and her mother, Connie Emerald (1892–1959), was an actress. As a girl, Ida was encouraged to enter show business by both her parents and her uncle, Lupino Lane. She trained at RADA and made her first movie appearance in The Love Race (1931) and spent the next several years playing minor roles.
It was after her appearance in The Light That Failed (1939) that Lupino began to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress. As a result, her parts improved during the 1940s, and she began to describe herself as “the poor man’s Bette Davis.”
During this period, Lupino became known for her hard-boiled roles, as in such films as They Drive by Night (1940) and High Sierra (1941), both opposite Humphrey Bogart. For her performance in The Hard Way (1943), Lupino won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress. She acted regularly, and was in demand throughout the 1940s without becoming a major star until later. In 1947, Lupino left the Warner Brothers company to become a freelance actress. Notable films she appeared in around that time include Road House and On Dangerous Ground.
n the mid-1940s, while on suspension for turning down a role, Lupino became interested in directing. She described herself as being bored on set while “someone else seemed to be doing all the interesting work.” She and her husband Collier Young formed an independent company, The Filmakers, and Lupino became a producer, director and screenwriter of low-budget, issue-oriented movies.
Her first directing job came unexpectedly in 1949 when Elmer Clifton suffered a mild heart attack and could not finish Not Wanted, the film he was directing for Filmakers. Lupino stepped in to finish the film and went on to direct her own projects, becoming Hollywood’s only female film director of the time.
Lupino continued acting throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and her directing efforts during these years were almost exclusively television productions such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, The Twilight Zone, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Donna Reed Show, Gilligan’s Island, 77 Sunset Strip, The Investigators, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The Rifleman, The Virginian, Batman, Sam Benedict, Bonanza, The Untouchables, The Fugitive, Columbo, and Bewitched. She guest-starred on The Streets of San Francisco in the second season episode “Blockade” that aired on January 24, 1974.
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 Boulevard. Lupino is the titular subject of a jazz homage composed by Carla Bley in 1964, originally for the album Turning Point.
Lupino was born in Camberwell, London, to actress Connie O’Shea and music hall entertainer Stanley Lupino, a member of the theatrical Lupino family. Ida’s birth year is 1918 and not 1914 as some biographies have claimed. Her sister Rita Lupino, born in 1920, became an actress and dancer.
Lupino was married and divorced three times. Firstly to Louis Hayward, actor from November 1938 till 11 May 1945, Secondly Collier Young, producer from 1948 till 1951 and lastly Howard Duff, actor from October 1951 till 1984, with whom she had daughter Bridget Duff 23 April 1952.
Lupino died from a stroke while undergoing treatment for colon cancer in Los Angeles in August 1995, at the age of 77. Her remains are interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California near the remains of Errol Flynn.