One of Alabama’s most celebrated performers, Tallulah Bankhead, will be the subject of Pell City Public Library’s upcoming program on Wednesday, July 31 at noon. Presented by historian and museum consultant, Frances Robb, the event is planned in connection with the library’s Adult Summer Reading and Programming Series.

Huntsville native Tallulah Bankhead was a gifted and successful actress and comedian, as well as a popular public figure, known for her exuberant personality—as well as her outstanding performances. Best remembered for her role in the film, “Lifeboat,” Tallulah Bankhead’s awards in various performing arts media proved her critical acclaim in film, live theater, and radio.

Frances Robb will bring to life the colorful character and career of this memorable Alabamian through her intriguing three-part presentation. The first segment will present Bankhead’s most noted accomplishments, including but not limited to her role as Regina Giddings in Lillian Hellman’s play, “The Little Foxes” and her role as emcee for NBC’s family variety program, “The Big Show.”

The second segment will tell of Bankhead’s personal life, including her illustrious political family and difficult upbringing, her early success in England and initial appearances in film and on stage in America, and her ultimate success as a talented and celebrated actress.

The third section of the program tells of a little-known aspect of Bankhead’s life—that of her work for racial tolerance and equality in America in the performing arts and in the sports arena.

Frances Osborn Robb is a native of Birmingham. She earned advanced degrees from The University of North Carolina and Yale University. She works as a consultant to archives, museums and libraries in the areas of research and exhibition. Her expertise in historical photography has brought about the opportunity to lecture extensively and to conduct numerous workshops. Her book, “Shot in Alabama: A History of Photography in a Deep South State, 1839-1941” was published in 2014 by the University of Alabama Press.

The program is made possible by the generous support of the Alabama Humanities Foundation through its “Road Scholar” program. Founded in 1974, AHF is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. What is its mission? “AHF encourages and promotes appreciation of literature, history, law, philosophy and the arts through programs, events and grants to help others discover and share the meanings of life found through the humanities.”

The event on Wednesday, July 31 is free, and light refreshments will be served afterwards. While in the library, be sure to register for the Adult Summer Reading Program, if you have not already done so. By registering and reading books of their choice, participants are entitled to place entries in a weekly drawing for the chance to win spectacular prizes!

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