Claudette Colbert (klōdĕt´ kôlbĕr´), 1903–96, American movie actress, b. Paris as Lily Chauchoin. Known for her rosy cheeks, velvet voice, hearty laugh, and curly bangs, Colbert distinguished herself in a series of sophisticated comedies and became one of Hollywood's best-paid movie stars. She also brought a sensuousness to the title role in Cleopatra (1934) and a warm touch to other dramas, in which she often portrayed a forebearing mother. Her other films include her best-known comedy, It Happened One Night (1934), Private Worlds (1935), Since You Went Away (1944), and Parrish (1961). Colbert also appeared on the stage and in a television movie, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1986).