Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role 1934
SEX WORKER ROLE
Hostess in Night Hostess 1928
Character Is A Prostitute
For the majority of actors arriving in New York City, there is always a struggling period. Even for one of the greatest actresses of this century. Katharine Hepburn’s first starring role on stage was to be in the “Big Pond.” However, she got fired after one performance. Undaunted, she plowed ahead and got another acting gig in short order. “Night Hostess” was a risque comedy cabaret opening in Minneapolis. Foreseeing just how risque this show was, Katharine decided to use a stage name, Katherine Burns. Though the part’s characterization is a ‘hostess,’ that was a euphemism for ‘prostitute.’ Decades later, she would tell Dick Cavett the role was a ‘wicked fascinator’ and that she ‘never did learn how to be that kind of fascinator.’ The character and the show would be so obscure, it very rarely gets mentioned in her credits.
In 1930 the play would be adapted into a movie entitled “Woman Racket.” Katharine Hepburn WAS NOT in that film, but watch clip below to see what the stage play was all about.
“Woman Racket” aka “Night Hostess”
To read more about this prostitute role & other Oscar-winning actresses playing a hooker, please continue perusing
If you know of this actress playing more than one prostitute role, please comment below and let me know! I’ll gladly add it to the page here. Also, leave a comment below if the video above has been removed.