Imitation of Life Overview:

Imitation of Life (1959) was a Drama - Romance Film directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Ross Hunter.


Sirk's beautifully composed remake of the 1934 Colbert melodrama. If anything, Turner makes a more icily perfect star for the story of a driven actress whose passion for the stage drains her of time and affection for her daughter (Dee), who grows up mostly in the company of her warm maid (Moore) and the maid's daughter (Kohner). Both mothers come into conflict with their daughters: Turner and Dee compete for the attention of Gavin, and Moore finds that Kohner has been passing as white. No one else in Hollywood handled this kind of material as well as Sirk.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1959 --- Ceremony Number 32 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActressSusan KohnerNominated
Best Supporting ActressJuanita MooreNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Imitation of Life(1959).

By Dawn Sample on Nov 4, 2012 From Noir and Chick Flicks

Imitation of Life(1959). Directed by Douglas Sirk. Cast: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Dan O'Herlihy, Susan Kohner, Robert Alda and Juanita Moore as Annie Johnson. Kohner and Moore received Academy Award nominations for their performances. Gospel music star Mahalia Jackson appears as a church... Read full article

Imitation of Life (1)

By Aurora on Jun 29, 2012 From Once Upon a Screen

I was given an assignment ? to submit an essay discussing Douglas Sirk?s 1959 melodrama, Imitation of Life in a ?Career Women in Film? course I took some time ago.? Since the topic didn?t thrill me, I submitted the following essay, which certainly addresses the topic but also includes some, shall we... Read full article

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Quotes from

[Sarah Jane enters carrying a serving tray on her head]
Sarah Jane: [affected Southern Negro accent] Fetched y'all up a mess 'a crawdads, Miss Lora... fo' you an' yo' friends!
Lora: Well, that's quite a trick, Sarah Jane... where did you learn it?
Sarah Jane: [affected Southern Negro accent] Oh, 'tain't no trick ta' totin', Miss Lora! I learned it from my mammy, an' she learned it from ol' massa, 'fo' she belonged to you...

Lora Meredith: Well, I'm going up and up and up - and nobody's going to pull me down!

Sarah Jane: I'm somebody else. I'm white... white... WHITE!

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Facts about

Juanita Moore appeared as Annie Johnson in this Douglas Sirk film. Many years later, the Sirkian Technicolor 1950s melodrama homage Far from Heaven would star the similarly named Julianne Moore.
Douglas Sirk's last Hollywood film before he retired back to his native Germany.
Pearl Bailey was originally considered for the role of Annie Johnson.
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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1959

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Also produced by Ross Hunter

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