Not Just an Icon –
She’s a Lady
"She’s bigger than a single individual—she’s the trademark of filmmaking quality."
1924 - 1927
In one incarnation or another, the Columbia Lady has preceded Columbia Pictures films since the studio began making movies in 1924. But who is she? Every few years there’s another story about who inspired the signature icon of Columbia Pictures.
1928 - 1935
People magazine claimed that it knows, Bette Davis’ autobiography speculates about the source, and an actress claimed in a Midwestern newspaper that she’s the real Lady. Could one of them be right? Just who is the Columbia Lady?
1936 - 1937
There’s really only one place to find the answer, from Jared Jussim, former EVP, Intellectual Property Department and Deputy General Counsel of Sony Pictures. During his tenure at Sony Pictures, it was his job to protect her image from being sullied at home and abroad.
Jussim immediately puts the rumors to rest. “She’s a composite,” he says, going on to explain that while the image retains the consistency necessary to sustain it as a trademark, her appearance has varied slightly through the years.
1982 - 1991
Jussim explained that while in the early days the Columbia Lady wore an American flag as a drape, the U.S. passed a law that made the wearing of the flag as clothing illegal. The Columbia Lady obliged and changed her shawl to blue.
1992 - Present
Going forward, her looks may change slightly with the times, but she’ll always be an icon. She’s bigger than a single individual – she’s the trademark of filmmaking quality.