Sure, she was bitchy. She had all sorts of diva issues going on. She only ever allowed herself to be filmed from the left side- it was her best side. She never let her measurements be publicized. And she would have rather been on Broadway– only the desperate ones went for Hollywood.
But the Depression pushed her into films whether she liked it or not. She was a favorite of Cecil B. DeMille’s and was cast in two epic films- The Sign of the Cross, and Cleopatra- he liked her bitchy.
On screen she filled romantic comedies with Fred MacMurray, Don Ameche, Joel McCrea and the illustrious Clark Gable. Always the one talking sense into her men, Colbert had a cheekiness that we all loved- it felt like honesty.
Off screen she was married only twice. The first in secret which led to divorce, and the second to a doctor who she would be with until his death. She had pride, but was humble— so much so that she didn’t expect to win an Oscar in 1935 over write-in Bette Davis, and didn’t attend the ceremony. She was later summoned from the train station to collect her award for It Happened One Night.