There is Pre-Code, and there is post-Code; while there were plenty of performers on either side of the divide, not quite so many managed to hold onto their stardom while Hollywood was in Hays Office-inspired turmoil. Ruth Chatterton (1892-1961) was nominated for two Academy Awards under the old rules; then again, perhaps her best performance was in the Code-era (1936) film of Sinclair Lewis’ novel Dodsworth.
She retired from film in 1938, but she had plenty to do: she continued as a stage actress, and she flew. Literally. She was an accomplished pilot, a friend of Amelia Earhart’s, and made several solo transcontinental flights. And somewhere amidst all this activity, she wrote four novels, starting with Homeward Borne in 1950.
Still, she is best remembered for her pre-Code stuff, some of which looked like this:
Her very last acting job was on a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV production of Hamlet in 1953, as (of course) Gertrude.