It’s time to get serious.
There have been a plethora of talented, beautiful actresses out there. Alice Faye, Myrna Loy, Lana Turner, Carole Lombard, Grace Kelly, the list goes on, and on, and on and ON.
But, one of my dear favorites, and one who is not recognized NEARLY enough because of her early departure from the film business (more about that later) is the lovely Deanna Durbin.
Born Edna Mae Durbin on December 4, 1921 in Canada, she began singing at just a year old. Her voice developed beautifully and by the age of 14 she was offered to sing with the Metropolitan Opera.
When she began working with Universal Studios in 1936 (age 14) she was given the professional name Deanna.
Before Universal Studios, she had a signed co
Her first large film was with Universal Studios in 1936, Three Smart Girls. It was a huge success, and her career shot off.
With her elegant voice, and charming personality, the public adored her. As she grew and matured, her beauty did too. The mark of her “coming of age” began with the movie “First Love” with Robert Stack (dreamboat, picture below), where she received her FIRST KISS. Not just stage, but her first real kiss. The movie was a smash, and she just kept moving up.
Some other of her great films (I guess they are just my favorite) are…..
1) It Started With Eve (1941): A young man asks a hat check girl to pose as his fiancée in order to make his dying father’s last moments happy. However, the old man’s health takes a turn for the better and now his son doesn’t know how to break the news that he’s engaged to someone else, especially since his father is so taken with the impostor.
This movie is legitimately one of
the funniest movies I ever seen.
It was the first Deanna movie I watched, and I just fell in love. Robert Cummings and Charles Laughton are perfect with Deanna. I highly recommend this movie.
2) Hers to Hold (1943): Summary
Joseph Cotton stars with her in this one, and I just love him. MAN. Girls (boys too!), you will love this movie. It’s available on youtube, to the best of my knowledge. It’s hard to beat the romantic Joseph Cotton. And I personally think Deanna is absolutely gorgeous in this movie.
3) Christmas Holiday (1944): Summary
Okay, first off, I can never resist Gene Kelly. Really. That’s not even a joke. And to put him with Deanna Durbin in the movie is probably the best thing they could do for me. This is one of Deanna’s few serious films, and I personally think she is fantastic. It really shows her talent. Not to mention the song “Always” makes me cry every time I hear it now. This film was actually her favorite of all of the ones she did. And I think you would see why. This is ALSO available on youtube.
4) Can’t Help Singing (1944): Summary
This was Deanna’s only technicolor movie! And it was highly praised! Loved her in it!
5) For the Love of Mary (1948): GUESS WHAT?! DAVID HAS THIS MOVIE ON THIS WEBSITE! Right here. For you to watch. Do it.
This was Deanna’s last movie. And it’s honestly one of my favorites. The comedy, the romance, the crazy things Deanna got into! She is wonderful, and it has some great songs in it. She displays her skill beautifully. WATCH IT. You won’t be disappointed.
At last, to end this post, I must explain why Deanna left the film business. She worked on films from 1935-1948 for Universal Studios. They were extremely strict on not letting any other studio borrow her, mostly because of her fame and publicity and I think..greed. Haha. This, along with many other things, frustrated Deanna. And then in 1948 retired from the film business (there was a lot more to it then just retiring, but I’m not putting up the whole story now ). She currently lives in Paris where she raised her two children (Jessica and Peter) with husband Charles David (died 1999). I do know, from research, that she wanted to lead a normal life, to raise her children and be a mother. From being in films from such a young age, she had had anything BUT a normal life. And this was her chance. Since 1949, she has completely withdrawn from any media or public life, just to be with her family. To me that is one of the most respectable decisions I’ve ever heard made in Hollywood. She will continue to be a role model for me.
Sorry that was a bit lengthy! With lots of photos!