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Irene Dunne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Irene Dunne (born Irene Marie Dunn, December 20, 1898 – September 4, 1990) was an American film actress and singer of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. Dunne was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her performances in Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) and I Remember Mama (1948). In 1985, Dunne was given Kennedy Center Honors for her services to the arts. Dunne was discovered by Hollywood while starring with the road company of Show Boat in 1929. She signed a contract with RKO and appeared in her first movie, Leathernecking (1930), a film version of the musical Present Arms. Already in her thirties when she made her first film, she would be in competition with younger actresses for roles, and found it advantageous to evade questions that would reveal her age. Her publicists encouraged the belief that she was born in 1901 or 1904, and the former is the date engraved on her tombstone. During the 1930s and 1940s, Dunne blossomed into a popular screen heroine in movies such as the original Back Street (1932) and the original Magnificent Obsession (1935) and re-created her role as Magnolia in Show Boat (1936), directed by James Whale. Love Affair (1939) is the first of three films she made opposite Charles Boyer. She starred, and sang "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", in the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film version of the musical Roberta (1935). Dunne was apprehensive about attempting her first comedy role, as the title character in Theodora Goes Wild (1936), but discovered that she enjoyed it. She turned out to possess an aptitude for comedy, with a flair for combining the elegant and the madcap, a quality she displayed in such films as The Awful Truth (1937) and My Favorite Wife (1940), both co-starring Cary Grant. Other roles include Julie Gardiner Adams in Penny Serenade (1941), again with Grant, Anna and the King of Siam (1946) as Anna Leonowens, Lavinia Day in Life with Father (1947), and Marta Hanson in I Remember Mama (1948). In The Mudlark (1950), she was nearly unrecognizable under heavy makeup as Queen Victoria. The comedy It Grows on Trees (1952) became Dunne's last screen performance, although she remained on the lookout for suitable film scripts for years afterwards. The following year, she was the opening act on the 1953 March of Dimes showcase in New York City. While in town, she made an appearance as the mystery guest on What's My Line? She also made television performances on Ford Theatre, General Electric Theater, and the Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, continuing to act until 1962. In 1952–53, Dunne played newspaper editor Susan Armstrong in the radio program Bright Star. The syndicated 30-minute comedy-drama also starred Fred MacMurray. Dunne commented in an interview that she had lacked the "terrifying ambition" of some other actresses and said, "I drifted into acting and drifted out. Acting is not everything. Living is."

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Dec 20, 1898 In Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Leathernecking 1930-09-12
Latest Project:
Movie 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year 2009-07-02
Known For
Poster of The DuPont Show with June Allyson
Poster of The Oscars
Poster of The Colgate Comedy Hour
Poster of This Man Is Mine
Movie 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year Unknown 2009-07-02
Movie Musical Comedy Tonight III Unknown 1985-11-22
Series Sylvia Fine Kaye's Musical Comedy Tonight III Self 1985-11-22
Series The Kennedy Center Honors Unknown 1978-12-28
Movie Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (archive footage) 1975-08-06
Movie Hollywood Without Make-Up Unknown 1963-07-01
Series The DuPont Show with June Allyson Unknown 1959-09-21
Series Letter to Loretta Unknown 1953-09-20
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Series The Oscars Unknown 1953-03-18
Movie It Grows on Trees Polly Baxter 1952-09-02
Movie You Can Change The World Herself 1950-02-25
Series What's My Line? Self - Mystery Guest 1950-02-02
Movie Never a Dull Moment Kay Kingsley 1950-08-19
Movie The Mudlark Queen Victoria 1950-11-28
Series The Jack Benny Program Irene Dunne 1950-10-28
Series The Colgate Comedy Hour Unknown 1950-09-10
Movie I Remember Mama Mama 1948-03-09
Movie Life with Father Vinnie Day 1947-09-13
Movie Anna and the King of Siam Anna Owens 1946-08-11
Movie Over 21 Paula 'Polly' Wharton 1945-08-08
Movie Twenty Years After Unknown 1944-01-01
Movie Together Again Anne Crandall 1944-12-23
Movie The White Cliffs of Dover Susan Dunn 1944-05-11
Movie Show-Business at War Self 1943-05-21
Movie A Guy Named Joe Dorinda Durston 1943-12-24
Movie Lady in a Jam Jane Palmer 1942-06-19
Movie Penny Serenade Julie Gardiner Adams 1941-04-24
Movie Unfinished Business Nancy Andrews 1941-08-27
Movie My Favorite Wife Ellen Wagstaff Arden 1940-05-17
Movie Love Affair Terry McKay 1939-04-07
Movie Invitation to Happiness Eleanor Wayne 1939-06-07
Movie When Tomorrow Comes Helen Lawrence 1939-08-11
Movie Joy of Living Margaret 'Maggie' Garret 1938-05-06
Movie The Awful Truth Lucy Warriner 1937-10-20
Movie High, Wide and Handsome Sally Watterson 1937-07-21
Movie Show Boat Magnolia Hawkes 1936-05-17
Movie Theodora Goes Wild Theodora Lynn 1936-11-12
Movie Screen Snapshots (Series 16, No. 1) Unknown 1936-09-11
Movie Roberta Stephanie 1935-03-07
Movie Things You Never See on the Screen Herself 1935-12-01
Movie Magnificent Obsession Helen Hudson 1935-12-30
Movie This Man Is Mine Tony Dunlap 1934-04-13
Movie Stingaree Hilda Bouverie 1934-05-24
Movie The Age of Innocence Countess Ellen Olenska 1934-09-14
Movie Sweet Adeline Adeline 'Addie' Schmidt 1934-12-29
Movie No Other Woman Anna Stanley 1933-01-06
Movie The Secret of Madame Blanche Sally 1933-02-03
Movie Ann Vickers Ann Vickers 1933-09-26
Movie The Silver Cord Christina Phelps 1933-05-05
Movie If I Were Free Sarah Cazenove 1933-12-01
Movie Symphony of Six Million Jessica 1932-04-29
Movie Thirteen Women Laura Stanhope 1932-09-16
Movie Back Street Ray Schmidt 1932-09-01
Movie The Stolen Jools Irene Dunne 1931-04-04
Movie Cimarron Sabra Cravat 1931-02-09
Movie Bachelor Apartment Helene Andrews 1931-04-15
Movie The Great Lover Diana 1931-07-18
Movie Consolation Marriage Mary Brown Porter 1931-11-21
Movie Leathernecking Delphine Witherspoon 1930-09-12