Image of Shirley Ross

Shirley Ross

Blonde, vivacious and obviously talented, Shirley Ross had the promisings of a big musical film star, but her career remained strictly second-string throughout her fairly short career. She is best remembered through her pairing with an entertainment legend: Shirley was afforded the opportunity of duetting with Bob Hope on the song "Thanks for the Memory" in the splashy musical The Big Broadcast of 1938. The song, of course, became Bob's beloved signature tune. Shirley was born Bernice Gaunt in Omaha, Nebraska in 1913. Her family moved west and she attended Hollywood High School, later studying at UCLA. Blessed with a gorgeous musical instrument, and an adept piano player as well, Shirley went on to sing with Gus Arnheim's band on the west coast, appearing at all the swanky clubs of the day, including the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, while making a decent name for herself on radio. She also appeared in a west coast production of "Anything Goes". MGM initially scooped her up, making her unbilled debut in the Jean Harlow starrer Blonde Bombshell (1933). She continued on just as obscurely in the films Hollywood Party (1934), Manhattan Melodrama (1934), The Girl from Missouri (1934), The Merry Widow (1934), and Age of Indiscretion (1935), but was finally promoted to a minor featured role in the classic earthquake epic San Francisco (1936) with Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald, in which Shirley sang "Happy New Year". In 1936, she found more visible work over at Paramount and spent the next few years there paired up vocally and romantically with either Bing Crosby or Bob Hope in their popular vehicles - The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936), Waikiki Wedding (1937), Thanks for the Memory (1938), Paris Honeymoon (1939), and Some Like It Hot (1939). Though most were trifling, insignificant time fillers, she was a diverting beauty and quite serviceable in them. She was even given the chance to topline a few of her own movies such as Prison Farm (1938), Sailors on Leave (1941), and A Song for Miss Julie (1945), which was her swan song. After leaving pictures, Shirley Ross was little heard or seen. Married first to agent John Kenneth 'Ken' Dolan, then to Everett S. 'Eddie' Blum, she had three children - two sons and a daughter. She died in Menlo Park, California of cancer in 1975.

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Jan 7, 1913 In Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Jail Birds of Paradise 1934-03-10
Latest Project:
Series Matinee Theater 1955-10-31
Known For
Poster of A Song for Miss Julie
Poster of The Big Broadcast of 1938
Poster of Manhattan Melodrama
Poster of Jail Birds of Paradise
Series Matinee Theater Unknown 1955-10-31
Movie A Song for Miss Julie Valerie Kimbro 1945-02-19
Movie Kisses for Breakfast Juliet Marsden 1941-07-05
Movie Sailors on Leave Linda Hall 1941-09-30
Movie Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 2 Unknown 1941-12-05
Movie Paris Honeymoon Barbara Wayne 1939-01-27
Movie Cafe Society Bells Browne 1939-03-03
Movie Some Like It Hot Lily Racquel 1939-05-19
Movie Unexpected Father Dianna Donovan 1939-06-14
Movie The Big Broadcast of 1938 Cleo Fielding 1938-02-11
Movie Dangerous to Know Herself / Singer on Recording (voice) 1938-03-11
Movie Prison Farm Jean Forest 1938-06-17
Movie Thanks for the Memory Anne Merrick 1938-11-11
Movie Waikiki Wedding Georgia Smith 1937-03-23
Movie Blossoms On Broadway Sally Shea 1937-11-19
Movie Hideaway Girl Toni Ainsworth 1936-11-20
Movie San Francisco Trixie 1936-06-26
Movie Devil's Squadron Eunice 1936-04-30
Movie The Big Broadcast of 1937 Gwen Holmes 1936-10-05
Movie Two Hearts in Wax Time Mannequin Shirley (uncredited) 1935-03-23
Movie Buried Loot Girl in Apartment (uncredited) 1935-01-19
Movie Age of Indiscretion Dotty 1935-05-10
Movie I Live My Life Vi (Uncredited) 1935-10-04
Movie Calm Yourself Ruth Rockwell 1935-06-28
Movie It's in the Air Cigar Stand Clerk (uncredited) 1935-10-10
Movie Jail Birds of Paradise Herself 1934-03-10
Movie Manhattan Melodrama Singer in Cotton Club 1934-05-04