Image of Deanna Durbin

Deanna Durbin

The girl who one day would be known as "Winnipeg's Sweetheart" was born at Grace Hospital on December 4, 1921, as Edna Mae Durbin. In her early childhood there were no obvious signs that one day she would be a bigger box office attraction than Shirley Temple. Renamed Deanna Durbin for show business purposes, by age 21 she was the most highly paid female star in the world. Her major motion pictures were Three Smart Girls (1936), Mad About Music (1938) and That Certain Age (1938). By the time she was 18 her income was $250,000 a year. Her voice was often described as "natural and beautiful" and her version of "One Fine Day" from Madame Butterfly, became a classic. Deanna was a Hollywood star in every way. There were Deanna Durbin dolls and dresses. An engineering firm named its so-called dream home in her honor. Her first screen kiss was described in a headline story across the continent. What makes Deanna Durbin's story different is that she was never comfortable with adulation. When she was at the top of her career as Hollywood's leading actress and singer, she turned her back on that world for a life of seclusion. Her first two marriages had failed, and before she married her third husband, director Charles David, she set one condition: he had to promise that she could have what she yearned for - "the life of nobody". Her seclusion is incomplete. She lives in the French village of Neauphlé-le-Château, and for over 35 years has resisted every approach from film companies. Her husband has told journalists that "Mario Lanza pleaded with her for years to make a film with him. But she will never go back to that life." She granted only one interview since 1949 to film historian David Shipman in 1983.

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Dec 4, 1921 In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Every Sunday 1936-11-28
Latest Project:
Movie Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History 2008-10-14
Known For
Poster of Judy Garland: By Myself
Poster of It Started with Eve
Poster of Three Smart Girls Grow Up
Poster of Three Smart Girls
Movie Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History 2008-10-14
Movie Judy Garland: By Myself Herself 2004-02-25
Movie Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song 2001-12-27
Movie That's Entertainment! (archive footage) 1974-06-21
Movie Up in Central Park Rosie Moore 1948-07-09
Movie For the Love of Mary Mary Peppertree 1948-09-01
Movie I'll Be Yours Louise Ginglebusher 1947-02-02
Movie Something in the Wind Mary Collins 1947-07-21
Movie Because of Him Kim Walker 1946-01-18
Movie Lady on a Train Nikki Collins / Margo Martin 1945-08-03
Movie The Shining Future Self 1944-04-11
Movie Christmas Holiday Jackie Lamont / Abigail Martin 1944-01-01
Movie Can't Help Singing Caroline Frost 1944-12-25
Movie Show-Business at War Herself 1943-05-21
Movie Hers to Hold Penelope “Penny” Craig 1943-07-16
Movie It Started with Eve Anne Terry 1941-09-26
Movie Cavalcade of the Academy Awards (archive footage) 1940-07-31
Movie It's a Date Pamela Drake 1940-03-22
Movie Spring Parade Ilonka Tolnay 1940-09-27
Movie Three Smart Girls Grow Up Penny Craig 1939-03-24
Movie First Love Constance (Connie) Harding 1939-11-10
Movie Mad About Music Gloria Harkinson 1938-02-27
Movie That Certain Age Alice Fullerton 1938-10-06
Movie One Hundred Men and a Girl Patricia Cardwell 1937-09-05
Movie Every Sunday Edna 1936-11-28
Movie Three Smart Girls Penny Craig 1936-12-20
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