Why did I give up my career? I loved thembut I had my ticket to Paris in my pocket and anyway, Julie Andrews was great and so was Audrey Hepburn in the film.. Are you sure you want to report this post for ? What makes Deanna Durbin's story different is that she was never comfortable with adulation. Hopper, Hedda. You can't hide that kind of light under a bushel. She likely made lots of money during her career and didnt have to work again.  However, while her adult dramatic roles may have been more satisfying for Durbin, it was clear her fans preferred her in light musical confections. Deanna Durbin has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1722 Vine Street. That union lasted until Davids death in 1991 at 92. I've had Paris. The light comedy For the Love of Mary (1948) was her swansong. She tried her hand at drama, but I believe critics expected her to just make cheerful, happy films with the same character., I do believe she could have gone to MGM or any other studio, said Harper. Samuel declarou que os filmes permitem-no "fazer coisas que via quando criana". " In September 1949, Durbin filed for divorce from Jackson, which was finalized in November. Her work was credited with saving the studio from bankruptcy, and led to Durbin being awarded the Academy Juvenile Award in 1938. Its a shame, too, that she wouldnt allow herself to be profiled on Websites. Edna Mae's time in Canada, however, was brief. Thelate Mr Shipman wrote one of my favourite books, THE GREAT FILM STARS; THE GOLDEN YEARS. Encounter with Siodmak A reviewer for the New York Times praised her 'phenomenal vocal cords'. "And her contract eventually ran out. Durbin married assistant director Vaughn Paul in 1941 at age 19. In the late 1930s and 1940s, Deanna and Judy, just teenagers, were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Piano and musical arrangements: Bennett Paster, Graphic Design: Christache Ross. Louis B. Mayer decided to sign both, but by then, Durbin's contract option had lapsed. Get the best of Fox News' entertainment coverage, right in your inbox. Gall carries the play well, but you really need a richer story and more nuance about Judys life. Durbin sang "Il Bacio" for the studio's vocal coach, who was stunned by her "mature soprano" voice. She received a $200,000 ($2,300,000 in 2021)  severance payment,, Unsatisfied by her career options, Durbin chose to retire and move to Paris. Kino Lorber has released three films featuring Deanna Durbin, the girl who singlehandedly saved Universal studios from bankruptcy in the late 1930s. And so did film and music executives. Harper pointed out that while Durbin could have easily made a comeback in her later years, she preferred her private life with the family --far away from the glaring studio lights. She didnt make great demands. She was given the professional name Deanna at the beginning of her association with Universal Studios in 1936, when she was still 14 years old. Her voice was often described as "natural and beautiful" and her version of "One Fine Day" from Madame Butterfly, became a classic. ". She flat out refused. While often re-creating her movie songs for commercial release, Durbin also covered independent standards, like "Kiss Me Again", "My Hero", "Annie Laurie", "Poor Butterfly", "Love's Old Sweet Song" and "God Bless America". (LogOut/ A nostalgic journey to the past to relive the golden days of entertainment!  At the age of one, Edna Mae was singing children's songs. 30S STAR GRETA GARBO HAD SOCIAL ANXIETY AND A FEAR OF CROWDS BUT WAS NOT A RECLUSIVE FIGURE, AUTHOR SAYS, Actress Deanna Durbin and David Bruce in a scene from the movie 'Lady on a Train.' The film, combined with her appearance on Eddie Cantor's radio show in 1936, announced her as a new star. She really illuminated their lives by just answering audience questions. Breakdown Silences KFI If she did have any regrets we will probably never know because very little is written about her life, once she retired. Danna . And there was no denying her films improved the financial difficulties her studio faced at the time, he added. The girl who one day would be known as "Winnipeg's Sweetheart" was born at Grace Hospital on December 4, 1921, as Edna Mae . She achieved success as the ideal teenaged daughter in films such as Three Smart Girls (1936), One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937), and It Started with Eve (1941). Gall, in her story, suggests that latter version, and points out that Garland thought Durbin was shortsighted in leaving the movies and wished she had remained. Interestingly, the lyrics pair her name with her first co-star Judy Garland: "Even a voice that's so disturbin' / Like Judy Garland or Miss Durbin / Can't compare to my pin-up queen". 28, Iss. In 1944, she tried to get out of it by playing a prostitute in the movie Christmas Holiday. How about Judy Garland? In 1941, Durbin starred in It Started with Eve (1941), her last film with Pasternak and director Henry Koster. Stephanie Nolasco covers entertainment at Foxnews.com. Between December 15, 1936, and July 22, 1947, Deanna Durbin recorded 50 tunes for Decca Records. Durbins last two movies did not do well, said Harper. " Indian-Bengali film director Satyajit Ray, in his acceptance speech for an Oscar (Honorary Lifetime Achievement) in 1992, mentioned Deanna Durbin as the only one of the three cinema personalities he recalled writing to when young who had acknowledged his fan letter with a reply. Its always a shock when hearing about such news. Her new husband. She certainly was a mysterious woman. I don't think Deanna Durbin will ever lose her fan base, every year more people "discover" her and her delightful personality. " Although the film received mixed reviews, Durbin later called it her "only really good film". There were Deanna Durbin dolls and dresses. Since 1949, Durbin successfully stayed out of the spotlight and rarely gave interviews before she passed away in 2013 at age 91. Hard to imagine being put in a jail for your safetyone more reason why I'm glad I'm not famous! In the film, Jane Barlow, ballerina and a student of Nijinska, was a body double for Durbin. Brady, Thomas F. "Some Hollywood Highlights". Durbin's son, Peter H. David, was quoted in the "Deanna Durbin Society" newsletter saying his mother had passed away several days ago, but he did not provide any other details about her death.  Durbin soon became Thomas's prize pupil, and he showcased her talent at various local clubs and churches. Gall plays Deanna and brings in the story of Judy in an interview with an invisibleNew York Timesreporter. " In 1951, she was invited to play in London's West End production of Kiss Me, Kate, and in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film version of the same in 1953, and Sigmund Romberg's operetta The Student Prince in 1954. I couldnt discover why she didnt try. Thank you for reprinting this article on such a lovely actress and singer. She lives in the French village of Neauphl-le-Chteau, and for over 35 years has resisted every approach from film companies. It may have been a shock to Deannas Fans that she left her Career so young never to return, but she wasnt in a boat by herself. David, thanks for reprinting this fascinating interview. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. I loved to sing. The strength of the play is its show biz history. The film was intended as a demonstration of their talent as performers as studio executives had questioned the wisdom of casting two female singers together. She withdrew from public life, granting only one interview on her career in 1983. Durbin came to Hollywood as kid, like so many others, but had a great voice and won a $100 a week contract with MGM. You just can't, no matter how hard you try! That was a long time. Her last actingcredit was inFor The Love of Maryin 1948. She fled to Europe and completely turned her back to Hollywood., RELATED: 16 Old Hollywood Bombshells: See Photos Then And Now. Deanna was not only a superb actress, but as a . Durbin gained popularity during the Depression and was . With the technical skill and vocal range of a legitimate lyric soprano, she performed many styles from popular standards to operatic arias. Unlike Judy Garland, she seemed to be very mature in the films that she made, even as a young teenager. Durbin, who has died aged 91, was the antithesis of the Hollywood glamour girl which made her the kind of star that teachers liked to offer as an example to their students. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. *For donate* https://www.paypal.me/womanandtime Deanna Durbin (1921-2013) was one of the brightest stars of Hollywood and world cinema in the 1930s and 1940s.She began her career in 1936, when she was still a child. Movie mogul L.B. Judy Garland was also featured in the film and she and Durbin sang together, but the much more gauche-looking Garland appealed more to the mogul than the prettier Durbin, who he decided was a little too womanly for what he had in mind.  She made her first film appearance in the short Every Sunday (1936) with Judy Garland, another teenage singer-actress whose career would rival Durbin's. Why did she build such a successful career in a short time and then give it all up? I do hope so. She didnt make great demands., He added, She just wanted more say in her own films, but she couldnt. Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. Then suddenly, she disappeared. She seemed totally content with raising her two children on a little farm outside of Paris., 50S SEX SYMBOL MAMIE VAN DOREN ON LEAVING HOLLYWOOD AFTER MARILYN MONROE'S DEATH: 'THERE WERE A LOT OF DRUGS', Deanna Durbin (1921-2013) with the wind in the hair and leaning on a tree's branch in a publicity shot from 1941, United States. The one woman play just opened at the Soho Playhouse, on Van Dam Street, in New York. , On December 21, 1950, Durbin married French director-producer Charles Henri David, who had previously directed her in Lady on a Train. Winston Churchill was also a fan of Durbin, screening her films "on celebratory wartime occasions". It is Deannas story, not Judys, and she sings Deannas music and not Judys (except forSomewhere Over the Rainbow). Her second marriage, to the producer Felix Jackson, also ended in divorce, this time after four years, in 1949. Gall tells a fascinating and colorful story. What makes Deanna Durbin's story different is that she was never comfortable with adulation. Deanna's genius had to be unfolded, but it was hers and hers alone, always has been, always will be, and no one can take credit for discovering her. All rights reserved. Theres not much out there on her, but she left behind a wonderful body of work. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. The problem of keeping normal in Hollywood doesn't seem so uncomplicated to Deanna Durbin, 16-year-old star of Universal Pictures. Durbin turned down the role, and was suspended by the studio from October 16, 1941, to early February 1942. In 1947, she was not only the highest paid actress in Hollywood but the highest paid woman in America. He also teaches writing at New Jersey City University. She could have probably gone to MGM or another studio because she was still at the height of her acting abilities and her voice at her best. Working with these talented men helped me so very much and I grew up much faster than the average teenager. Then suddenly, she disappeared. ), Edward Everett Horton,Deanna Durbin,Charles David, I did not find the Deanna Durbin interview at the site you mentioned. That same year, Durbin was given a special miniature Academy Award for her significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth., She had a special kind of youthfulness paired with an incredible voice, Harper said regarding Durbins talent. Deanna was also Winston Churchills favorite actress. "Beneath The Lights Of Home" being the most requested record. She probably dressed down to avoid attention. (Photo by Universal Pictures/De Carvalho Collection/Getty Images), FORMER 40S STAR VERONICA LAKE WROTE SHE HAD TO GET OUT OF HOLLYWOOD BEFORE HER TRAGIC DEATH. In a 1958 letter declining an interview with an Associated Press reporter, Durbin wrote when she got on the plane for France, "Deanna Durbin was dead and my own life really began.". The way he lives, it never crosses his mind to try to make himself happy or to make others happy. Audiences flocked to see her musical comedies and, after she had trilled numbers such as It's Raining Sunbeams (in the film One Hundred Men and a Girl, 1937), Home Sweet Home (in First Love, 1939) and Waltzing in the Clouds (in Spring Parade, 1940), her fans queued to buy the latest record bearing her name. The Universal producer Joe Pasternak constantly tried to change her mind, but Durbin told him: "I can't run around being a Little Miss Fix-It who bursts into song the highest-paid star with the poorest material. Durbin had an older sister named Edith, who recognized Deanna's musical talents at an early age and helped Deanna to take singing lessons at Ralph Thomas Academy. , Universal Pictures producer Joe Pasternak wished to borrow Garland from MGM, but she was unavailable. If they were allowed to be managed and controlled, for example, by Reputable Fan Clubs, that would have been Great News for Her Fans. You have no idea of the smelly old movie houses I patronized to see Deanna Durbin. This is the last known interview with the reclusive film star and recording artist before her death in April of 2013. I wonder now if there could be a demand for a biography of Deanna. Eventually, the inevitable happened: Durbin and her bosses had different ideas about what represented the right kind of vehicle. , Durbin's final four pictures I'll Be Yours (1947), Something in the Wind (1947), Up in Central Park (1948), and For the Love of Mary (1948) all reverted to her previous musical-comedy structure. The story needs a far better explanation of why Durbin fled Hollywood. It's a Date (1940) Approved | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance 6.4 Rate TELEVISION ACADEMY and ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS & SCIENCES are registered trademarks of ATAS. In 1939, Durbin, aged 17, and her fellow child star Mickey Rooney were awarded special Oscars "for their significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth and, as juvenile players, setting a high standard of ability and achievement". Browse Deanna Durbin movies and TV shows available on Prime Video and begin streaming right away to your favorite device. Durbin was also able to retool her second sequel to Three Smart Girls from Three Smart Girls Join Up to Hers to Hold (1943), revolving solely around her character. So, what happened? From the age of eight she started taking voice lessons and when she was 14 she was recommended to the MGM studio boss Louis B Mayer, who planned to cast her in a biopic of the opera singer Ernestine Schumann-Heink. Whenever I complained or asked for story or director approval, the studio refused. Her major motion pictures were Three Smart Girls (1936), Mad About Music (1938) and That Certain Age (1938). Nobody knows very much about her. And Durbins popularity wasnt just on the silver screen. This was a great read! She had one older sister, Edith (later Mrs. Heckman, born in England, died in California). No other details were given.  When she was an infant, her family moved from Winnipeg to Southern California, and the family became United States citizens in 1923. She had also completed 22 films by then. Change), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Gall is an authority on both women and researched their lives thoroughly. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper. Judy stayed in Hollywood, led a tragic life and died of a drug overdose at 47. The life and career of the seemingly forgotten movie star are explored in a recently published biography titled Deanna Durbin A Hollywood Fairy Tale - The Legend of Edna Mae by William Harper. ", "This was a great read! In those days, there was a way into movies that is no longer available: the studio put her into what was called a "short subject", and allowed the public to judge. How could anybody really think that I was going to spend the rest of my life with a man I found I didnt love, just for the sake of an image? she added. The New York Times's reviewer noted a "plot which leaks at every pore" but praised "the young-girlish magic which [Durbin] is able to evoke with her pretty personality and her phenomenal vocal cords". The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents. An engineering firm named its so-called dream home in her honor. She had also completed 22 films by then. Unlike Judy Garland, she seemed to be very mature in the films that she made, even as a young teenager. Upon her retirement and divorce from Jackson in 1949, Durbin married producer-director Charles Henri David and moved to a farmhouse near Paris. By the time she was 18 her income was $250,000 a year. I don't think Deanna Durbin will ever lose her fan base, every year more people "discover" her and her delightful personality. Her . She simply wanted to create quality work and grow within her job. TYRONE POWERS DAUGHTER SAYS 30S HOLLYWOOD IDOL WAS A DEVOTED FATHER BEFORE HIS TRAGIC DEATH: I FELT SAFE, Canadian actress and singer Deanna Durbin (1921-2013) wearing a black sleeveless dress in a publicity shot once used for the cover of the magazine Yank, The Army Weekly, 1944, United States. Do you remember Deanna Durbin? The legend was that the two, who starred in a movie together in 1936, were lifelong bitter rivals, but really, they were not. It seems that back in the early 1950s, when Durbin had been retired for a few years, that the writers of the still untested MyFair Ladywent to see her to convince her to play Eliza Doolittle. I was a typical 13-year-old American girl, she wrote, as quoted by the outlet. Deanna is a favourite on my local nostalgia radio. But like with many child stars, Durbin eventually yearned for more. Ive seen a couple of unflattering photos of her, dressed in a shapeless coat with an unattractive scarf on her head. She sang the number again for Louis B. Mayer, who signed her to a six-month contract. That role, of course, would have made her famous all over again, an international superstar, a brilliant comet racing across the show business sky. Deanna Durbin. The rumor was that MGM wanted Deanna for the role of Dorothy in Oz and that she auditioned for it, but refused it because Judy wanted it. I liked the people with whom I worked and after the nervousness of the first day, I felt completely at ease in front of the camera. She achieved success as the ideal teenaged daughter in films such as Three Smart Girls (1936), One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937), and It Started with Eve (1941). Durbin figures prominently in the 1963 Ray Bradbury short story "The Anthem Sprinters" (collected in The Machineries of Joy). Life and career. I do my own shopping, bring up my two children and sing an hour every day.. When Durbin had her first screen kiss with Robert Stack in First Love, a riff on the Cinderella plot it filled columns in the American newspapers for weeks. But after having been a Top Paid Actress in Hollywood, she could hardly expect people to not seek her out. Her second marriage, to film writer-producer-actor Felix Jackson in 1945, produced a daughter, Jessica Louise Jackson, but a divorce followed in 1949. There is no rough styling, trying to make it seem, without understanding the essence. Gall is quite good playing Durbin and she is a superb singer. Deanna married director Charles Davis when she was 28 and retired to live in a French farmhouse. If so, you are one of the few. "Beneath The Lights Of Home" being the most requested record. For one thing, just take a look at my last four films and youll appreciate that the stories I had to defend were mediocre, near impossible. By 1938, Hollywood launched a nationwide search to find the right young man who would give Durbin her first screen kiss in the movie First Love, the New York Times reported. Deannas observations of her life in Hollywood are so revealing and her honesty is welcome. Her talk with me was her first interview since . It turns out she simply enjoyed her private life. DEANNA DURBIN INTERVIEW Visiting a Deanna Durbin fan site , ( Deannadurbindevotees.com), I was fascinated to read an interview author David Shipman did with Deanna in 1983 at her home in France. . There may have been some jealousy between them, but I doubt they were enemies. An interesting interview for sure and a shame it is so short. Renamed Deanna Durbin for show business purposes, by age 21 she was the most highly paid female star in the world. I tried to create the very best in my music, to try to recreate, to approach her purity. So, what happened? A year later, she married once more. EMMY, EMMYS, and the Emmy Statuette are registered trademarks and/or copyrights Of ATAS and NATAS. Pasternak moved from Universal to MGM. (Getty Images), 30S STAR GRACIE FIELDS ENDURED PRESSURE TO LOOK GLAMOROUS, 'HAD ALL HER TEETH PULLED OUT,' BOOK CLAIMS, She was very young when she left Hollywood, Harper explained regarding why Durbins name isnt as prominent as some of her peers today. When my first marriage failed, everyone said that I could never divorce, Durbin later told Films and Filming magazine in 1983, as quoted by the New York Times. DIVORCE GRANTED TO DEANNA DURBIN: Singing Actress Says Director Husband, Felix Jackson, Left Her and Hollywood The following is a 1983 interview with classic movie star Deanna Durbin, conducted by David Shipman. They sort of adopted me as their perfect daughter., 'MUNSTERS' CHILD STAR BUTCH PATRICK EXPLAINS WHY HIT 60S SERIES CAME TO AN END, Deanna Durbin, Canadian-born singer and actress, pictured smiling with her chin resting on her right hand, circa 1935. Only really good film '' them, but she left behind a wonderful body of.... On such a lovely actress and singer Durbin movies and TV shows available on Prime Video begin... To operatic arias Times praised her 'phenomenal vocal cords ' interesting interview for sure and student... Lives, it never crosses his mind to try to recreate, to early February 1942 to See Durbin. 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