Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/1/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Durbin retired in 1948 to lead very private life

One of the silver screen's leading lights during the Depression and World War II, actress and singer Deanna Durbin retired in 1948 to live with her third husband in France. A child star, Durbin said her biggest fans were "parents, many of whom could not cope with their own youngsters. They sort of adopted me as their 'perfect' daughter." Durbin has passed away at the age of 91.

Deanna Durbin was the second-highest paid woman in America in 1946, just $5,000 behind Bette Davis. Anne Frank kept Durbin's picture in the attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis; the photo still hangs today.

Deanna Durbin was the second-highest paid woman in America in 1946, just $5,000 behind Bette Davis. Anne Frank kept Durbin's picture in the attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis; the photo still hangs today.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/1/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Deanna Durbin, Depression era, movies, singer, musicals, Judy Garland, retirement


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Deanna Durbin Society's newsletter announced her death, quoting her son Peter H. David that she died "a few days ago." He thanked fans for respecting her privacy.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1921, Durbin signed to MGM at 13. She made her first film alongside Judy Garland in the 1936 short "Every Sunday." MGM head Louis B. Mayer reportedly instructed his employees to "drop the fat one." Letting Durbin go, Mayer had meant Garland.

Signing to Universal and the subsequent success of her next films, including "Three Smart Girls" and its two sequels kept the studio afloat. A 1936 nationwide search for the actor who would give Durbin her first screen kiss, actor Robert Stack was chosen for "First Love."

Durbin was the second-highest paid woman in America in 1946, just $5,000 behind Bette Davis. Anne Frank kept Durbin's picture in the attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis; the photo still hangs today.

Durbin's career had its setbacks. When she auditioned for the lead role in Disney's "Snow White," Walt Disney reportedly considered the then 15-year-old as sounding mature for the part. She recorded dozens of songs, including recreations of her movie tunes that were released commercially, and standards including "Love's Old Sweet Song" and "God Bless America."

Typecast as a sweet young thing, Durbin had a hard time finding acceptance as she grew older and took on adult roles. Audiences and critics were aghast when she took the role of a prostitute in "Christmas Holiday" in 1944.

She divorced her husband of two years, director Vaughn Paul, in 1943. She was married twice more, to producer Felix Jackson and Charles David, the director of "Lady on a Train." Her union with David lasted from 1950 until 1999, when he died.

Durbin made her last film in 1948, "For the Love of Mary" and retired to a French farmhouse with David.

Shunning the spotlight, she gave very few interviews. In a rare conversation, she said "I hated being in a goldfish bowl."

"I was a typical 13-year-old American girl. The character I was forced into had little or nothing in common with myself -- or with other youth of my generation, for that matter. I could never believe that my contemporaries were my fans," a letter she sent reporters in 1958 read in part. 

"I was never happy making pictures. I've gained weight. I do my own shopping, bring up my two children and sing an hour every day."

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Movies

Deal W. Hudson on How the Artist Addresses the Absolute? Watch

Image of John Wayne's Ethan Edwards sets out on a prolonged search for his niece, Debbie, played by a young Natalie Wood.

By Deal W. Hudson

The recent debate over the virtues and vices of Darren Aronofsky's film, Noah, raises more important, and fundamental, questions: How does the artist address the Absolute? What is required of an artist, whether in film, painting, or a novel to meet the specific ... continue reading


Pope John Paul II film festival part of renaissance in Christian film Watch

Image of Heaven is Real is among this year's blockbuster Christian films.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The year 2014 seems to be the year that Christians are taking back the film industry as dozens of faith-based films and blockbusters go mainstream. In addition to a series of TV shows, and Hollywood releases, there is also a film festival named for Pope John Paul II ... continue reading


Noah Meets the Transformers and Pretends to Be Abraham Watch

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

I wish Aronofsky's Noah well, though I don't believe it will have much of an afterlife after its initial release. The task of bringing a movie of this scope to the screen is immense, as is the financial risk: Paramount put $300,000,000 into production and ... continue reading


'Captain America' pushes aside 'Noah' to set April box office record Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Move over, "Noah." "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" was the largest April debut for any film on record, totaling all box-office competition. Movie theaters across the U.S. were galvanized with a jolt only seen in summertime blockbusters as "Captain ... continue reading


'Noah' tops nation's box offices with $44 million take Watch

Image of Based upon the Old Testament story of Noah's ark, the film is directed by

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The new motion picture "Noah," much in the manner of the biblical epics of yore helmed by Cecil B. DeMille has captured the nation's hearts and minds. Starring Russell Crowe, "Noah" opened at the top of the U.S. box office this weekend with a $44 million take. ... continue reading


'Frozen' becomes top animated film of all time Watch

Image of Loosely based upon the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Disney's animated musical "Frozen" has become the top-grossing animated film in box office history. The feature has now made $1.072 billion globally, beating "Toy Story 3's" previous record of $1.063 billion in 2010. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Loosely ... continue reading


What's your opinion of the movie 'Noah'? Watch, then share your thoughts with us Watch

Image of The movie 'Noah' opens today.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The movie "Noah" is opening in theaters across the country today and a number of Catholics have strong feelings about the movie with some declaring they will not watch it. Of course, the movie Noah is a Hollywood production and it promises to be both entertaining and ... continue reading


The bestial nature of man: werewolf classic 'The Howling' revived for festival Watch

Image of In The Howling, a husband and wife discover that members of a sinister New Age retreat are secretly werewolves!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While vampires have enjoyed an infusion of new blood thanks to the Twilight series, and as film director Joe Dante says, "Zombies are the most fashionable monster of today," there was a time when furry-faced lycanthropes, or werewolves, ruled the silver screen. ... continue reading


NOAH Movie Features Christian Artist Patti Smith Watch

Image of Patti Smith is flanked by Director Darren Aronofsky (left) and Producer Scott Franklin (right) during a special screening of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"NOAH" starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins will release in theaters this Friday, March 28. "NOAH" has been the subject of concern among the Christian community for the past few months fueled by comments and speculation. Many of ... continue reading


The Ten Greatest Movies - never made! Watch

Image of Most everyone agrees that Jodorowsky couldn't have done any worse than fellow cinematic visionary David Lynch, who delivered a stillborn, bloated version of the space epic

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the world of Hollywood - a designation that applies to all aspects of filmmaking, and not just that most unglamorous stretch of suburb in California - many films go into preproduction and are then abandoned. This is what is known in showbiz as "turnaround" - that ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-9
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 26:14-25
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 16th, 2014 Image

St. Bernadette
April 16: On April 16, 1879, Bernadette -- or Sister Marie-Bernard, as she ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter