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"In the Spotlight"

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A mischievous-looking Hodiak with Anne Baxter at a Hollywood costume party

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In the Spotlight: GLORIA DeHAVEN

 

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The lovely actress was born Gloria Mildred DeHaven on July 23, 1925, in Los Angeles, California.

DeHaven was the daughter of actor-director Carter DeHaven and actress Flora Parker DeHaven, both former vaudeville performers. DeHaven and her brother Carter DeHaven Jr (who later became a producer) traveled with their parents on tour while growing up, and Gloria enjoyed her first screen exposure in a bit part in Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" (1936), for which her father served as assistant director.

 

By 1940, DeHaven had been signed by MGM and she gained further experience as a singer with Bob Crosby and Jon Savitt's bands.

For several years she acted in small roles until she played one of the second leads in the high energy film version of the Broadway musical, "Best Foot Forward" with Lucille Ball in 1943, which also got June Allyson off and running.

 

The biggest year of DeHaven's screen career came in 1944, when she performed in six films released that year including "Two Girls and a Sailor" with Van Johnson. Much more important, though, was a loan-out to RKO for "Step Lively" in which her attractive alto and atypically relaxed charm teamed well with hot newcomer Frank Sinatra.

 

Even though some of her roles were still second leads, DeHaven was building momentum. MGM allegedly suspended her for refusing to do the musical film "Good News" and she was off the screen for over a year.

Her return to films, however, was a major boxoffice flop with "Summer Holiday" a charming and underrated musical with Mickey Rooney.

DeHaven stayed at MGM for two more years, alternating between blonde and brunette, as

lead and cutesy second lead, in a series of unmemorable films including the melodrama "Scene of the Crime", "Yes Sir That's My Baby", and "The Yellow Cab Man" with Red Skelton.

Her best films in this period were musicals, as she gamely supported Gene Kelly and Judy Garland in "Summer Stock" and impersonated her own mother in a cameo in the period biopic "Three Little Words".

 

DeHaven freelanced in several more musicals, "I'll Get By" with June Haver, "Two Tickets to Broadway", "Down Among the Sheltering Palms", and "So This Is Paris" with Tony Curtis.

With the decline of the film musical DeHaven turned to stage tours and TV. She hosted the 15-minute ABC variety program, "The Gloria DeHaven Show" (1953-54), and was a quiz show panelist on "Make the Connection", among many other shows.

 

DeHaven also appeared as a regular in the television series and soap operas "As the World Turns", "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" and "Ryan's Hope". She was one of the numerous celebrities enticed to appear in the all-star box office flop "Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood". she would receive her widest feature exposure in 40 years as one of the objects of Jack Lemmon's and Walter Matthau's schemes in "Out to Sea" in 1997.

 

Miss DeHaven was married 3 times including to actor John Payne (2 children) and 2 children with her third husband who she divorced in 1968.

Among the stars in Hollywood she has dated include Howard Duff, Jerry Lewis, Mickey Rooney, and Tom Drake.

 

Although she did not achieve film stardom, Gloria DeHaven was a bright ray on the big screen, and today at age 82 still a lovely lady.

 

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Gloria DeHaven has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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DeHaven with June Allyson and Jimmy Durante in "Two Girls and a Sailor" (1944)

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DeHaven clowning around with Van Johnson on the set of "Two Girls and a Sailor"

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DeHaven, George Murphy, Frank Sinatra & Wally Brown in "Step Lively" (1944)

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DeHaven with her husband John Payne (1944).

 

Message was edited by: mongo

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James Gleason, Red Skelton & DeHaven in "The Yellow Cab Man" (1950)

 

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DeHaven as Ellen Goodrich

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(1950)

 

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DeHaven on the set with Gene Kelly

 

Message was edited by: mongo

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Hi Mongo. . .

 

I just have to tell you how much I'm enjoying all these Wonderful Pictures you've

portrayed here. . . I'm trying to go through each one and read the comments of

the other readers.

 

And being a 'Peter Lorre' fan, I especially enjoyed viewing all the pics from his

movies, too...I admire him immensely, as one of the Best Actors of all time. . .

 

Ugaarte

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Ugaarte, I'm glad to know that you enoyed your trip through the profiles. Peter Lorre was indeed an essential actor, as well as a witty man.

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