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HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEANNA DURBIN!


d120421
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I have never really seen any of Deanna Durbin films, but I caught part of the one they (TCM) aired yesterday and she did have a lovely voice and she had a good screen persona.

 

I can see where she would have been very popular during the "Golden Age of Hollywood."

 

From doing some other research, I know that she was very popular at the Hollywood Canteen with the servicemen.

 

Deanna and Tyrone Power where my mother's favorites. So for my mother who is no longer on this earth, I wish Deanna Durbin a Happy Belated Birthday.

 

I still love that story where she and Judy Garland appear in some short at the beginning of their careers, and the short was shown to L.B. Mayer. He said (so I heard) "lose the fat one." The studio let Deanna go and "they" signed Judy to MGM contract but he really meant to lose Judy.

 

I think it all worked out. From what I understand Deanna "saved" Universal studios and Judy was from many years was a "top" MGM star and made many outstanding musicals, not to mention her teaming with Mickey Rooney.

 

 

Lori

 

 

 

 

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I think it worked out well too, Lori:

 

But the "Drop the fat one!" story is most likely apochryphal.

 

By the time Deanna appeared in EVERY SUNDAY with Judy, Judy had already been signed to a long term contract by MGM and Deanna had already been placed under contract to Universal and cast in THREE SMART GIRLS.

 

The two girls were signed by MGM at different months, so their "six month options" expired on different dates. Also, though I can't confirm it, I've read that Rufus LeMaire, the casting director at Universal may have placed Deanna under personal contract as soon as she was released by Metro so that no other studio could get her. LeMaire also reportedly insisted that a clause be included in her Universal contract requiring that Deanna appear in at least one feature film before Universal could drop her.

 

Anyway, Deanna's MGM contract had a clause enabling the studio to call on her services for up to 90 days after its' termination if she wasn't obligated to work at another studio. Since THREE SMART GIRLS hadn't begun filming yet, Deanna was sent to MGM to film ES with Judy.

 

I think both girls were wonderful, and both had top careers and made lasting contributions to films, music and popular culture.

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Thank you markus21 for the information.

 

Yes, I think it did worked out for the best for both Judy and Deanna and they both are important ladies and contributed much to our cinematic and music history.

 

Judy has alway be a favorite of mine, but I will freely admit Deannna had a beautiful voice and she was very lovely in her appearance and her screen persona.

 

As I mentioned too, I could see why she was be very popular in the 30s and 40s, and from the video I have seen from the Hollywood Canteen,(not from the film) the solider dancing with her looks very happy and she looks like she is having a good time too. I like her even more that she supported the troops of WWII.

 

Lori

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Hi Lori:

 

One of the nicest stories I've heard about Deanna's contribution to the War Effort came from Elsa Lanchester. Deanna and Lanchester's husband, Charles Laughton, had just finished filming IT STARTED WITH EVE. The U.S. had not entered the War yet, but a small group of British soldiers had been sent to America (California) for training. Lanchester and Laughton, two of the most prominent members of Hollywood's "British Colony," held a reception for them shortly before they were due to be shipped out.

 

As I recall, the whole thing was put together pretty quickly and not many stars could be notified of it in time. Laugthton called Deanna at the last minute to ask if she'd attend and she readily accepted. As Lanchester recalled, she sat on a piano and "sang like a lark" for hours, then danced and chatted with as many of the servicemen as she could.

 

After several hours, she finally had to beg off. As she was leaving, a young soldier watchiing her go sighed and commented to Lanchester:

 

"She makes all of this worthwhile."

 

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