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Deanna Durbin

Edna Mae Durbin (born December 4, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) was a popular singer and actress in Hollywood films.

Changing her name to Deanna Durbin at the commencement of her career, Durbin signed a contract with MGM Studios in 1936 and made her first film appearance in a screen test with another contractee, Judy Garland. She made her first film Three Smart Girls in 1936.

Durbin was released from her contract shortly thereafter as studio executive Louis B. Mayer felt he did not need two young female singers under contract. Hollywood legend has recorded that he instructed his staff to drop the fat one and that they had dismissed Durbin, misunderstanding that Mayer had in fact intended to terminate the contract of Garland.

Durbin was quickly signed to a contract with Universal Studios and the huge success of her films were reported to have saved the studio from bankruptcy. In 1939 she received a special Academy Juvenile Award, along with Mickey Rooney.

By the late 1940s Durbin had tried to assume a more sophisticated film persona in such films as the whodunnit Lady On A Train (1945), but the public preferred her as the sweet and wholesome adolescent she had come to represent.

She retired from public life in 1949, after her marriage to Charles David, who had directed her in Lady On A Train. The couple moved to Paris, France with Durbin stating she would never return to showbusiness. Since then she has resisted all offers to perform and has refused to be interviewed, steadfastly asserting her right to privacy. David died in Paris on March 1, 1999.

Deanna Durbin has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1722 Vine St.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Deanna Durbin Facts

Birth NameEdna Mae Durbin
OccupationMusician, Actress
BirthdayDecember 4, 1921 (99)
BirthplaceWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Selected Filmography

Deanna Durbin Sweetheart Pack
Three Smart Girls
The Amazing Mrs. Holliday
100 Men and a Girl
Deanna Durbin: The Music and Romance Collection
It's a Date
Lady on a Train
For the Love of Mary
Deanna Durbin: The Music and Romance Collection: Mad About Music / That Certain Age / Three Smart Girls Grow Up / Because of Him / For The Love of Mary
It Started with Eve
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