Edna Mae Durbin, known professionally as Deanna Durbin, was a Canadian-born actress and singer, who moved to the USA with her family in infancy.
42 Facts About Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin appeared in musical films in the 1930s and 1940s.
Deanna Durbin achieved success as the ideal teenaged daughter in films such as Three Smart Girls, One Hundred Men and a Girl, and It Started with Eve.
Deanna Durbin's work was credited with saving the studio from bankruptcy, and led to Durbin being awarded the Academy Juvenile Award in 1938.
Deanna Durbin withdrew from public life, granting only one interview on her career in 1983.
Deanna Durbin soon became Thomas's prize pupil, and he showcased her talent at various local clubs and churches.
Deanna Durbin sang "Il Bacio" for the studio's vocal coach, who was stunned by her "mature soprano" voice.
Deanna Durbin made her first film appearance in the short Every Sunday with Judy Garland, another teenage singer-actress whose career would rival Durbin's.
When Pasternak learned that Deanna Durbin was no longer with MGM, he instead cast her in the film.
At 14 years old, Durbin signed with Universal, giving her the professional name Deanna.
Deanna Durbin's first feature-length film, Three Smart Girls, was a success and established Durbin as a young star.
In 1936, she auditioned to provide the vocals for Snow White in Disney's animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but was rejected by Walt Disney, who said the 15-year-old Deanna Durbin's voice was "too old" for the part.
Deanna Durbin turned down his offer because she felt she needed more singing lessons.
Also in 1936, Deanna Durbin began a radio collaboration with Eddie Cantor which lasted until 1938, when her heavy workload for Universal forced her to quit her weekly appearances.
The success of Deanna Durbin's films was reported to have saved Universal from bankruptcy.
Deanna Durbin'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.
In 1941, Deanna Durbin starred in It Started with Eve, her last film with Pasternak and director Henry Koster.
Universal announced Deanna Durbin was to star in They Lived Alone, scheduled to be directed by Koster.
However, Deanna Durbin was unhappy by the role, and that Universal had not given support to the career of her first husband assistant director Vaughn Paul, whom she had married in April 1941.
Deanna Durbin turned down the role, and was suspended by the studio from October 16,1941, to early February 1942.
The film was initially conceived without musical numbers, but Deanna Durbin finally relented to Universal's demand to include some.
Deanna Durbin was able to retool her second sequel to Three Smart Girls from Three Smart Girls Join Up to Hers to Hold, revolving solely around her character.
Deanna Durbin dabbled in other genres, such as the romantic comedy His Butler's Sister and the musical Western Can't Help Singing, her only Technicolor film, which was produced on location in southern Utah and co-starred Robert Paige.
Deanna Durbin continued her push to establish herself as a more dramatic actress with the film noir Christmas Holiday, directed by Robert Siodmak and co-starring Gene Kelly.
In 1946, Deanna Durbin was the second-highest-paid woman in the United States, just behind Bette Davis,; her fan club ranked as the world's largest during her active years.
Deanna Durbin settled the complaint by agreeing to star in three more pictures, including one in Paris; this did not materialize before Deanna Durbin's contract expired.
Deanna Durbin received a $200,000 severance payment.
Unsatisfied by her career options, Deanna Durbin chose to retire and move to Paris.
On December 21,1950, Deanna Durbin married French director-producer Charles Henri David, who had previously directed her in Lady on a Train.
Deanna Durbin acknowledged her dislike of the Hollywood studio system, emphasizing that she never identified herself with the public image that the media created around her.
Deanna Durbin spoke of the Deanna "persona" in the third person, and considered the film character "Deanna Durbin" to be a byproduct of her youth and not her true identity.
In private life, Deanna Durbin had continued to use her given name, Edna; salary figures printed annually by the Hollywood trade publications listed the actress as "Edna Mae Deanna Durbin, player".
Deanna Durbin has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1722 Vine Street.
Deanna Durbin left her hand and footprints in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on February 7,1938.
Deanna Durbin was well known in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as "Winnipeg's Golden Girl".
An unnamed caricature of Deanna Durbin appeared in the Warner Brother's cartoon "Malibu Beach Party".
Deanna Durbin's singing is featured in Alistair MacLean's 1955 novel HMS Ulysses, being broadcast over the wartime ship's internal communication system.
Deanna Durbin was referenced in Richard Brautigan's novel Trout Fishing in America, when the narrator claims to have seen one of her movies seven times, but cannot recall which one.
In song, Deanna Durbin's name found its way into the introduction to a song written by satirical writer Tom Lehrer in 1965.
Anne Frank was a fan of Deanna Durbin, and pasted two photos of her on the wall in the family's hideout; the photos are still on the wall today.
Winston Churchill was a fan of Deanna Durbin, screening her films "on celebratory wartime occasions".
Between December 15,1936, and July 22,1947, Deanna Durbin recorded 50 tunes for Decca Records.