Image: Deanna Durban Dies: Depression-Era Hollywood Star Was 91

Deanna Durban Dies: Depression-Era Hollywood Star Was 91

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 09:41 AM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Deanna Durbin, a child movie star from the Depression era whose plucky persona and soprano voice on the big screen helped struggling Americans escape from their daily struggles, died earlier this week. She was 91.

Durbin's death was announced via a Deanna Durbin Society newsletter, in which her son, Peter David, thanked fans for respecting her privacy. David said his mother died "a few days ago" and not much else, the New York Times reported.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll

In addition to charming audiences, Durbin's first movie, "Three Smart Girls," was box-office gold. Durbin single-handedly fixed Universal Pictures' revenue problems, saving the motion picture studio from bankruptcy with her hits.

Durbin left the lime light in 1949, retiring at the age of 28 after starring in 21 feature films.

The Canadian-born actress relocated to a village in France where she raised two children with her third husband, French director Charles David.

In 1958, Durbin, who gave no interviews after leaving Hollywood, sent a letter to reporters about her life in France.

"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," she wrote.

Durbin, like several other high-profile child stars in 1940s Hollywood, was critical of the way children were portrayed on the big screen.

"I was a typical 13-year-old American girl," wrote Durbin. "The character I was forced into had little or nothing in common with myself — or with other youth of my generation, for that matter."

Durbin couldn't understand why her character appealed to so many of her contemporaries.

"I could never believe that my contemporaries were my fans," Durbin added. "They may have been impressed with my 'success.' but my fans were the parents, many of whom could not cope with their own youngsters. They sort of adopted me as their ‘perfect’ daughter."

In 1946, Durbin earned a salary of $323,477 from Universal Pictures. She was the second-highest-paid woman in America, just $5,000 shy of actress Bette Davis, the Times reported.

ALERT: Government ‘Blunder’ Spawns Massive Profit Opportunity

Related stories:

Jack Shea Dies: Legendary Director of TV Sitcoms Was 84

Mickey Rose Dies: Woody Allen's Early Collaborator Was 77

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Wiley Bridgeman, Ricky Jackson Freed Decades After Wrongful Convictions

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 20:23 PM

Wiley Bridgeman, 60, and Ricky Jackson, 57, were freed Friday after being imprisoned for nearly four decades for a 1975  . . .

Akai Gurley Accidentally Shot and Killed by NYPD Rookie Officer

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 20:04 PM

Unarmed 28-year-old Akai Gurley was accidentally shot dead by a rookie police officer in Brooklyn who was walking with h . . .

Jimmy Kimmel: Mean Tweets About Celebs Read Aloud by Said Celebs (Video)

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 18:57 PM

"Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Thursday brought back the popular, laugh-out-loud Mean Tweets, where celebrities read the cruel t . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved