I have a lot of favorites and Deanna Durbin is one of them. I was sad to read the news today she recently died at the age of 91.
Deanna Durbin started out as a child star starring in her first film Three Smart Girls in 1936. She made 21 films in her 12 year career (1936-1948) and received a Juvenile Academy Award in 1938. She was portrayed as the wholesome girl next door. In addition to acting she had a beautiful soprano voice which was showcased in her movies. By the time she was 21 she was the highest paid star. Her first on screen kiss was with a young handsome Robert Stack and it made headlines. It is said her top grossing movies saved Universal Pictures from bankruptcy.
The first movie I ever saw with Deanna Durbin was It Started with Eve (1941) and it’s my favorite because it’s so fun and crazy. My second favorite film is the Cinderella story First Love (1939) with Robert Stack. Other films include: Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939), Nice Girl? (1941), His Butler’s Sister (1943), Can’t Help Singing (1944) her only Technicolor movie, and For the Love of Mary (1948). Some of her co-stars were: Franchot Tone, Donald O’Connor, Robert Paige, Eugene Pallette, Charles Laughton, and Robert Cummings.
In addition to her movies Deanna Durbin recorded songs for Decca records. Some of those songs include: God Bless America, Because, Beneath the Lights of Home, Can’t Help Singing, Poor Butterfly and Love is All to name a few.
In 1949 at the age of 28 she turned her back on Hollywood and retired. She moved to France with her third husband Charles David. In all those years she only granted one interview in 1983.