DEANNA DURBIN: POPULAR, BEAUTIFUL, AND TALENTED FILM STAR WHO WANTED TO BE ANONYMOUS

This vintage real photo postcard features Canadian born American singer and actress, Deanna Durbin (1921-2013). She is beautifully dressed. Her hat is a nice touch. Deanna Durbin looks quite pretty in this photo portrait. The postcard notes her affiliation with Universal Films. The postcard was published by Echte Foto, a Dutch company. Miss Durbin was an active performer between 1936 and 1948. She appeared in musical films and had the technical skill and vocal range of a legitimate soprano. She sang multiple styles of music including popular standards and operatic arias. Durbin’s first film  appearance was with Judy Garland in MGM’s “Every Sunday” (1936). A YouTube clip of the two young actresses performing a duet from this film can be seen below. Shortly after her debut movie, she was given a contract by Universal Studios. She had great success with the studio playing “the ideal teenage daughter” is such films as “Three Smart Girls” (1936).  She was only 14 years old when she appeared in “Three Smart Girls” and became an established star. Afterward, she had a string of successful musical films. In 1936, Deanna was offered an audition for the Metropolitan Opera but she rejected the offer because she believed she needed more operatic training. From 1936 through 1938, Durbin did a radio collaboration with Eddie Cantor. In 1938, Durbin was awarded an Academy Juvenile Award. Her co-winner was actor Micky Rooney.Durbin tired of her girl-next-door roles and by 1945, had appeared in a couple of films in more sophisticated roles. Unfortunately, she was not well received in these more mature roles. In 1946, Durbin was the second highest paid woman in the United States, second to Bette Davis. Durbin became the highest paid female in America in the year 1948. By 1949, she retired from acting and singing and never returned to public life. In fact, she never again agreed to be interviewed by the press, with just one exception. Durbin hated the adulation she received in her career and yearned for a “life of nobody”. She wanted to be anonymous. During her acting career, Durbin appeared in 23 films and even more sound recordings. Durbin had three marriages. Her husbands were assistant director Vaughn Paul (1941), writer-producer-actor Felix Jackson (1945) , and film producer-director Charles Henri David (1950).

                                                Judy Garland & Deanna Durbin – Americana (Every Sunday, 1936)

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