Irene Dunne -- December 20, 2014

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Happy Birthday to Irene Dunne! Born on this date in 1898, Dunne was musically gifted and won a scholarship to the Chicago Music College. She moved to New York with hopes of joining the Metropolitan Opera Company, but did not pass the audition. Dunne was not deterred, however, and she became a success on Broadway. While starring in the touring company of Show Boat, Hollywood came calling and she was signed with RKO. She appeared in her first film in 1930 and was nominated for an Academy Award for her second film—and Best Picture winner—Cimarron. She made several films for the next two decades including The Age of Innocence, The Awful Truth, Love Affair, My Favorite Wife, Penny Serenade, Life with Father, and I Remember Mama. Dunne was nominated for four more Oscars and has been called “the best actress never to win an Academy Award.”

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

With what actor did Dunne costar three times?

a) Charles Boyer

b) Melvyn Douglas

c) Fred Astaire

d) Cary Grant

Answer below!

CLIPS OF THE DAY

Enjoy the trailer for one of Dunne’s most beloved roles as a Norwegian immigrant in I Remember Mama.

Dunne sings “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” in the 1935 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film Roberta.  

Witness the chemistry between Dunne and Cary Grant for yourself in the trailer for My Favorite Wife

DID YOU KNOW…

Dunne was considered for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I drifted into acting and drifted out. Acting is not everything. Living is.

~Irene Dunne

TRIVIA ANSWER

d) Cary Grant played Irene Dunne’s husband in three films: the screwball comedies The Awful Truth (1937), My Favorite Wife (1940), and the three-hanky tearjerker Penny Serenade (1941).