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Deanna Durbin 1921-2013

The silver-voiced teen star of film musicals of the 1930s and 1940s died earlier this week, according to her son, Peter H. David. She was 91. [New York Times]  

26 comments

  • Nero Wolfe says:

    One of my favorites.

    Questions: Did she ever appear live in concert and how did her voice sound and carry? Could she have made it as an opera or Broadway star if she had wanted to? Not her ability to sell tickets, but would she have been good enough?

  • Grane says:

    My 90-year-old mother is a great fan of hers. Luckily I wasn’t born until after Ms. Durbin retired. Otherwise her NYT quote--that her biggest fans were the parents of unsatisfactory kids--would have me wondering!

    Co-incidentally, tonight my mom will observe her annual May 1 celebration with a glass of wine and “Maytime,” starring her other favorite, Jeannette MacDonald.

  • Ilka Saro says:

    I didn’t really know anything about Deanna Durbin until I some of those Andy Hardy films at the old Regency. Wow. She was quite a singer!

    I think her withdrawal from the film industry is completely understandable. Although her co-star Judy Garland went on to make some truly outstanding films as an adult, even to produce those films, Garland’s experiences growing up in the industry very likely contributed to her alcoholism, addiction and early demise. Not all child stars go on to have difficult lives, but the wonderful Judy Garland is no exception.
    Durbin’s early departure from the industry may very well have saved her life.