Here are 10 things you should know about Gloria DeHaven, born 97 years ago today. Her career on screen, stage, radio and television spanned 65 years.
Here’s a fond farewell to actress Gloria DeHaven, who passed away this weekend just a few days after her 91st birthday. There aren’t many stars still with us who debuted in pictures as far back as 1936, as she did. Here are 10 GDH Did-You-Knows:
- DeHaven’s first film appearance was at age 11 in Charlie Chaplin‘s Modern Times.
- During her film career, she dabbled in a number of genres, from romantic comedy to film noir, but she was best known for her work in musicals.
- In the film Three Little Words (1950), DeHaven played the role of her own mother, actress Flora Parker DeHaven.
- She was the recipient of Frank Sinatra‘s first screen kiss, in Step Lively (1944).
- In addition to her film career, DeHaven worked in nightclubs and the theater, and she would go on to enjoy a long and successful career on television.
- Early in her career, she was a girl singer with the orchestras of Jan Savitt and Bob Crosby.
- She was a regular on two popular soap operas—Ryan’s Hope and As the World Turns—and one takeoff on soaps, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
- In 1975, DeHaven appeared as a panelist on five episodes of The Match Game.
- Her Broadway debut came in the 1955 musical adaptation of Seventh Heaven.
- DeHaven was married four times to three different men, and had two children each with two of them.
Godspeed and rest in peace, Gloria DeHaven…
Sadly, there aren’t terribly many performers still with us who enjoyed success during the Cladrite Era—all the more reason, then, to celebrate songbird Kitty Kallen‘s 93rd birthday.
Kallen, born Katherine Kalinsky in 1922 in Philadelphia, sang on the radio as a child on a program called The Children’s Hour, which was sponsored by Horn and Hardart, the Automat people, and as a teenager, she had occasions to sing with the big bands of Jan Savitt (in 1936), Artie Shaw (in 1938), and Jack Teagarden (in 1940).
At 21, she replaced Helen O’Connell as the singer for the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, primarily performing duets with Bob Eberly. After Eberly entered military service in 1943, Kallen joined the Harry James Orchestra, with whom she sang on several hit songs, including two—“I’m Beginning To See the Light” and “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”—that reached #1 on the charts.
But Kallen’s career didn’t end when the big band era did. Her 1954 hit, “Little Things Mean a Lot,” was number one in the U.S. for nine weeks and remained on chart for nearly seven months, selling more than two million copies in the process. She had many more hits throughout the 1950s and early ’60s
She also appeared frequently on television, on Broadway in Finian’s Rainbow, in many of the world’s top nightclubs and in at least one motion picture. On her final album, Quiet Nights, she sang in the bossa nova style. A lung ailment would eventually force her retirement, but Ms. Kallen is still with us and we sincerely hope she enjoys a wonderful birthday today.