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…
Usually, when we have occasion to recommend a film festival or other vintage event, the proceedings are taking place in New York City, the home of Cladrite Headquarters, but our recommendation for this Friday and Saturday is directed at those in Southern California.
We’re not the biggest of Charlie Chaplin fans—among the great silent-movie comedians, Buster Keaton stands above all others in our estimation, with Harold Lloyd coming in second. But we’ve enjoyed our share of laughs over the years, courtesy of the Little Tramp, and we certainly acknowledge and respect the key role he plays in cinematic history.
So it’s with pleasure that we inform you that, this weekend, the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, the William S. Hart Park and Museum, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks & Recreation are commemmorating the 75th anniversary of Modern Times, the picture that some say marked the end of the silent era, with a two-day celebration dubbed ChaplinFest.
The Santa Clarita Valley is a fitting site for this event, becuase it was there, on the Sierra Highway near Vasquez Rocks, that Chaplin filmed Modern Times‘ final scene. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recall it—the Little Tramp walks off into the distance with Paulette Goddard on his arm.
ChaplinFest boasts a number of intriguing events over its two days: A screening of Robert Downey Jr.’s biopic Chaplin; a ceremony dedicating a Chaplin monument at William S. Hart Park, with special guests Tippi Hedren and Leonard Maltin; screenings of Modern Times accompanied by artifacts from the movie, including Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” overalls; a book signing withJohn Bengtson, author of Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin; a screening of The Pilgrim at the Heritage Junction Train Station; A rare screening of the recently discovered Keystone comedy A Thief Catcher, with Chaplin as a Keystone Cop, and much more.
If we were within striking distance of Santa Clarita, you can bet we’d be in attendance at ChaplinFest this weekend. Since we’re not, we hope some of our SoCal readers will make it—and perhaps they’ll even send us photos of the event.