Famed actress during the depression era and whom helped save Universal Pictures from bankruptcy has passed. The actress who began her career as a child star who would later cross over as an adult star, lit up movie screens before retiring to France with her husband.
Ms. Durbin was 91 at the time of her passing and in a newsletter to her fan club The Deanna Durbin Society. The newsletter read that Ms Durbin had died “a few days ago.” Her son Peter H. David, thanked his mother’s admirers for respecting her privacy. No other details have been given about the late actress’s death.
Deanna Durbin was once a highly sought after actress and in 1946, Ms. Deanna Durbin’s salary with Universal pictures was at one point $323,477. Making her the second-highest-paid woman in America, just $5,000 behind Bette Davis.
“When my first marriage failed, everyone said that I could never divorce. It would ruin the ‘image.’ How could anybody really think that I was going to spend the rest of my life with a man I found I didn’t love, just for the sake of an ‘image’?” Deanna said in reference to her first divorce and her child star image.
Ms Durbin would later marry for a second time and give birth to a baby girl. However, that marriage also ended in divorce but Ms Durbin returned to the wedding altar for a third time at age 28 in 1950 to wed the 44 year old French director Charles David. Whom she had a son with.
Deanna Durbin before her retirement starred in 21 feature films before retiring to a French farmhouse with her husband.
France is where the late actress enjoyed the remainder of her life. She enjoyed her time away from the spotlight and reporters. Still, and on rare occasion Ms. Durbin would give an interview. In 1958, she sent reporters a letter that read:
“I was a typical 13-year-old American girl. The character I was forced into had little or nothing in common with myself — or with other youth of my generation, for that matter. I could never believe that my contemporaries were my fans. They may have been impressed with my ‘success.’ but my fans were the parents, many of whom could not cope with their own youngsters. They sort of adopted me as their ‘perfect’ daughter. I was never happy making pictures. I’ve gained weight. I do my own shopping, bring up my two children and sing an hour every day.”