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Ann Dvorak (August 2, 1911 – December 10, 1979) was an American film actress.

She was born Anna McKim in New York City, and as a child appeared in several films.

The only child of two vaudevillians, young Anna was raised in the business that would later make her a star (or at the least, a respected leading lady). Her father, Edwin McKim worked as a director for the Lubin Studios, and her mother, Anna Lehr, would find success as the star of many silent features. The couple split when Ann was four, and she and her mother moved to Hollywood. Ann would not see her father again until a national appeal to the press reunited the two in 1934.

She began working for MGM in the late 1920s as a dance instructor and gradually began to appear on film as a chorus girl. Her friend Joan Crawford introduced her to Howard Hughes, who groomed her as a dramatic actress and she was a success in such pre-Code films as Scarface (1932), as Paul Muni's sister, as the doomed unstable "Vivian" in Three on a Match (1932), with Joan Blondell and Bette Davis, Love Is a Racket (1932), and opposite Spencer Tracy in Sky Devils (1932).

Known for her style and elegance, she was a popular leading lady for Warner Brothers during the 1930s, and appeared in numerous contemporary romances and melodramas. A dispute over her pay (she discovered she was making the same amount of money as the little boy who played her son in Three on a Match) led to her finishing out her contract on permanent suspension, and then working as a freelancer, but although she worked regularly, the quality of her scripts declined sharply. She appeared as secretary Della Street in 1937's vehicle for Donald Woods as Perry Mason, The Case of the Stuttering Bishop. She also acted on Broadway.

With her then-husband, British actor Leslie Fenton, Dvorak travelled to England where she supported the war effort by working as an ambulance driver, and worked in several British films. She retired from the screen in 1951, when she married her 3rd (and last) husband, Nicholas Wade, to whom she remained married until his death in 1977. It was her longest and most successful marriage. She had no children by any of her husbands.

Death

She lived her post-retirement years in anonymity until her death from stomach cancer in Honolulumarker at the age of 68. She was cremated and her ashes scattered.

Ann Dvorak has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 6321 Hollywood Boulevard.

Trivia

Asked how to pronounce her adopted surname, she told The Literary Digest: "My name is properly pronounced vor'shack. The D remains silent. I have had quite a time with the name, having been called practically everything from Balzac to Bickelsrock."

Filmography

Features





Short Subjects

  • The Five Dollar Plate (1920)
  • The Doll Shop (1929)
  • Manhattan Serenade (1929)
  • Pirates (1930)
  • The Flower Garden (1930)
  • The Song Writers' Revue (1930)
  • The Snappy Caballero (1930)
  • A Trip Thru a Hollywood Studio (1935)


References

External links




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