Ann Dvorak

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Ann Dvorak
Ann Dvorak in Three on a Match trailer.jpg
Ann Dvorak in the trailer for Three on a Match (1932).
Born Anna McKim
(1911-08-02)August 2, 1911
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died December 10, 1979(1979-12-10) (aged 68)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1916–52
Spouse(s) Leslie Fenton (1932–1945)
Igor Dega (1947–1951)
Nicholas Wade (1951–1975)

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

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."[1]

Life and career[edit]

Anna McKim was born in New York City. She began working for MGM as a child. In the late 1920s she worked 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. She was a success in such pre-Code films as Scarface (1932) as Paul Muni's sister; in Three on a Match (1932) with Joan Blondell and Bette Davis as the doomed, unstable Vivian, in Love Is a Racket (1932) and in Sky Devils (1932) opposite Spencer Tracy. 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.

She eloped in July 1932 and left for a year-long honeymoon without giving notice to the studio and in spite of her contractual obligations. This led to a period of litigation and pay dispute during which she discovered she was making the same amount of money as the boy who played her son in Three on a Match. She completed her contract on permanent suspension and then worked as a freelancer, but although she worked regularly, the quality of her scripts declined sharply.

She appeared as secretary Della Street to Donald Woods' Perry Mason in The Case of the Stuttering Bishop(1937). 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 appeared in several British films. She appeared as a saloon singer in Abilene Town, released in 1946.

She retired from the screen in 1951, when she married her third and last husband, Nicholas Wade, to whom she remained married until his death in 1975. It was her longest and most successful marriage which produced no children. She lived her post-retirement years in anonymity until her death from stomach cancer in Honolulu at the age of 68. She was cremated and her ashes scattered.

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



Short subjects[edit]

  • 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)


  1. ^ Funk, Charles Earle (1936). What's the name, please? A guide to the correct pronunciation of current prominent names. New York and London: Funk & Wagnalls. 

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