Viña Delmar

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Viña Delmar
Vina Delmar in Sadie McKee trailer.jpg
Viña Delmar in Sadie McKee trailer
Born January 29, 1903
New York City
Died January 19, 1990 (age 86)
Los Angeles
Occupation Author, playwright, screenwriter
Nationality United States
Spouse Eugene Delmar

Viña Delmar (January 29, 1903 – January 19, 1990) was a twentieth-century American author, playwright, and screenwriter. With the editorial assistance of her husband, Eugene, she wrote or adapted about twenty plays which were produced as films during her lifetime—a career that lasted from 1929 to 1956. She was nominated for an Academy Award for 1937 for her screen adaptation of the Arthur Richman play, "The Awful Truth".[1]


Viña Delmar was born Alvina Croter on January 29, 1903 in New York City, the daughter of Ike ("Charlie Hoey") and Jennie A. Guerin Croter. Her grandfather, Simon Croter, was a tailor and merchant in New York City's Lower East Side. Simon once owned a store on 10 Baxter Street, together with his brother Abraham (Arthur) Croter, in what is now Chinatown in New York City. Her grandfather was a German-speaking Polish Jew from the city of Dobrzyn[disambiguation needed]. Her father, grandparents, an uncle (Charles Croter), and an aunt (Rose Croter Silberger) are buried in Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents Ike and Jennie were known as "Charlie Hoey" (or "Chas Hoey") and "Julie Powell" and were stars in the Vaudeville and Yiddish theaters in New York City as well as other parts of the United States. Her parents were known as "the team of Hoey and Lee".[2]

Writing career[edit]

According to one obituary, Delmar was a "young woman [who] wrote a series of novels that scandalized the country, making them not only best-sellers but giving her entree to Hollywood".[1]

Her first major work was a 1928 novel titled Bad Girl, a cautionary tale about premarital sex and pregnancy, which was adapted for both stage and screen. The book was the fifth best-selling work for that year. Bad Girl was considered so scandalous at first that it was initially banned in Boston.[3]

In 1929, she published Loose Ladies, a series of fictional portraits of modern American city women,[4] and the novel Kept Woman.[5]

Delmar was married to Albert Otto Zimmerman who changed his name in July 1929 to Eugene Delmar. They resided in Scarsdale, New York from 1928 until their home was sold in 1940.[6] They remained married until his death in 1956. The couple had one son, Gray, who was born in 1924 and killed in an automobile racing accident in 1966. After the death of her husband, Delmar ceased to be productive as a writer.

Viña Delmar died January 19, 1990 in Los Angeles, California.


  • 1929 Dance Hall (story)
  • 1930 Playing Around (story "Sheba" as Vina Delmar)
  • 1930 A Soldier's Plaything (story)
  • 1931 Bad Girl (novel and play)
  • 1932 Marido y mujer (novel and play)
  • 1932 Uptown New York (based on a story)
  • 1933 The Woman Accused (Liberty Magazine serial chapter)
  • 1933 Pick-up (story)
  • 1933 Chance at Heaven (story "A Chance at Heaven" as Vina Delmar)
  • 1934 Sadie McKee (story "Pretty Sadie McKee" as Vina Delmar)
  • 1935 Hands Across the Table (story "Bracelets")
  • 1935 Bad Boy (story as Vina Delmar)
  • 1936 King of Burlesque (story as Vina Delmar)
  • 1937 Make Way for Tomorrow (screenplay)
  • 1937 The Awful Truth
  • 1940 Manhattan Heartbeat (play as Vina Delmar)
  • 1942 The Great Man's Lady (short story)
  • 1947 Cynthia (play)
  • 1954 About Mrs. Leslie (novel)
  • 1955 Make Way for Tomorrow (story and original screenplay for Lux Video Theatre TV series)
  • 1956 Hands Across the Table (story for Lux Video Theatre TV series)[7]


  1. ^ a b Vina Delmar; Adapted 'The Awful Truth' For the Screen. The Los Angeles Times, January 28, 1990, A-28.
  2. ^ Mercy College
  3. ^ Mercy College
  4. ^ Loose Ladies
  5. ^ Time Magazine
  6. ^ January 2, 1940 "Closing Statement" of sale of home in Scarsdale, NY to Albert & Clare Verrilli.
  7. ^ IMDB "Viña Delmar". Retrieved 13 November 2011. 

External links[edit]