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Ann Dvorak (1940s).
August 2, 1911
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 10, 1979
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
|Cause of death||Stomach cancer|
Page School for Girls
|Spouse(s)||Leslie Fenton (m. 1932; div. 1945)
Igor Dega (m. 1947; div. 1951)
Nicholas Wade (m. 1951; d. 1975)
Ann Dvorak (August 2, 1911 – December 10, 1979) was an American stage and film actress.
Asked how to pronounce her adopted surname, she told The Literary Digest in 1936: "My fake 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."
Anna McKim was born in New York City in 1911 to silent film actress Anna Lehr and actor/director Edwin McKim. While in New York, she attended St. Catherine's Convent. After moving to California, she attended Page School for Girls in Hollywood.
She made her film debut when she was five years old in the silent film version of Ramona (1916) and was credited "Baby Anna Lehr". She continued in children's roles in The Man Hater (1917) and Five Dollar Plate (1920), but then stopped acting in films. Her parents separated in 1916 and divorced in 1920, and she didn't see her father again until 13 years later when she made a public plea to the press to help her find him.
In the late 1920s, Dvorak worked as a dance instructor and gradually began to appear on film as a chorus girl. Her friend Karen Morley 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 Bros. during the 1930s, and appeared in numerous contemporary romances and melodramas.
At age 19, Dvorak eloped with Leslie Fenton, her English co-star from The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932), and they married March 17, 1932. They left for a year-long honeymoon without giving adequate 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, Leslie Fenton, Dvorak traveled 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. The following year she showed she could handle comedy well by giving an assured performance in Out of the Blue (1947).
Later years and death
Dvorak's marriage to Fenton ended in divorce in 1946. In 1947, she married her second husband, Igor Dega, a Russian dancer who danced with her briefly in The Bachelor's Daughters. The marriage ended in divorce two years later.
Dvorak 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. She had no children. In 1959, she and her husband moved to Hawaii, a place she had always loved.
Several weeks before her death, Dvorak suffered severe stomach pains. She was diagnosed with cancer that had metastasized beyond cure. She died on December 10, 1979, aged 68, in Honolulu. She was cremated and her ashes scattered off Waikiki Beach.
- Ramona (1916) as Ramona (age 4)
- The Man Hater (1917) as Phemie's Little Sister
- The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929) as Herself - Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- So This Is College (1929) as Student (uncredited)
- It's a Great Life (1929) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- Devil-May-Care (1929) as Chorine (uncredited)
- Chasing Rainbows (1930)
- The Woman Racket (1930) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- Lord Byron of Broadway (1930) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- Free and Easy (1930) as Chorine (uncredited)
- Children of Pleasure (1930) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- Estrellados (1930) as Chorine (uncredited)
- Our Blushing Brides (1930) as One of the 'Quartet' of Models with Tony (uncredited)
- Way Out West (1930) as Carnival Show Girl (uncredited)
- Good News (1930) as Student (uncredited)
- Doughboys (1930) as Chorine (scenes deleted)
- The March of Time (1930, unfinished) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- Love in the Rough (1930) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- Madam Satan (1930) as Zeppelin Reveler (uncredited)
- War Nurse (1930) as Nurse in VA Hospital (uncredited)
- Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- A Tailor Made Man (1931) as Bit (uncredited)
- Just a Gigolo (1931) as Cafe Patron (uncredited)
- Politics (1931) as Rally Audience Extra (uncredited)
- Son of India (1931) as Village Dancer (uncredited)
- Stranger in Town'' (1931) as Marian Crickle
- This Modern Age (1931) as Party Guest (uncredited)
- The Guardsman (1931) as Fan Saying 'There He Is' (uncredited)
- Sky Devils (1932) as Mary Way
- Scarface (1932) as Cesca Camonte
- The Crowd Roars (1932) as Lee Merrick
- The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932) as Molly Louvain
- Love Is a Racket (1932) as Sally Condon
- Crooner (1932) as Judith 'Judy' Mason
- Three on a Match (1932) as Vivian Revere
- The Way to Love (1933) as Madeleine
- College Coach (1933) as Claire Gore
- Massacre (1934) as Lydia
- Heat Lightning (1934) as Myra
- Side Streets (1934) as Marguerite Gilbert
- Midnight Alibi (1934) as Joan Morley
- Friends of Mr. Sweeney (1934) as Miss Beulah Boyd
- Housewife (1934) as Nan
- I Sell Anything (1934) as Barbara
- Gentlemen Are Born (1934) as Susan Merrill
- Murder in the Clouds (1934) as Judy
- Sweet Music (1935) as Bonnie Haydon
- 'G' Men (1935) as Jean Morgan
- Bright Lights (1935) as Fay Wilson
- Dr. Socrates (1935) as Josephine Gray
- Thanks a Million (1935) as Sally Mason
- We Who Are About to Die (1937) as Miss Connie Stewart
- Racing Lady (1937) as Ruth Martin
- Midnight Court (1937) as Carol O'Neill
- The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (1937) as Della Street
- She's No Lady (1937) as Jerry
- Manhattan Merry-Go-Round (1937) as Ann Rogers
- Merrily We Live (1938) as Minerva Harlan
- Gangs of New York (1938) as Connie Benson
- Blind Alley (1939) as Mary
- Stronger Than Desire (1939) as Eva McLain
- Cafe Hostess (1940) as Jo
- Girls of the Road (1940) as Kay Warren
- This Was Paris (1942) as Ann Morgan
- Squadron Leader X (1943) as Barbara Lucas
- Escape to Danger (1943) as Joan Grahame
- Flame of Barbary Coast (1945) as 'Flaxen' Tarry
- Masquerade in Mexico (1945) as Helen Grant
- Abilene Town (1946) as Rita
- The Bachelor's Daughters (1946) as Terry Wilson
- Out of the Blue (1947) as Olive Jensen
- The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947) as Claire Madeleine Forestier
- The Long Night (1947) as Charlene
- The Walls of Jericho (1948) as Belle Connors
- Our Very Own (1950) as Mrs. Gert Lynch
- A Life of Her Own (1950) as Mary Ashlon
- The Return of Jesse James (1950) as Susan (Sue) Ellen Younger
- Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. Malone (1950) as Connie Kepplar
- I Was an American Spy (1951) as Mrs. Claire 'High Pockets' Phillips
- The Secret of Convict Lake (1951) as Rachel Schaeffer
- The Five Dollar Plate (1920)
- The Doll Shop (1929) as One of the Dolls (uncredited)
- Manhattan Serenade (1929) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- The Song Writers' Revue (1930) as Member of the Chorus (uncredited)
- The Flower Garden (1930) as Member of Chorus
- Pirates (1930) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
- The Snappy Caballero (1931)
- A Trip Thru a Hollywood Studio (1935) as Herself (uncredited)
- Rice, Christina (2013). Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Pg. 13.
- 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.
- "Dvorak Details". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 12, 1932. p. 59. Retrieved September 15, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Ann Dvorak, Actor Marry After Airplane Elopement". Chicago Tribune. March 18, 1932. p. 8. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- Obituary, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 14, 1965
- "Ann Dvorak". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
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