Ginny Simms, c. 1943
May 13, 1913|
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Died||April 4, 1994
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Singer and film actress|
Ginny Simms (May 13, 1913 – April 4, 1994; also known as Virginia E. Eastvold) was an American popular singer and film actress. She labeled with Dinah Shore, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford and others.
She sang with big bands and worked as an MGM contract player film actress. She appeared in 11 movies from 1939 to 1951, when she retired. She was married three times, to Hyatt Hotels founder Hyatt von Dehn from 1945 to 1951, to Bob Calhoun from 1951 to 1952, and to Don Eastvold from June 22, 1962, until her death on April 4, 1994. She originally considered studying to become a concert pianist but enrolled instead at Fresno State Teachers College. While there, she began performing in campus productions, singing with sorority sisters and even forming a popular campus vocal trio.
Shortly afterward, she struck out on her own to establish a solo singing career, and by 1932 she had her own program on a local radio station. Also in 1932, she became band vocalist for the Tom Gerun band in San Francisco, working together with other vocalists, including a young Tony Martin and Woody Herman. In 1938 she joined the Kay Kyser Orchestra, where she received her first national exposure, appearing on radio shows and in films with Kyser. She made her first movie with Kyser and Lucille Ball, That’s Right You’re Wrong (1939). She nearly married Kyser but left his orchestra in 1941 to do her own radio show.
She starred in the movies Here We Go Again with Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, and Fibber McGee & Molly (1942), Hit the Ice with Abbott & Costello (1943), Broadway Rhythm as Helen Hoyt with George Murphy (1944), and Cole Porter’s Night and Day (1946) as Carole Hill with Cary Grant and Alexis Smith.
In 1951, Simms hosted a local television show on KTTV, channel 11, in Los Angeles which featured dance bands and talent from army, navy, marine, and air force bases around Southern California.
Like many stars, Simms was active in entertaining troops during World War II. After the war ended, she continued to help servicemen. In 1947, a radio station's newsletter noted: "[N]ow she is helping provide new homes for them. Ginny is sponsoring the construction of 450 homes for vets in Los Angeles."
Simms had a son, David.
She died as the result of a heart attack in 1994 in Palm Springs, aged 80, and is interred in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California. She was survived by her husband, Donald Eastvold Sr.
|1939||That's Right - You're Wrong||Ginny|
|1942||Here We Go Again||Jean Gildersleeve|
|1942||Seven Days' Leave||Ginny|
|1942||Hit The Ice||Marcia Manning|
|1944||Broadway Rhythm||Helen Hoyt|
|1946||Night and Day||Carole Hill|
- Palm Springs Cemetery District, "Interments of Interest"
- Oliver, Myrna (April 6, 1994). "Ginny Simms; Singer, Radio Personality" (1994). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated
- "3 Programs Join The Spring Dial; Several Programs Revised". The Lincoln Star. April 6, 1941. p. 40. Retrieved March 31, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Young, Kathryn (January 1947). "C.B.S. Notes" (PDF) (22). WIBW Roundup. p. 12. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Ginny Simms Returns to WHP Sept. 20; Danny Thomas Is First Guest". Harrisburg Telegraph. September 14, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved April 22, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Ginny Simms at the Internet Movie Database
- "Ginny Simms". Singer, actress. Find a Grave. January 1, 2001.
- Detailed Ginny Simms discography