Gloria Blondell

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Gloria Blondell
Gloria Blondell.jpg
Blondell as Honeybee Gillis (The Life of Riley)
Born(1915-08-16)August 16, 1915[1]
DiedMarch 25, 1986(1986-03-25) (aged 70)
Years active1916–1962
(m. 1940; div. 1945)
Victor Hunter
(m. 1962; died 1980)
RelativesJoan Blondell (sister)

Gloria Blondell (August 16, 1915 – March 25, 1986) was an actress, known for her film work between 1938 and 1962, and was the younger sister of Joan Blondell.[2]


Gloria Blondell's parents, Edward Joan "Ed" Blondell and Catherine "Katie" Caine, and her siblings, Edward Jr. and Joan, were all entertainers. She once said, "[S]ome member of my family has been in the theater ever since the time of Richard the Lionhearted."[3] Her father, Levi Blustine (or Bluestein), a vaudeville comedian known as Edward Joan Blondell,[4][5] was born in Poland to a Jewish family circa 1865 and died in Glendale, California on March 27, 1943. He toured for many years starring in the Blondell/Fennessy stage version of The Katzenjammer Kids.[6][7][8][9] Blondell's mother, Catherine (also known as Kathryn or Katie) Caine, was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, on April 13, 1884, of Irish descent. She died on October 5, 1952 in Glendale, California.[10]


Gloria Blondell said that she first went on stage when she was 9 months old, and she was described as "a trouper at three [years of age]."[3] Her family comprised a vaudeville troupe, the "Bouncing Blondells", whose members were her parents, her sister and her brother.[11] In 1935, she appeared in the Broadway production of Three Men on a Horse at the Playhouse in New York City.[citation needed]


Gloria Blondell was a popular featured actress during the Golden Age of Radio. Blondell had the role of secretary Jerry Booker on I Love a Mystery.[12] Her appearances on radio include Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, Lux Radio Theatre, Arch Oboler's Plays, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Screen Directors Playhouse, and The Great Gildersleeve.[citation needed]


She may be best remembered for her role as Honeybee Gillis in the 1950s sitcom starring William Bendix, The Life of Riley. She was cast opposite Tom D'Andrea as her husband, Jim Gillis. She appeared as enviably curvaceous Grace Foster in the I Love Lucy episode, "The Anniversary Present" (1952).

She portrayed an aging prostitute who rescues a town from a trio of criminals in "The Looters", an episode of Wanted Dead or Alive. For Daisy Duck's second appearance as a Disney cartoon character, she took over, marking the debut of Daisy's "normal" voice. Blondell would voice Daisy for six of her nine speaking appearances during the classic shorts era.


Blondell co-starred with Ronald Reagan in Accidents Will Happen (1938)[13] and with Hans Conried in The Twonky (1953).[14] She was also in Daredevil Drivers (1938)[15] and Three Sappy People (1939)

Personal life[edit]

She married film producer Albert Broccoli on July 26, 1940; they divorced August 7, 1945.[16] On September 14, 1946, she married Victor Hunter in Monterey, California.[17] They remained married until his death in 1980, just weeks after her sister's death.[18]

Gloria and Victor had one premature daughter, who died at birth. Gloria also nearly died from blood loss, and her life was only saved by an emergency hysterectomy.[18]:148

Like her sister, Joan, Gloria was a registered Republican and both sisters endorsed Dwight Eisenhower for president in the 1952 presidential election.[19]


She died at age 70 in 1986 in Santa Monica, California from cancer. Despite erroneous reports to the contrary, she was not interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California, but, rather, cremated.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1938 Daredevil Drivers Lucy McAuliffe aka Lucy Mack
1938 Accidents Will Happen Patricia Carmody
1938 Four's a Crowd Lansford's 1st Secretary
1938 Juvenile Court Gary's Secretary Uncredited
1938 The Spider's Web Chase's Secretary Serial, Uncredited
1938 The Lady Objects Grace Uncredited
1941 Model Wife Gloria Uncredited
1952 Don't Bother to Knock Janie - Cafe Photographer Uncredited
1953 White Lightning Ann Garfield
1953 The Twonky Lady Bill Collector
1957 God Is My Partner Tree Critic / Wife Uncredited


  1. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (16 September 2016). "Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed". McFarland – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Joan Blondell's Sister in Film". Harrisburg Telegraph. Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. April 30, 1938. p. 8. Retrieved October 25, 2018 – via open access
  3. ^ a b Belser, Emily (February 2, 1956). "Gloria Blondell Finding Sister's Shadow A Burden". Corsicana Daily Sun. p. 19.
  4. ^ "[Unknown]". The Republic. Columbus, Indiana. October 7, 1971. p. 26. Archived from the original on February 16, 2018. The Katzenjammer Kids will be presented in Franklin this evening, the company having passed through here this morning on the way to that place. "Eddie Blondell's true name is Levi Bluestein, and he was a resident of Columbus many years ago, living with his father at the foot of Washington Street
  5. ^ "[Unknown]". The Republic. Columbus, Indiana. January 29, 1906. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 16, 2018. No allowance was made for alimony, but Mrs. Blondell seemed to be satisfied. The Blondells, who in private life were Mr. and Mrs. Levi Bluestein, have been annoyed by a case of incompatibility of temper for a long time. They were formerly a member of Katzenjammer Kids' company...
  6. ^ "Blondell and Fennessy's hurricane of fun and frolic, The Katzenjammer Kids". United States Library of Congress. Archived from the original on February 16, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  7. ^ "[Unknown]". Variety. November 1916. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. Rowland & Clifford, a western producing firm, have also a production in preparation under the title of 'The Katzenjammer Kids', securing the rights from Blondell & Fennessy. Both shows are scheduled to play over the International, with the Hill production to be ready by Jan. 1.
  8. ^ Kennedy, Matthew (September 28, 2009). "Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes". University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781628461817 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "Grave Spotlight - Joan Blondell". Archived from the original on January 2, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  10. ^ The Republic from Columbus, Indiana on January 21, 1903 · Page 8 Archived February 16, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Rathbun, Joe (December 10, 1944). "Joe's Radio Parade". Sunday Times Signal. p. 23. Retrieved May 1, 2015 – via open access
  12. ^ Clark, Ethel (April 5, 1942). "Ethel Clark's Radio Flashes". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. p. 35. Retrieved May 1, 2015 – via open access
  13. ^ "Theater Calendar". The Decatur Daily Review. April 24, 1938. p. 20. Retrieved May 1, 2015 – via open access
  14. ^ "The Movie Reporter Speaks". The Hearne Democrat. October 16, 1953. p. 15. Retrieved May 1, 2015 – via open access
  15. ^ "Joan Blondell's Sister in Film". Harrisburg Telegraph. April 30, 1938. p. 8. Retrieved May 1, 2015 – via open access
  16. ^ "Gloria Blondell Granted Divorce". Kingsport News. August 8, 1945. p. 3. Retrieved May 1, 2015 – via open access
  17. ^ "Gloria Blondell Wed To Advertising Man". The San Bernardino County Sun. September 15, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved May 1, 2015 – via open access
  18. ^ a b Kennedy, Matthew (2007). Joan Blondell, a life between takes. University Press of Mississippi. p. 144.
  19. ^ Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 34, Ideal Publishers

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