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September 8, 1898|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 5, 1978
Burbank, California, U.S.
Queenie Smith (September 8, 1898 - August 5, 1978) was an American stage, television, and film actress.
Life and career
Smith was born in New York City, New York. She got an early start, being trained in ballet and dance and spent her teen years performing as a dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Company in operas such as Aida, La Traviata, and Faust. By the 1920s she was a star on Broadway in shows such as Helen of Troy, New York (1923), Sitting Pretty (1924), and The Street Singer (1929), and by the mid-1930s had made her way into films. She starred on Broadway in George and Ira Gershwin's musical Tip-Toes (1925). She costarred in the 1936 Universal Pictures film version of Jerome Kern's Show Boat, playing Ellie May Chipley. Smith replaced stage actress Eva Puck who had starred as Chipley in the 1927 premiere and 1932 revival of Show Boat.
In 1947 she appeared in the film The Long Night and then played other character roles on film, and later, television. She was seen as Jimmy Durante's wife in The Great Rupert, and in guest shots in many television shows, including The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, A.E.S. Hudson Street, Rhoda, Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway, Barney Miller, Mother, Jugs & Speed, Chico and the Man, McMillan & Wife, Love American Style, The Waltons, Here's Lucy, The Funny Side, Hawaii Five-O, The Monkees, The Odd Couple, The Love Boat, Maude and Little House on the Prairie (in a recurring role as "Mrs. Whipple").
Queenie Smith was a teacher and mentor to many a young actor. She taught at the Hollywood Professional School and was the Director for the training program at Melodyland Theater, Anaheim, California, during the 1960s.