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with Toto in a studio promotional photograph to celebrate Christmas 1939
|Born||Virginia Anna Adelaide Weidler
March 21, 1927
Eagle Rock, California, U.S.
|Died||July 1, 1968
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||heart attack|
|Spouse(s)||Lionel Krisel (m. 1947–68) (her death) 2 children|
Early life and career
Virginia Weidler made her first film appearance in 1933. Over the next few years, she was cast in minor roles for RKO and Paramount Pictures. Neither studio made more extensive use of her and when Paramount did not extend her contract, she was signed by MGM in 1938. Her first film for MGM was with their leading male star Mickey Rooney in Love Is a Headache (1938). The film was a success and Weidler was now cast in larger roles, most often as precocious tom-boys. She was one of the all-female cast of the 1939 film The Women, as Norma Shearer's daughter.
Her next major success was The Philadelphia Story (1940) in which she played Dinah Lord, the witty younger sister of Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn). As a teenager she was less popular with audiences. After a string of box-office disappointments, her film career ended with the 1943 film Best Foot Forward. At her retirement from the screen at age 16, she had appeared in more than forty films, and had acted with some of the biggest stars of the day, including Clark Gable and Myrna Loy in Too Hot to Handle, Bette Davis in All This and Heaven Too and Judy Garland in Babes on Broadway.
On March 27, 1947, Weidler married Lionel Krisel. They had two sons, Ronnie and Gary. Ron is a commercial photographer. Gary had a long career with Disney that began in 1972. He moved up in executive positions, notably as the initial President of Disney Television Animation, a division created in 1984.
Her older brother, saxophonist George Weidler, (1926–1989) was married to Doris Day from March 1946 to May 1949. Prior to her birth, Weidler's German-born father, Alfred Weidler, (1886–1966) had been an architect in Hamburg, Germany, but moved the family to Los Angeles in 1923 and went on to become a model builder with 20th Century Fox. Her mother, Margaret (née Meyer), had been an opera singer in Germany under the stage name Margaret Louise Therese. One of her brothers-in-law, William Krisel (born 1925), is an influential modernist architect in Southern California.
Weidler refused to be interviewed for the remainder of her life, living in private. She remained married to Krisel until her death on July 1, 1968, when she suffered a heart attack in Los Angeles at age 41.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Virginia Weidler.|
- Virginia Weidler at the Internet Movie Database
- Virginia Weidler at the Internet Broadway Database
- Virginia Weidler at Find a Grave