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Post  Devotee #1 on 16th January 2008, 08:40



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Marriage On His Mind

Post  Devotee #1 on 25th February 2008, 10:58

On 5 July, 1940, James Durbin had to call the police when he noticed a fellow hanging around the house. It turned out to be a 21-year-old male by the name of Robert Smith who was love-sick for Deanna after seeing her in FIRST LOVE. The police found him sitting in Deanna's car. He told them that he wanted to marry Deanna, but he wasn't sure if she felt the same way about him. Officers Harrel and Ainsworth took Robert to the Hollywood Police Station to question him and later put him on a streetcar bound for his home in Baldwin Park. James Durbin did not press charges. I love you



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Strangers

Post  Devotee #1 on 25th February 2008, 11:00

For the 1944 season, Universal Studios planned to make a movie for Deanna Durbin called STRANGERS. Charles Boyer was to play the male lead in the romantic melodrama set in New York, but Deanna ended-up not being in it.



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Prima Dollar

Post  Devotee #1 on 25th February 2008, 11:02

Deanna Durbin's first seven films all earned more than double their cost of production, which helped keep Universal Studios from bankruptcy. Her contract with Universal, said to be the highest for any actress of the time, was $1750 per week, with a $250 per week increase in 1941, another $250 per week increase in 1942, and a final $250 per week increase in 1943. In addition, she was paid $50,000 as a bonus for every film she starred in. So in 1940 Deanna was paid $91,000 plus $150,000 for the films FIRST LOVE, SPRING PARADE, and IT'S A DATE. In 1941 her salary increased to $99,000 plus $100,000 for IT STARTED WITH EVE and NICE GIRL. In 1942 when there were no films released, she was paid $107,000, and in 1943, she received $115,000 plus $150,000 for the films THE AMAZING MRS HOLLIDAY, HERS TO HOLD, and HIS BUTLER'S SISTER. At one point, Deanna was earning almost three times the salary of President Roosevelt. Also, Universal agreed to pay Deanna Durbin a percentage of all her films released, including any future showings in any media. That means when her films were eventually sold to television, Universal were obligated to give Deanna a percentage, so that explains why her films haven't been so widely seen on the small screen. Consequently, she is less well known to the public than other stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.



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Vehicles & Suspension

Post  Devotee #1 on 25th February 2008, 11:03

Deanna Durbin was suspended from Universal Studios on 16th October, 1941.

Technically, it was because she did not show for work on the set of the movies THEY LIVED ALONE and MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE.

Deanna wanted more say about how her movies were to be made and be allowed to work at other studios, but Universal resisted her requests. All the delays cost Universal $200,000 as the studio had been forced to cancel both projects after being unable to find a replacement for Deanna.

Some people believed Deanna was just supporting her husband, Vaughn Paul who had his own problems with Universal.

Deanna returned to work at Universal on 30th January, 1942, with a small victory of concessions.



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Old Blue Eyes

Post  Devotee #1 on 25th February 2008, 11:04

Deanna Durbin was a Frank Sinatra fan. She said he has a wonderful voice. Now Deanna doesn't swoon, but admitted that she does like to shut her eyes when he's singing.



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Just For You

Post  Devotee #1 on 2nd March 2008, 11:11

In 1941, Rosemary Lobb, a 14 year old girl who lived in Wolseley, Winnipeg wrote to Deanna Durbin. Rosemary explained that she was blind since birth, a student at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), and a lover of music and opera. She also said that she hoped one day she could hear Deanna sing on her radio shows. So Deanna recorded a special song just for Rosemary which also included some personalized greetings. The recording was broadcast as part of an extended radio broadcast to raise funds for Winnipeg's Community Chest of charities which included the school for the blind.



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No Philadelphia Freedom

Post  Devotee #1 on 3rd March 2008, 10:23

Deanna Durbin's work schedule didn't allow her much time for parties. In 1937, when she was in Philadelphia for the filming of 100 MEN AND A GIRL, it was strictly business with no time for pleasure. One evening, a party was being held at the hotel where Deanna was staying and the young people wanted her to join them. She was permitted to go down to the ballroom where she received a tremendous reception. Deanna stood on the platform, said a few words, laughed with them, blew a few kisses - and then went back to her room. "They're having lots of fun," she said wistfully to her mother, and for a few moments the tears she had been holding back ran down her cheeks. Deanna was a disappointed child, but she was also a film star adored by millions, with another hard day's work ahead!



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Huge Demand

Post  Devotee #1 on 5th March 2008, 08:10

In the 1930's Universal Pictures were struggling until they struck gold with Deanna Durbin, but they didn't have the money to strike up enough prints of her films to meet the huge demand of theatres. Unlike several of its competitors, Universal didn't own theatres, so they desperately needed film stock, and Jules Brulatour agreed to furnish it, but for a price - the studio had to create a film vehicle for his Texas born actress wife!



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Just Another Day

Post  Devotee #1 on 6th March 2008, 08:43

Back in the late 1930s, a typical work day for Deanna Durbin would be something like the following:

7 am..........Rise and shine
7.30 am......Breakfast
8.00 am......Studio hairdresser
8.30 am......Make-up department
9.00 am......On the set
Noon..........Lunch and interviews
1.00 pm......On the set
5.00 pm......Finish for the day
6.30 pm......Dinner
10.00 pm....Hit the sack



Somewhere in that hectic schedule, Deanna found the time to squeeze in her school work!! Shocked Shocked


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Kiss Off

Post  Devotee #1 on 7th March 2008, 22:54

Deanna Durbin's first onscreen kiss which only lasted two seconds was with Robert Stack in FIRST LOVE. You'll notice that as she grew older, the kisses grew longer. By the time Deanna made movie number ten called IT STARTED WITH EVE, which was her first one after her marriage, the kissing time had stretched to overtime!! Now Robert Cummings had a "make-up" kiss with Deanna in IT STARTED WITH EVE which wasn't a romantic one, but he did lock lips with her for over 10 seconds!!

Bruce Manning, who was involved in the writing of many of Deanna's movies, said the following: "Ten seconds by the way, is enough for any screen kiss, such a scene can be inflamatory to an audience, while a two minute kiss can be a dud!"



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Not Ready

Post  Devotee #1 on 10th March 2008, 08:37

The next movie after NICE GIRL was to be called READY FOR ROMANCE.

The famous actor Charles Boyer was to be the leading man next to Deanna Durbin, but it didn't work out that way, so the next movie turned out to be IT STARTED WITH EVE with Robert Cummings and Charles Laughton.



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Traffic Jam

Post  Devotee #1 on 19th March 2008, 22:39

On 4 June, 1938, Deanna Durbin certainly left her mark in Salt Lake City.

The 16-year-old actress was guest vocalist at a meeting of the Utah Bankers Association.

Loud speakers had to be installed in Temple Square, because a massive crowd of more than 15,000 people came to hear Deanna sing.

Her golden voice could be heard in nearby streets and motorists stopped to listen.

The Chief of Police, William Webb said that Miss Durbin's visit resulted in the worst traffic jam in the history of Salt Lake City!

It took all available cars, motorcycles, foot patrolmen 40 minutes to get the traffic flowing again.

Despite the chaos, the locals appreciated Deanna's visit and her amazing vocal performance!!



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Requests

Post  Devotee #1 on 27th March 2008, 11:36

According to reports from the BBC, it receives more requests from the public for Deanna Durbin movies and recordings, than for those of any other star of Hollywood's Golden Age.



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Movie Titles

Post  Devotee #1 on 27th April 2008, 00:23

After the production of IT STARTED WITH EVE, there were a number of possible movie titles for Deanna Durbin floating around at Universal Studios including the following: BIRTHDAY, BOY MEETS BABY, THEY LIVED ALONE, THE DIVINE LADY, CALL ME YOURS, TONIGHT AND FOREVER, FOREVER YOURS. THE AMAZING MRS HOLLIDAY then became the first movie Deanna made in 1942 and then officially released in 1943.



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Stamp Of Stardom

Post  Devotee #1 on 10th May 2008, 16:58

In 1937, Universal Studios insured Deanna Durbin for the sum of $500,000.



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Kate Smith

Post  Devotee #1 on 21st May 2008, 13:30

Deanna Durbin loved to listen to Kate Smith on the radio singing When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain.



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Not Forgotten

Post  Devotee #1 on 25th May 2008, 03:14

According to the editor of the "WHATEVER BECAME OF" series of books which for 25 years updated readers on the lives of celebrities who had dropped out of the public eye, Deanna Durbin was always from the series inception in the mid 1960's through to the last volume in the late 1980's, the most consistently asked about star of the past.



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Pet Names

Post  Devotee #1 on 8th June 2008, 21:13

These are just some of the pet names that the Universal crew called Deanna Durbin on the set:

Durby

Durbish

Shorty

Punky

Denny

Candy

Licorice

Cookie

Little Dickens

Charlie

Dee Dee

Dee's

Leena

Why Leena? Because "Leena Parelli" was the opera singer little Penny claimed to be when she was brought to the police station in her debut movie THREE SMART GIRLS.



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Pullman

Post  Devotee #1 on 9th June 2008, 07:40

Deanna Durbin was the first screen star to see her name adorning the side of a Pullman car. Christening ceremonies took place in the Southern Pacific yards in downtown Los Angeles when the star of LADY ON A TRAIN cracked a bottle of champagne on the sleep club car and officially named it Deanna. Participating in the christening were George Kelly, vice-president of the Pullman Company, and George Hanson, general passenger agent for the Southern Pacific Railway.



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Breakfast In America

Post  Devotee #1 on 25th June 2008, 09:33

Before Deanna Durbin signed with Universal Studios she performed at The Los Angeles Breakfast Club on three separate occasions.



In the 1920s, the Griffith Park's trails had become a favourite spot for equestrians. Busy businessmen particularly liked the close-in wilderness because it offered them a place to ride on weekday mornings before work.

By the autume of 1924, a group of men prominent in the business, professional and social life of the region fell into an informal ritual. After their Friday morning rides, they'd eat breakfast in the park, gathering around a chuckwagon operated as a sideline by local banker Marco Hellman. Afterward, most of them rode back to the Griffith Park Riding Academy on Riverside Drive.

One morning, Hellman had a bank president from Chicago as his honoured guest. He hired musicians and encouraged the visitor to tell stories. The event was such a success that Maurice DeMond, a local merchant and director of the Los Angeles National Horse Show, proposed on the spot that everyone present contribute $100 toward formation of a breakfast club.

Charter members included such local business leaders as Billy Mines, owner of Mines (air) Field; Edward Doheny, a prominent oilman; and Earle Anthony, Packard Dealer and owner of radio station KFI.

The group was also laden with entertainment industry heavyweights, including Louis B. Mayer, Jack and Harry Warner, Cecil B. DeMille, Darryl Zanuk, Jesse Lasky, Leo Carillo and Tom Mix. Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, was the club's first secretary.

The club prospered. DeMond was soon able to secure a headquarters at the former Crosetti Dairy Farm across from the Riding Academy. It was converted into a club office, meeting hall, kitchen, locker room and showers. Big name entertainers and acts played the Breakfast Club, including Guy Lombardo, Rudy Vallee and the Vienna Boys Choir. The Warner Brothers donated 90 minutes weekly on radio station KFWB so that the Breakfast Club's programs could be broadcast in their entirety.

But even more than big name entertainment, the club was built on the foundations of friendship, good-natured silliness and ham & eggs­, but not necessarily in that order.

When special opportunities presented themselves, the group tried to work ham & eggs into the picture. For example, when airplane builder Anthony Fokker was a guest, club members were taken up in one of his big trimotor planes for "Ham & Eggs in the Air."

And visiting dignitaries were asked to pledge allegiance to the club by sticking one hand into a plate of scrambled eggs!

One such dignitary was Calvin Coolidge, who was President at the time. Club lore has it that he was shaking hands with members without cracking a smile. Then Will Rogers won a $100 bet by breaking him up. "I'm sorry," Rogers said as he gripped the President's hand. "I didn't get your name."

By 1927 the initiation fee had gone up to $500 ­and 70 new members joined up during the first six months of the year. The club built a new breakfast hall called the Pavillion of Friendship and a new riding ring for horse shows. Dr. Rufus B. von KleinSmid, president of the University of Southern California, became president of the club.

But within a few years things began to fall apart. The Great Depression slowed the pace of new memberships. The entrance fee was reduced. DeMond, still the club's dominant figure, died of a heart attack on June 24, 1931. Club members didn't know until after his death that worsening economic conditions had left the club $83,000 in debt. By December 1933 the situation had become grave enough that the Breakfast Club had to leave its site at the foot of Griffith Park.

After several years at the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard, the club obtained a headquarters on Los Feliz Boulevard near the park in 1937 and built a permanent headquarters on park property in 1965.

Today, the club continues on its peculiar way, meeting each Wednesday morning for good fellowship, to hear a guest speaker and, of course, to partake of ham & eggs.

For more information about the Los Angeles Breakfast Club, call 213-662-1191.


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Top Female

Post  Devotee #1 on 28th June 2008, 16:58

In late 2003 BBC/Wales radio poll asked listeners to name "The 30 Greatest Performers of the 20th Century." Deanna Durbin was voted number 3 (the top female), ahead of Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Judy Garland number 10.



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The Endless Steppe

Post  Devotee #1 on 28th June 2008, 18:19

Esther Hautzig, a ten-year-old girl in 1941, was taken with her family, and re-located from her native Poland to Siberia following Russia's annexation of Poland. Hautzig and her family with other Poles were placed in a small village where they had a certain amount of freedom, but had to grow their own food in plots of earth around their huts. For the next five years the family struggled and often went hungry. The second summer in Siberia (1942) was hot and decimated their crops. In addition, the camp was hit by a typhus epidemic and many people died. Eleven year old Esther was terrified, but recalled that seeing Deanna Durbin in 100 MEN AND A GIRL was the one bright spot for her and the other young girls in the camp.

"It was also the summer I saw Deanna Durbin in 100 MEN AND A GIRL four times in the village cinema. In the annals of film fanatics this may not rate a mention, but in order to get the four roubles entrance fee, our menu became even more austere than ever. Whatever my parents thought about my self-indulgence they never said a word; they must have realized how great this other hunger was. That summer of 1942 Deanna Durbin was our super-heroine. Svetlana and the other girls and I talked about her by the hour. We sang her songs, we talked about her smile, her walk, her hairdo. But mainly we talked about her clothes; when the war was over we would all dress like Deanna Durbin. How this was to be accomplished in Rubstnsk was no concern of ours. There had been a scarcity of clothing before the war, but we dreamed on and on and we sang Miss Durbin's songs!"



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Broken Arm

Post  Devotee #1 on 18th October 2009, 04:49

As a young girl, Deanna Durbin broke her left arm and it didn't heal very well, so she wasn't able to extend it as far as her right arm. But that certainly didn't hinder her performance as an actress. Howard Keel, who also had a slightly crooked arm as the result of a childhood injury, names Deanna Durbin and her career success as a source of inspiration to him in overcoming his own injury!!




Examine carefully EVERY SUNDAY where you can clearly see the stiffness of Deanna's left arm at the end of her performance:



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Phantom Success

Post  Devotee #1 on 1st January 2012, 08:05

Deanna Durbin was to star in a 1943 movie version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA with Boris Karloff and Alan Jones. At the time, the studio refurbished and repainted the opera set from the original Lon Chaney movie because it was to be shot in Technicolor. At the last minute, Claude Rains replaced Boris Karloff. Nelson Eddy had left MGM, so Universal offered him the role of Anatole. Then Deanna Durbin refused to do Christine because she didn’t want to be compared to Jeanette MacDonald. She didn’t want to do a “Deanna Durbin & Nelson Eddy.” Consequently, Susanna Foster was cast as Christine instead of Deanna. The movie was a success, but it could have been Universal’s biggest success up to that time if Deanna had played Christine with Boris Karloff and Alan Jones.



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Money Making Machine

Post  Devotee #1 on 3rd February 2014, 08:58

After the amazing success of Deanna Durbin's early movies, other film companies offered Universal Studios huge amounts of money to borrow her for their productions, but the studio refused. Who can blame them considering Deanna rapidly became the top box office draw in Europe, Britain, United States, Asia, Russia, and South America. The average gross for one of Deanna's movies was $1,250,000. And those movies accounted for seventeen percent of Universal Studio's entire revenue during the late 1930's. Now that's a GREAT investment!!!


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