Deanna Durbin was a Canadian actress and singer, who became one of the most famous celebrities of the 1930s and 1940s. She is known for her musical performances, as well as her lyric soprano voice. In addition to her acting career, she also starred in films as a singer, performing arias and popular standards.
Durbin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, on December 4, 1921. Her parents were British-born. When she was a child, she lived in California, and studied singing. At age 10, her parents recognized her talent. They brought her to Los Angeles where she studied at various singing schools. By the time she was 13, she was signed by MGM. The company discovered her during a casting search. After her audition, she was given the name Deanna Durbin.
She appeared in several Hollywood films in the 1930s. Her first film was Every Sunday (1936), starring Judy Garland. From there, she began performing on radio. She also recorded for Decca Records. It’s a Date (1940), a musical comedy, was her second feature.
Although Durbin made money through her acting and recording careers, she was not happy with her girl-next-door roles. After her career in Hollywood, she moved to France. This was because she was unhappy with the way her films were being distributed overseas. However, she was credited with saving Universal Studios from bankruptcy.
She became a favorite of many World War II leaders, including Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini. Her rendition of “One Fine Day” from Madame Butterfly became a classic.
Aside from her roles in music and movies, Durbin was famous for her social life. She had an extensive fan club, which during her active years ranked as the largest in the world. One of her former friends was Doris Day.
Durbin is most remembered for her roles in the “Musical Comedy” era. Her performance in Lady on a Train (1945), for example, was praised by the critics. As an adult, she continued to act in musical films, including the film adaptation of Gypsy. For her work in these movies, she was rewarded with a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
She continued to play musical roles until her retirement. Her last film was Christmas Holiday, which was considered a noir movie. But it was not as successful as her musicals.
Before retiring from the spotlight, Durbin married producer-director Charles Henri David in 1949. Though she withdrew from public life, she never lost her fame, thanks to her fans. During her lifetime, she had an estimated net worth of up to $5 million. And she ranked as the richest female star in the United States in 1947.
In addition to her acting, she was a singer and a composer. She had a voice described as natural, sweet, and light. On the Internet, she has her own website and a Twitter account. If you’re interested in learning more about her life, you can visit her official website.