ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Celebrities

My Personal Favorite Actress - Irene Dunne

Updated on December 29, 2012

Irene Dunne was born on December 20, 1898. Ironically, my own mother died on December 20th. I mention that only because Irene Dunne was also my dear mom's favorite actress.

Irene was born ten years too soon. That made her 42 years old in 1940, the beginning of the greatest decade of movies. Luckily, she looked very youthful for her age and if you take a look back at her leading men of the 30's and 40's you will see what I mean. She was six years older than Cary Grant, six years older than Robert Montgomery, two years older than Spencer Tracy, eighteen years older than Van Johnson, who I met personally, ten years older than Rex Harrison, ten years older than Fred MacMurray, eleven years older than Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., thirteen years older than Robert Taylor and one year older than Fred Astaire.

Point being, the studios realized what a great actress she was and what a beautiful woman she was and as long as she looked younger than her famous leading men she could have the parts that other younger women desired.

Her first starring role was in a musical comedy in 1930. She received an Oscar nomination in just her second film, Cimarron in 1931. She was persuaded in 1936 to star in a comedy role in Theodora Goes Wild which was an instant hit and gave her another Oscar nomination.

Her light comedy roles with the likes of Cary Grant were comparable to Doris Day's hit comedies with Rock Hudson. As big a box office attraction as Cary was Irene still received top billing.

What made Irene so great was her ability to switch from comedy to drama and give outstanding performances like the one she gave in Love Affair in 1939 and another Oscar nomination, A Guy Named Joe in 1943 and I Remember Mama in her later years that would earn her another Oscar nomination making 5 nominations in all.

Just look at her in this photo. What a beauty! You can see her charm and personality written all over her face. This is a picture of Irene in her late 30's and she looks around 20. Just think; if she had come along ten years later she would have been doing leading romantic roles late into the 40's rather than the more mature roles she had to take as she gravitated toward her 50's.

Irene Dunne was intelligent (college educated) faithful (married for 35 years to a dentist until his death) beautiful, funny, gifted actress and lived to be 91 years of age. She was appreciated by many who grew up in the 30's-50's, but overlooked to some degree by future generations probably because of the era that she performed in. I truly love this woman.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Hi Brandmacarol;

      I knew the movie immediately, but Irene did not ring a bell. Sorry, but that was Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn in "The More the Merrier"in 1943. Good film.

    • profile image

      brandmacarol@yahoo. com 5 years ago

      looking for title of movie that star irene dunne, charles coburn and joel mc crea. taking place during 2nd war in washington dc. dunne has a small apt that she leases half to coburn, he in turn leases his half to mc crea. an adorable cute little romantic film. have racked my brain and looked up every web site i can think of but can't find title. please help me out. all three of these actors were my favorites of that era. was thrilled to see all in a movie together.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Good to hear from you, again. Thanks for stopping by.

    • StopChaos profile image

      StopChaos 5 years ago

      As my alter ego, Bull Balls, once said, "I too am just getting started" ... at what I don't know but here's hoping I recognize it when it drives by ... in a 1957 Ford Skyliner ???

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      I have always thought Laraine Day was in the top 4 beauties on screen and Ida Lupino is one of my top 4 female actresses. You have good tastes, SC. BTW, your fan mail called me old...I'm just getting started! Thanks for stopping by again.

    • StopChaos profile image

      StopChaos 5 years ago

      Agree ... and would add Ida Lupino & Laraine Day ... born too late ...

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      As you know by now, she and Joel McCrea are my favorites. They made one movie together and I need to watch it. Thanks for sharing.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      I agree with you, she was a great lady. Never realized she was so much older than her leading men. I've seen most of her films, and never tire of her.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Appreciate the comment. Thank you.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Appreciate the comment. Thank you.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Appreciate the comment. Thank you.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Appreciate the comment. Thank you.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Thanks, Matheus. You also have great taste. Let's go watch a Dunne movie!

    • profile image

      Matheus 5 years ago

      Your mother had a wonderful taste. Irene was truly one of a kind. I (and a lot of people) love her too.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Appreciate the comment. Thank you.

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • ElizaDoole profile image

      Lisa McKnight 5 years ago from London

      Nice hubs keep up the good writing.

    • alinamassy profile image

      alinamassy 5 years ago from India

      I realy enjoy reading your hub. thanks for sharing your information

      Voted up and interesting@@@@

    • discovery2020 profile image
      Author

      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Thanks, giocatore. Glad you appreciate a true talent.

    • giocatore profile image

      giocatore 5 years ago

      That's very interesting. thanks for SHARING. voted up!