End Credits #48: Cinema's 2016 Lost Treasures
Gloria DeHaven (July 23, 1925 - July 30, 2016) the supremely gifted actress has died at age 91. She was also a dearly loved mom to 4 children and a grandma to 3. My deepest condolences to her family for their loss. May her captivating illumination forever shine on cinema lovers everywhere.
Guest contributor Bob DiMucci has provided this tribute to many of her motion picture accomplishments:
The Films of Gloria DeHaven
Eleven-year-old Gloria DeHaven made her film debut in an uncredited part as one of the sisters of "The Gamin" (Paulette Goddard) in the 1936 Charlie Chaplin classic MODERN TIMES. Her father, actor-director-producer Carter DeHaven, is credited as assistant director on the film, although some accounts say he had a hand in shaping the script as well. Chaplin composed the score for the film, which was arranged by Edward Powell and David Raksin, and conducted by Alfred Newman. The original soundtrack was released on a 1959 United Artists LP, which is available as a download. A modern recording of the score was done by Timothy Brock and the NDR Radiophilharmonie and released in the U.S. by Naxos in 2015.
DeHaven had a small role in the 1940 comedy-drama SUSAN AND GOD, playing "Enid," a school chum of Rita Quiqley's character "Blossom Trexel." Blossom is the daughter of "Susan and Barrie Trexel" (Joan Crawford and Fredric March), an estranged couple. George Cukor directed the film, which was scored by Herbert Stothart.
DeHaven had an uncredited bit part as a Debutante in Ladies' Room in TWO-FACED WOMAN, the film in which MGM invited audiences to "Go Gay With Garbo!" The 1941 romantic comedy would be Greta Garbo's last film. DeHaven was directed by George Cukor for the second time. Bronislau Kaper provided the unreleased score.
Gloria DeHaven received her first poster credit on 1943's BEST FOOT FORWARD. The musical starred Lucille Ball, playing herself, as a movie star who accepts a prom invitation to Winsocki Military Institute's senior prom, from graduating cadet "Elwood C. 'Bud' Hooper" (Tommy Dix). DeHaven played one of the girls at the prom, who teams up with two other future stars, June Allyson and Nancy Walker, in a lively rendition of the song "The Three B's,", as in Barrelhouse, Boogie-Woogie and The Blues, with each actress featured with her own portion of the presentation. The film was DeHaven's singing debut. Edward Buzzell directed the film. Lennie Hayton was the music director for the song score, which was released on CD by Rhino in 2003.
The opening of "The Three B's" can be seen in the film's trailer, starting at the 0:56 mark. Gloria DeHaven is on the left.
DeHaven was one of a galaxy of MGM stars who appeared in 1943's THOUSANDS CHEER. DeHaven was among the group who appeared as themselves in this story about an acrobat (Gene Kelly) in the Army who romances his Colonel's pretty daughter (Kathryn Grayson). George Sidney directed the film. Herbert Stothart was the musical director, and George Bassman did the conducting. Some of the musical numbers appeared on an unauthorized 1975 LP on the Hollywood Soundstage label. DeHaven's number, "In A Little Spanish Town," which she sang with June Allyson and Virginia O'Brien, appears on the LP, and also in the Rhino CD compilation "Alive and Kickin': Big Band Sounds at M-G-M."
In 1944's BROADWAY RHYTHM fourth-billed DeHaven played "Patsy Demming," the teenaged sister of successful Broadway producer and performer "Jonnie Demming" (George Murphy). One of the songs DeHaven recorded for the film, "My Moonlight Madonna," by Paul Webster, Zedenko Fibich, and William Scotti, was ultimately not used in the picture. The song "What Do You Think I Am," written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, and sung in this film by DeHaven and Kenny Bowers, was originally written for the film BEST FOOT FORWARD, but was cut from that picture. Roy Del Ruth directed the film. Johnny Green supervised and conducted the music. Songs from the film (but none of DeHaven's) have appeared on a number of Rhino compilation CDs.
Gloria DeHaven co-starred with June Allyson and Van Johnson in TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR. In this 1944 musical, Allyson and DeHaven play sisters "Patsy and Jean Deyo," who grow up watching their parents sing and dance together on the vaudeville circuit, and as soon as they are old enough, start an act of their own. The film marked Allyson and DeHaven's first starring roles. As a child, DeHaven, like the character she plays in the picture, accompanied her parents, entertainers Carter DeHaven and Flora Parker, during their vaudeville circuit tours.
June Allyson was originally cast in DeHaven's role. Allyson's future husband, Dick Powell, suggested that she switch roles with DeHaven and play the plain sister while DeHaven play the glamorous one. DeHaven remarked in 1989, "Maybe she knows something I don't; but that doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. I wish they had reversed it - hers was the better role."
DeHaven sang three numbers in the film, which was directed by Richard Thorpe. George Stoll was the musical director. An unauthorized LP release of the film's music appeared on the Sound Stage label in 1974. Rhino released a song by Lena Horne, and five tracks from Xavier Cugat And His Orchestra, on separate compilation CDs.
DeHaven appeared with Frank Sinatra and George Murphy in 1944's STEP LIVELY. Murphy plays penniless theatrical impresario "Gordon Miller" whose star attraction is "Christine Marlowe" (DeHaven). One day, Miller takes playwright "Glenn Russell" (Sinatra) to a nightclub where Marlowe is performing. When Christine invites Glenn to join her in a song, the women in the audience go wild. RKO borrowed DeHaven from MGM to appear in the picture, which was Frank Sinatra's first lead role. Sinatra would soon join DeHaven at MGM.
Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn wrote the songs for the film, which was directed by Tim Whelan. C. Bakaleinikoff was the musical director, with Ken Darby as vocal director. Leigh Harline provided some uncredited score. Hollywood Soundstage Records released an unauthorized LP of the film's music. Six of Sinatra's numbers (and one outtake), including several with DeHaven, were released in Rhino's "Frank Sinatra In Hollywood" box set in 2002.
Taking a break from musicals, DeHaven co-starred in the medical drama BETWEEN TWO WOMEN. Even so, the role didn't stray far from DeHaven's wheelhouse, as she played "Edna," a singer in a nightclub, performing two songs in the film, including the classic Jimmy McHugh-Dorothy Fields tune "I'm in the Mood for Love." The 1944 film was one of the pictures in MGM's "Dr. Gillespie" series, which featured Lionel Barrymore. Van Johnson starred in the film as "Dr. Randall 'Red' Adams," and there was some speculation at the time that the film might inaugurate a series of "Dr. Red Adams" films. Additional scenes featuring Gloria DeHaven were added to the picture after she received good notices during a sneak preview of the film. Willis Goldbeck directed the 1945 film, which was scored by David Snell.
Gloria DeHaven had a supporting role in the fifth of six films in the "Thin Man" series, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, THE THIN MAN GOES HOME. DeHaven plays "Laura Ronson," the daughter of banking tycoon "Sam Ronson" (Minor Watson) and the girl friend of "Tom Clayworth" (Paul Langton). Richard Thorpe (TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR) directed the 1945 film, which was scored by David Snell.
Gloria DeHaven married actor John Payne on December 28, 1944. After the release of THE THIN MAN GOES HOME in January 1945, DeHaven was off the screen for more than three years. This wasn't entirely by choice. Her next film, the musical SUMMER HOLIDAY, began filming in June 1946. But the film was not copyrighted until November 1947, and its wide release was held back until April 1948. In the film, Mickey Rooney stars as "Richard Miller," a young man newly graduated from high school and destined for Yale. DeHaven plays "Muriel McComber," Richard's sweetheart.
Three of the Harry Warren-Ralph Blane songs initially recorded for the film were cut before its release. Two of them featured DeHaven: "Wish I Had a Braver Heart" and "Omar and the Princess," the latter sung with Mickey Rooney in an elaborate Persian fantasy sequence. All three of the cut songs were included on the film's soundtrack CD, released by Rhino in 2004. Rouben Mamoulian directed the film, which proved to be a big money loser for MGM, grossing only $1.6 million on a $2.3 million budget.
DeHaven significantly changed genres for her next film, co-starring again with Van Johnson in the 1949 film noir SCENE OF THE CRIME. Johnson played police detective "Mike Conovan," and DeHaven was "Lili," a burlesque dancer at the Club Fol-de-Rol. Roy Rowland directed the film. Eight minutes of Andre Previn's score was released on Rhino's CD of BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK in 2001.
DeHaven went back to comedy with 1949's YES SIR, THAT'S MY BABY, in which she co-starred with Donald O'Connor and Charles Coburn. O'Connor plays "William Waldo Winfield," a war veteran at Granger College. He shares responsibility for the care of his baby boy "Boopkins" with his wife "Sarah Jane" (DeHaven), who also attends Granger. Universal Pictures borrowed Gloria DeHaven from MGM for the production. The film was directed by George Sherman, with the unreleased score being provided by Walter Scharf.
DeHaven appeared in her second medical drama with 1949's THE DOCTOR AND THE GIRL. Glenn Ford starred as "Michael Corday," a recent Harvard Medical School graduate arriving at New York City's Bellevue Hospital to begin his internship. DeHaven plays Michael's young sister "Fabienne," who decides to defy her father's wishes and leave home to live on her own in Greenwich Village. Curtis Bernhardt directed the film, which had an uncredited score by Rudolph G. Kopp.
DeHaven co-starred with Red Skelton in the 1950 comedy THE YELLOW CAB MAN. Skelton played "Augustus 'Red' Pirdy," an accident-prone inventor who has devoted his life to safety. While crossing a busy intersection in Los Angeles, he is struck by a taxicab. Although Red is not seriously injured in the accident, the Yellow Cab Co., fearing a lawsuit, sends its claims adjuster, "Ellen Goodrich" (DeHaven), to discuss a settlement with Red. Hilarity ensues. Jack Donohue helmed the film, which was primarily scored by Scott Bradley, with additional music from Adolph Deutsch.
Gloria DeHaven was a featured player in the Fred Astaire-Red Skelton musical THREE LITTLE WORDS. The film was based on the lives of the songwriting team of Bert Kalmar (Astaire) and Harry Ruby (Skelton). Gloria DeHaven portrayed her own mother, Mrs. Carter DeHaven, in the film. Mrs. Carter DeHaven (born Flora Parker) was an actress who appeared in many stage productions and silent films. Flora Parker introduced the Ruby-Kalmar song "Who's Sorry Now." In the film, Gloria DeHaven recreates her mother singing it. Richard Thorpe directed DeHaven for the third time in THREE LITTLE WORDS. André Previn was music director for the film, which had its most complete soundtrack release in 2004 by Rhino.
Just a month after THREE LITTLE WORDS opened, DeHaven was back on screen in another musical, costarring with Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Eddie Bracken in SUMMER STOCK. Garland plays "Jane Falbury," a Connecticut farm owner, who has been left nearly destitute by three years of bad crops. DeHaven is her sister "Abigail," who is studying acting in New York. Then one day, Jane returns to her farm only to discover that it has been overrun by a troupe of actors that Abigail has brought in from New York to stage a musical in the farm's barn.
Charles Walters directed the 1950 film, with musical direction by Johnny Green and Saul Chaplin. One of DeHaven's songs, "Fall in Love" (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon), sung with Phil Silvers, was cut from the film. The duet is heard on the 2001 Rhino CD of the soundtrack, which also includes the score of Judy Garland's IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949).
In her first film for 20th Century Fox, DeHaven co-starred with June Haver and William Lundigan in the musical I'LL GET BY. As the film opens, "William Spencer" (Lundigan), a song plugger for Leo Feist Inc. in New York, rushes one of the company's new records to disc jockey "Peter Pepper" (Steve Allen). While en route, he crashes into a door being opened by a young singer, "Liza Martin" (Haver). DeHaven plays singer "Terry Martin," Liza's sister, and the duo appear together with Harry James at the Chi Chi Club. I'LL GET BY marked DeHaven's third and final film with Harry James. Richard Sale directed the film.
Lionel Newman was musical director, and Earle Hagen contributed to the orchestrations. During a sequence set at the Roxy Theater in New York, music from Alfred Newman's score for the 1940 20th Century-Fox film THE BLUE BIRD is briefly heard. The film's end credits include song titles, composers, lyricists and, unusually for 1950, publishers. Lionel Newman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture for his work on the production. The film has never been released on home video, and no complete print is known to exist.
Gloria DeHaven's second film at RKO, and fourth musical in a row, was 1951's TWO TICKETS TO BROADWAY. At the film's open, we find three young entertainers on a New York-bound bus--"S. F. 'Foxy' Rogers" (Barbara Lawrence), "Joyce Campbell" (Ann Miller) and "Hannah Holbrook" (DeHaven)-- as they curse their agent, "Lew Conway" (Eddie Bracken) for booking them into a showboat revue in Vermont, which flopped after three days. James V. Kern directed the film, and Walter Scharf providing background scoring between songs.
DOWN AMONG THE SHELTERING PALMS was DeHaven's second film for 20th Century Fox and fifth musical in a row. In it, she appeared again with star William Lundigan, who played "Capt. Bill Willoby," a soldier who is distraught to learn that rather than being sent home at war's end, he and his men are being deployed to tiny Midi Island, as part of the forces occupying the formerly Japanese-held Gilbert Islands. After months on the island, Bill's life becomes even more complicated by the arrival of public relations officer "Maj. Gerald Curwin" (Lyle Talbot) and "Angela Toland" (DeHaven), the writer of a naughty novel who now fancies herself a correspondent. Edmund Goulding directed the 1953 film. About half of the songs in the film were by Harold Arlen. Leigh Harline provided the incidental music, all of which was conducted by Lionel Newman.
De Haven's sixth consecutive musical saw her co-starring with Tony Curtis in SO THIS IS PARIS. As the film opens, United States Navy sailors "Joe Maxwell" (Curtis), "Al Howard" (Gene Nelson) and "Davey Jones" (Paul Gilbert) land in Le Havre, France, and are granted leave in Paris. They make their way to a nightclub where "Colette D'Avril" (DeHaven) sings. The film marked Tony Curtis' only performance singing in a musical. Richard Quine directed the 1954 film, with Henry Mancini and Herman Stein providing the incidental music between songs.
For her seventh straight musical, DeHaven co-starred in THE GIRL RUSH. This 1955 film starred Rosalind Russell as "Kim Halliday," who grew up learning firsthand how to beat the odds in poker, horse racing, and roulette in a romantic but sketchy life with her father, a compulsive gambler. Fernando Lamas plays the suave "Victor Monte," owner of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel's current floor show is the brother and sister team of "Pete and Taffy Tremaine" (Robert Fortier and Gloria DeHaven). Robert Pirosh directed the film, DeHaven's first for Paramount. M. S. I. Spencer-Hagen provided the incidental music and did the conducting.
After the release of THE GIRL RUSH, DeHaven left the world of feature films for more than 20 years. Her Broadway debut came in 1955 playing "Diane" in the musical version of Seventh Heaven. She also kept active in television, appearing on average about once a year in a guest starring role or in a television movie. In 1974, she tried her hand at a regular series, accepting the role of "Irene James," a New Mexico deputy in the Robert Forster series "Nakia". The series, about a deputy sheriff in New Mexico, was filmed largely on location in the state. Aired in a Saturday night slot against "The Carol Burnett Show," "Nakia" couldn't compete and was cancelled after 13 episodes.
In 1976, DeHaven was one of nearly 70 old-time Hollywood stars and character actors who guest starred in walk-on roles in the show business comedy WON TON TON, THE DOG WHO SAVED HOLLYWOOD. The picture, which proved to be the final film for a dozen of the guest stars, was the story of a dog who became a star in 1924 Hollywood. Michael Winner directed the film. Neal Hefti's score was released by Kritzerland in 2014.
Gloria DeHaven worked steadily in television during the 1970s and 1980s. She had extended character runs on Season 2 of the nighttime soap opera "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (1976) and the daytime soap "Ryan's Hope" (1983-85). Her television appearances in the 1990s were sporadic.
DeHaven's final feature film performance was in 1997's OUT TO SEA, the ninth pairing of comic actors and great friends Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The film also proved to be the final feature for Donald O'Connor and Edward Mulhare. In the film, a failed gambler (Matthau), intent on meeting a rich widow, tricks his widowed brother-in-law (Lemmon) into boarding a cruise ship as dance hosts. DeHaven plays a fetching widow traveling with her grown daughter and son-in-law. Martha Coolidge directed the film. David Newman's score was released by Milan Records.
Gloria DeHaven has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6933 Hollywood Blvd. Thanks, Gloria, for all of the joy you brought to your audiences with your comedy and music.