Irene Dunne and Cary Grant in The Awful Truth (1937)
Irene Dunne is an actress who fascinates me. She was beautiful, an exceptional actress, hilarious, charismatic, and had the singing voice of an absolute angel.. an angel who is the Heavenly choir director’s favorite
As I often tell people, she had everything in the world going for her. Not only was she greatly talented, she was known for being an especially charming and likable lady.
As a Kentuckian, I also love the fact that she was born in my home state – in the city of Louisville in 1898. She was quite the star in her day – her fans appreciated all of her splendid attributes and flocked to see her films.
However… somewhere along the way… as the years passed, her name and beautiful face faded from the landscape of the average film lover. She’s still absolutely known (and absolutely loved) among those of us who spend a great deal of our time in Old Hollywood. Heck, I practically live there, myself…. mentally that is. Physically, Kentucky is home – but mentally, I can often be found on the studio lots of Old Hollywood.
I often judge an actor or actress’ mainstream fame by feedback on this blog (I get a lot of e-mails and treasure them all!) and from my own family – the vast majority who do not watch anything older than Jaws or Friday the 13th. Sadly, Irene Dunne is a name (and face) that aren’t as easily recognized as they deserve to be. While Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball, Rita Hayworth, James Stewart are recognized by name and face by almost anyone, some stars have not fared as well.
Drives me crazy!
As I recently told someone on Twitter, however, it serves as motivation for me to tweet more, blog more, and even talk more about these enchanting, downright magical stars… including the wonderful Irene Dunne.
If you are brand spanking new to the world of Irene Dunne, I hope you’ll allow me to recommend starting her filmography with The Awful Truth (DVD on Amazon). The camaraderie between the hilarious actress and Cary Grant (also hilarious) is simply wonderful. They play a married couple (Lucy and Jerry) who are going through a rough patch. Overly suspicious minds lead them on the path to divorce. They even begin divorce proceedings! However, it’s obvious that the spark of love is still there when they start to undermine one another’s attempts to move on with other people.
It’s just an awful lot of fun and I hope you’ll watch it right away.