Magazine article Variety

Durbin Was Teen Darling

Magazine article Variety

Durbin Was Teen Darling

Article excerpt

Singer-actress Deanna Durbin, who was the highest-paid female star in Hollywood in 1947 but quit the biz the following year at the age of 26, has died, her fan club announced April 30. She was 91.

That she still had a fan club some 65 years after leaving the biz spoke to what a sensation she was, making it even more surprising when she gave it all up after 12 years at the top, tired of fame.

Durbin was born in 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her parents moved to California, where her singing ability was soon discovered. She landed at MGM at age 14, and debuted in the 1936 MGM short Every Sunday with Judy Garland (the two were only six months apart in age). Soon after, Universal signed Durbin to a contract.

Her first film at U was Three Smart Girls (remade decades later as The Parent Trap). That box office hit, in which she played the perfect teenage daughter, paved the way for many more of the same. …

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