Who’s that girl?: Irene Manning

Irene Manning is perhaps best remembered for a single, small supporting role in one of the greatest musicals of all time, but she had a long career as a glamorous singer and actress that spanned multiple genres in Hollywood and on Broadway. Born in Cincinnati in either 1912 or 1916 (both dates have been reported…

Who’s that girl?: Helen Broderick

Her name may not be well-known to modern audiences, but her face is immediately recognizable to classic film fans. Throughout the 1930s and 40s, actress Helen Broderick appeared as the wisecracking pal of numerous Hollywood stars, always bringing a shot of well-timed droll humor to every role. In many ways, Broderick was the prototype for the…

Who’s that girl?: Betty Furness

Betty Furness began her career as a movie starlet and ended it as an influential expert in consumer issues and a reporter for The Today Show. The story of how she got there is an interesting one, to say the least, marked by Furness’ self-professed inability to say “no” to any job that crossed her path.…

Who’s that girl?: Doris Davenport

Doris Davenport is not a name that is very familiar to movie fans, for she sadly did not have a very long-lasting career in Hollywood, having appeared in only a handful of films between 1934 and 1940. A beautiful actress who worked as a model to support herself in between roles, Davenport flirted with fame…

Who’s that girl?: Diana Lynn

A fresh-faced young beauty sporting a killer sense of comedic timing from an early age, Diana Lynn was a fixture in some of the funniest comedies of the 1940s and 50s. Lynn was born Dolores “Dolly” Loehr, but like so many of her contemporaries, the actress’ name was changed when she became a contract player…

Who’s that girl?: Mary Nash

Sometimes an actress so thoroughly embodies a character that it becomes her signature role, the one for which she is mainly recognized (and sometimes at the expense of an otherwise extensive career). In many ways, I find this to be the case with Mary Nash. By the time Nash starred as Katharine Hepburn’s dithering mother…

Who’s that girl?: Joyce Compton

If you’re a classic movie fan, you’ve probably seen Joyce Compton in dozens of minor film roles–she played a wide variety of nurses, waitresses, and random girlfriends in almost two hundred movies throughout her three-decades-long career. But she wasn’t merely relegated to these type of blink-and-you’ll-miss-her roles. In the heyday of her career in the…