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Ann Dvorak Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (16)  | Personal Quotes (2)  | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA  (stomach cancer)
Birth NameAnna McKim
Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ann Dvorak was the daughter of silent film star Anna Lehr and silents director Edwin McKim. She entered films at the start of sound, as a dance instructor for the lavish MGM musicals. She came to international prominence in Scarface (1932) with Paul Muni, but often complained about the lack of quality of her films, which led to arguments with her bosses at Warners. She married British actor Leslie Fenton in 1932, and came to Britain to make a few films. She contributed to the British war effort driving an ambulance. She retired from the screen in 1951, and died in 1979.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bobby G

Spouse (3)

Nicholas Wade (17 November 1951 - 1975) ( his death)
Igor Dega (7 August 1947 - 7 August 1951) ( divorced)
Leslie Fenton (17 March 1932 - 1 August 1946) ( divorced)

Trivia (16)

Direct descendant of U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun (1825-1832).
Daughter of actress Anna Lehr and Biograph director/actor Edwin McKim.
Attempted to have her Warner Brothers contract terminated over financial issues, after finding out that she made the same money as the five-year-old who played her son in Three on a Match (1932).
She was an avid bibliophile and had a large and valuable collection of first editions dating back to 1703.
A dispute over salary had Warner Brothers putting her in bad pictures or standard roles. She later moved to England.
Her friend Joan Crawford was the one who introduced her to Howard Hughes, who in turn was looking for a girl for his production of Scarface (1932). She made $250 a week.
Her parents divorced when she was 8. She did not hear from her father after that for fourteen years, when she put out a letter in 1934 asking for information leading to his whereabouts. Six other men responded claiming to be her father before he did. He was living in Philadelphia at the time and had no idea she was in the movies.
Attended St. Catherine's Convent in Manhattan on Madison Avenue followed by the Clark School For Girls on West End Avenue. Later she was enrolled at the Page School for Girls in Highland Park, California, located at North Pasadena (now Figueroa) and Avenue 45. Dvorak graduated in 1927 at 15 years of age.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6321 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" by Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).
Moved to England during World War II and, between film gigs, worked as an ambulance driver to support the war effort.
Although most sources give Ann Dvorak's birth date as August 2, 1912, the New York City Birth Index confirms that Anna McKim was born on August 2, 1911. Throughout her career, Ann would claim 1912 as the year of her birth, though in later years she would begin listing 1911.
Taught Mary Carlisle how to dance which helped her to land studio contract at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
During World War II in England, she served in the Mechanised Transport Corps (MTC), a uniformed female civilian organization operating with the support of the Ministry of Transport. In this unit, she drove an ambulance around London in addition to trucks. She resigned her position in the Spring of 1941 when her husband Leslie Fenton was wounded during Operation Chariot, the legendary raid on St. Nazaire while serving in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. While he was coalescing, she joined the Women's Land Army, a civilian organization whose members worked in the fields to harvest enough crops to keep the nation fed.
During her time in England during World War II, she worked as a stringer for the weekly news periodical Illustrated.
A newspaper reporter introduces himself as "Charles MacArthur." MacArthur, in real life, was a Chicago newspaper reporter, as was one of the writers of this film, Ben Hecht, before the two collaborated on "The Front Page" and became playwrights and screen writers.

Personal Quotes (2)

[when asked how her last name is pronounced] My name is properly pronounced "vor'shack". The D remains silent. I have had quite a time with the name, having been called practically everything from Balzac to Bickelsrock.
[July 18, 1932] I don't want to go back to Hollywood if I can help it. I want to go back to the stage. The trouble with Hollywood is everybody is crazy for money. The producers are trying to make pictures cheaper and faster. They do not realize the public is becoming more critical, and can see the cheapness.

Salary (2)

The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929) $37 .50
Three on a Match (1932) $250 /week

See also

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