Irene Dunne

Irene Dunne

  • Highest Rated: 100% I Remember Mama (1948)
  • Lowest Rated: 55% Cimarron (1931)
  • Birthday: Dec 20, 1898
  • Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • The daughter of a boat manufacturer and a concert pianist, American actress Irene Dunne began voice training lessons before the age of thirteen. Dunne's diligence won her a scholarship to the Chicago Musical College, but her dreams of a career with New York City's Metropolitan opera faded when she failed the audition. Still, there was an outlet for her talents in musical comedy, which she began in a touring company of the popular stage production Irene. After her Broadway debut in 1923, Dunne was able to secure leading roles in several musicals, and marry Francis J. Griffin, a New York dentist, with whom she remained married until his death in 1965. In 1929, Dunne was cast as Magnolia in the Chicago company production of Show Boat; her superlative performance led to a movie contract with RKO, where after a few inconsequential programmers like Leathernecking (1930), she became one of the top dramatic stars at that studio. In Ann Vickers (1933), she plays a lady doctor who undergoes an illegal abortion, and in The Age of Innocence (1934), Dunne played the same role reprised by Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1994 remake of that film. Dunne was finally permitted to show off her singing talents in Sweet Adeline (1935), and in 1936 Universal Pictures cast her in her stage role as Magnolia in the studio's definitive film version of Show Boat (1936). After Show Boat, Dunne entered the second phase of her movie career as a comedienne, contributing hilarious performances to such screwball farces as Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), and My Favorite Wife (1940). It was back to dramatic roles in the early 1940s, and as age crept up on Dunne, she made a seamless transition to starring character roles in such films as Anna and the King of Siam (1946) and Life with Father (1947). Approaching fifty, Dunne retained her classically beautiful features and; in fact, Hollywood makeup artists were compelled to draw lines on her face and fit her with heavy body suits for her "aged" roles in I Remember Mama (1948) and The Mudlark (1950). Upon completion of It Grows on Trees (1952), Dunne retired from films, though she remained active on television, notably in such Catholic-oriented programs as The Christophers. In recognition of her charitable work and interest in conservative political causes, Dunne was appointed by President Eisenhower as one of five alternative delegates to the United Nations in 1957.


Highest Rated Movies








No Score Yet Unfinished Business Actor 1984
No Score Yet It Grows on Trees Polly Baxter 1952
No Score Yet Never a Dull Moment Kay 1950
No Score Yet The Mudlark Queen Victoria 1950
100% I Remember Mama Mama 1948
91% Life With Father Vinnie 1947
88% Anna and the King of Siam Anna Owens 1946
No Score Yet Over 21 Paula 'Polly' Wharton 1945
No Score Yet A Guy Named Joe Dorinda Durston 1944
80% The White Cliffs of Dover Susan Ashwood 1944
94% Penny Serenade Julie Gardiner Adams 1941
85% My Favorite Wife Ellen Arden 1940
No Score Yet When Tomorrow Comes Helen 1939
86% Love Affair Terry Mackay 1939
No Score Yet Land of Liberty Actor 1939
No Score Yet Joy of Living Margaret 'Maggie' Garret 1938
93% The Awful Truth Lucy Warriner 1937
No Score Yet High, Wide and Handsome Sally Watterson 1937
No Score Yet Theodora Goes Wild Theodora Lynn 1936
100% Show Boat Magnolia Hawks 1936
No Score Yet Magnificent Obsession Helen Hudson 1935
86% Roberta Stephanie 1935
No Score Yet Sweet Adeline Adeline 'Addie' Schmidt 1935
No Score Yet The Age of Innocence Ellen 1934
No Score Yet Stingaree Hilda Bouverie 1934
No Score Yet This Man Is Mine Tony Dunlap 1934
No Score Yet Ann Vickers Ann Vickers 1933
No Score Yet The Secret of Madame Blanche Sally St. John 1933
No Score Yet No Other Woman Anna Stanley 1933
No Score Yet The Silver Cord Christina Phelps 1933
No Score Yet Back Street Ray Schmidt 1932
No Score Yet Thirteen Women Laura Stanhope 1932
No Score Yet Consolation Marriage Mary Brown Porter 1931
No Score Yet The Stolen Jools Actor 1931
55% Cimarron Sabra Cravat 1931
No Score Yet Bachelor Apartment Helene Andrews 1931


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