Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00132271: DEANNA DURBIN

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Lovely, uncommonly early 7.5 x 9.5-inch matte-finish black and white portrait, boldly signed and inscribed in black fountain pen in her heyday in the 1930s. In good condition, with minor edge wear. Much-loved actress and songbird Deanna Durbin abandoned a fledgling opera career to accept a movie contract with MGM in 1936.  When she was deemed too much competition for Judy Garland, she was dropped by the studio and snatched up by Universal, where Joseph Pasternak cast her in a series of spectacular musicals like Three Smart Girls (1936) and One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937).  Durbin's "regular kid" quality was so appealing to fans that she is said to have single-handedly saved Universal from oblivion.  In 1938, she was awarded a special Oscar "for bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth" and when she received her first screen kiss, from Robert Stack in First Love (1939), the event knocked the European crisis off the front pages.  Durbin remained popular throughout the first years of the 1940s, but when the box-office receipts began to flag, Universal attempted to alter her image with such heavy dramas as The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1942) and Christmas Holiday (1944), but, alas, all proved forgettable.  She had her first "grown up" role in the 1945 murder mystery Lady on a Train, which allowed her to dress a bit more glamorously than in previous appearances.  While a comeback seemed in the stars, the actress had grown tired of filmmaking, and, after her role in For the Love of Mary (1948), she retired, escaping to France with her third husband, Lady on a Train director Charles David.