Gloria DeHaven: A Career That Endured


“If you don’t stretch yourself in this business, you’re dead.”  -Gloria DeHaven, actress, to Los Angeles Times in 1984

Hollywood actress/singer Gloria DeHaven did not have the most illustrious career in show biz.  But she had one of the lengthiest.

Ms. DeHaven, 91, who passed away on July 30th, began working in movies at the age of 11, when she was given a role in Charlie Chaplin’s movie Modern Times (1936).   During the 1940’s, DeHaven became a contract actress with MGM.  Although not a top echelon star herself, she frequently got second or third-billing opposite established stars like Judy Garland, Van Johnson, Mickey Rooney, Gene Kelly, and June Allyson in MGM musicals.

During the 1950’s, DeHaven signed with 20th Century Fox and Universal International and performed in several musicals produced through these companies.

As the 1950’s waned, so did the popularity of the film musical.  However, DeHaven successfully transitioned to stage and television work, playing parts in shows like The Rifleman, Wagon Train, Quincy M.E., Fantasy Island, B.J. and the Bear, and Murder She Wrote.  During the 1960’s and later, she performed roles in two soap operas, As the World Turns and Ryan’s Hope.  Stage work included appearances in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1963), The Sound of Music (1964), Golden Boy (1968), Plaza Suite (1971), Hello, Dolly (1973), and No, No, Nanette (1983).

Ms. DeHaven’s final movie role was as Jack Lemmon’s love interest in Out to Sea (1997).

For a comprehensive list of Ms. DeHaven’s screen and TV credits, check out the sources listed below.


Bernstein, Adam.  “Gloria DeHaven, actress in 1940’s Hollywood musical comedies, dies at 91.” Washington Post. 01 August 2016. Web. Accessed 08 August 2016.

“Gloria DeHaven.”  Wikipedia:  The Free Encyclopedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.  04 August 2016.  Web.  08 August 2016.

Image of Gloria DeHaven obtained from Wikimedia Public Domain.







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