Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What would Deanna Durbin do?


Give Deanna her coffee already!
An unusual title for a blog post, considering that today is Deanna Durbin’s birthday. She was born in 1921, so December 4th would mark her 91rst birthday, which in and of itself is remarkable.

Famous mug
I purchased the mug pictured here at an airport gift shop. It was on the clearance table along with a lot of other items. It struck me that one, there was a mug anywhere with Durbin’s likeness on it and two, that the quote would be one so contrary to her wholesome image.

International favorite
When Durbin turned her back on Hollywood, fame, and celebrity, she was one of the biggest movie stars in the world—and she was only 27! She was an international celebrity whose every move was chronicled in newspapers and fan magazines. On a visit to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, Holland, I was surprised to see pictures of Durbin on Anne’s bedroom wall (one picture was of Durbin and Robert Stack from First Love—1939). Apparently, like many young girls her age, Durbin was a favorite.

Well I'll be mugged!
Robert Stack and Durbin in a publicity photo
from First Love
Back to the mug. We’re told that part of the reason Durbin left Hollywood was due to her dissatisfaction with the girl-next-door roles her home studio handed her. She yearned for more adult roles, but the public preferred the “old” Deanna. I wonder if Durbin had wandered into the same airport gift shop as I did, would seeing herself on a mug amuse her? And would she approve of the quote attributed to her?

What do you think? What would Deanna Durbin do?

For a more complete blog post on Durbin, “The Reluctant Movie Star,”click here.

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