PINUP: Gloria DeHaven.
"Leading lady" seemed an inevitable title for blue-eyed, chestnut-haired Gloria DeHaven. A daughter of vaudeville performers, she traveled the show circuit with her parents from a young age and, unsurprisingly, landed her first film role at 11, in Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times (1936).
A few years later, MGM Studios snapped up DeHaven. This was the heyday of the unselfconscious musical comedy, and the peppy dancer with the riveting voice found her sweet spot in wartime morale films such as Thousands Cheer (1943). In 1944, a New York Times article called her "divine." GIs seemed to agree, and she appeared frequently as a pinup in the US Army's Yank magazine, sporting her hallmark raised eyebrow.
After the war, DeHaven kept with movie musicals, sometimes as a co-star (as in Summer Holiday in 1948), but usually sidelined to the supporting cast by the Judy Garlands of the genre. Well-read and calculating (she adored Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca), she filled character roles with a wit that lead roles didn't usually allow.
DeHaven later left the big screen for soap operas, and in 1989 she headlined a one-woman cabaret in New York City. She kept audiences laughing into the 1990s and lived until 2016, attributing her long life to prayer and vegetables.
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|Title Annotation:||AMERICA IN WWII|
|Publication:||America in WWII|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2018|
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