American actress and singer Irene Dunne was born on this day 115 years ago. Her classically trained voice lent itself well to musicals popular in 20s and 30s, but her talent didn’t stop there. She went on to become equally popular in comedies and dramas.
Irene Dunne in a promotional shot for Roberta. 1935
As a highly respected actress of her time, Irene earned best actress Academy Award nominations for Cimarron (1931) Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) and I Remember Mama(1948).
Irene Dunne in a Robert Kalloch gown for The Awful Truth. 1937
Her elegant and ladylike style didn’t go unnoticed either. She made best dressed lists more than once, including the International Best Dressed List hall of fame in 1958.
In a newspaper article in 1952, when asked how she kept her “best dressed” reputation, Ms. Dunne replied-
“Perhaps it is because of the way I buy clothes. I don’t buy many, but what I do buy are of the best.
When I look for an outfit I don’t merely look for one that will last for a season.
I make sure the clothes are well made and I generally pick things along classic lines.
It’s not unusual for my things to last six or eight years.”
Irene Dunne wearing stunning, metallic Greer gown in 1939. Photo by Richard Kelly.
On and off-screen, Irene was a class act. She was one of Hollywood’s leading ladies in her time, yet managed to stay out of scandal’s way, which gave her less press than some of her more flambuoyant colleagues.
Irene Dunne in a fabulous bow print dress in 1941. Love this print!
Do you have any favorite Irene Dunne movies?