Irene Dunne

Born Dec 20, 1898

Irene Dunne was an American film actress and singer of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. Dunne was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her performances in Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) and I Remember Mama (1948). She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1958.… Read More

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1898 Birth Born on December 20, 1898.


1916 17 Years Old Nicknamed "Dunnie," she took piano and voice lessons, sang in local churches and high school plays before her graduation in 1916. … Read More


1921 22 Years Old Irene, after adding an "e" to her surname, turned to musical theater. She toured several provincial cities in 1921-22 playing the lead role in the popular play "Irene", before making her Broadway debut in 1922 in Zelda Sears's The Clinging Vine. … Read More
1927 28 Years Old On July 16, 1927, Dunne married Francis Griffin, a New York dentist, whom she had met in 1924 at a supper dance in New York. … Read More


1929 30 Years Old She was discovered by Hollywood while starring with the road company of Show Boat in 1929.
1930 31 Years Old She signed a contract with RKO and appeared in her first movie in 1930, Leathernecking, a film version of the musical Present Arms. … Read More
1935 36 Years Old …  She starred, and sang "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", in the 1935 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film version of the musical Roberta. … Read More
1936 37 Years Old Dunne moved to Hollywood with her mother and brother and maintained a long-distance marriage with her husband in New York until he joined her in California in 1936.


1952 53 Years Old 1 More Event
The comedy It Grows on Trees of 1952 turned out to be Dunne's last screen performance, although she remained on the lookout for suitable film scripts for years afterwards. … Read More
1955 56 Years Old Dunne was present at Disneyland on "Dedication Day" in 1955 and was asked by Walt Disney to christen the Mark Twain River Boat, which she did with a bottle filled with water from several major rivers across the United States.
1957 58 Years Old In 1957, President Eisenhower appointed Dunne one of five alternative U.S. delegates to the United Nations in recognition of her interest in international affairs and Roman Catholic and Republican causes. … Read More


1965 66 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1965, she became a board member of Technicolor, the first woman ever elected to the board of directors.
1985 86 Years Old One of Dunne's last public appearances was in April 1985, when she attended the dedication of a bust in her honor at St. John's (Roman Catholic) Hospital in Santa Monica, California, for which her foundation, The Irene Dunne Guild, had raised more than $20 million. … Read More
1990 92 Years Old Dunne died at her Holmby Hills home in Los Angeles on September 4, 1990, and is entombed in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles. … Read More
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