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Ann Dvorak (August 2, 1911 – December 10, 1979) was an American stage and film actress.
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==Ann Dvorak== Actress - American actress Ann Dvorak was the daughter of silent film director Sam McKim and stage actress Anne Lehr ("Dvorak" was her mother's maiden name). Educated at Page School for Girls in Los Angeles, Dvorak secured work as a chorus dancer in early talking films: she is quite visible amongst the female hoofers in Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929). Reportedly it was her friend Joan Crawford, a headliner in Hollywood Revue, who introduced Dvorak to multimillionaire Howard Hughes, then busy putting together his film Scarface (1931). Dvorak was put under contract and cast in Scarface as gangster Paul Muni's sister, and despite the strictures of film censorship at the time, the actress' piercing eyes and subtle body language made certain that the "incest" subtext in the script came through loud and clear. Hughes sold Dvorak's contract to Warner Bros., who intended to pay her the relative pittance she'd gotten for Scarface until she decided to retreat to Europe. Warners caved in with a better salary, but it might have been at the expense of Dvorak's starring career. Though she played roles in such films as Three on a Match (1932) and G-Men (1935) with relish, the characters were the sort of "life's losers" who usually managed to expire just before the fadeout, leaving the hero to embrace the prettier, less complex ingenue. Dvorak cornered the market in portraying foredoomed gangster's molls with prolonged death scenes, but they were almost always secondary roles. One of her rare forays into comedy occurred in producer Hal Roach's Merrily We Live (1938), an amusing My Man Godfrey rip-off.
===In 1940,=== Dvorak followed her first husband to England, starring there in such wartime films as Squadron Leader X (1941) and This Was Paris (1942). Upon her return to Hollywood in 1945, Dvorak found very little work beyond westerns and melodramas; she did have a bravura role as a cabaret singer held prisoner by the Japanese in I Was an American Spy (1951), but it was produced at second-string Republic Pictures and didn't get top bookings. After Secret of Convict Lake (1951), Dvorak quit film work; she had never found it to be as satisfactory as her stage career, which included a year's run in the 1948 Broadway play The Respectful Prostitute. During her retirement, spent with her third husband, she divided her time between her homes in Malibu and Hawaii, and her passion for collecting rare books.
===Born as=== Anna McKim in New York, New York, Dvorak was the daughter of silent actress Anna Lehr and the actor/director, Samuel McKim, and as a child appeared in several films.
===She began working=== for MGM in the late 1920s as a dance instructor and gradually began to appear on film as a chorus girl. Her friend Joan Crawford introduced her to Howard Hughes, who groomed her as a dramatic actress and she was a success in such pre-Code films as Scarface (1932), as Paul Muni`s sister, as the doomed unstable "Vivian" in Three on a Match (1932), with Joan Blondell and Bette Davis, Love Is a Racket (1932), and opposite Spencer Tracy in Sky Devils (1932).
===Known for her=== style and elegance, she was a popular leading lady for Warner Brothers during the 1930s, and appeared in numerous contemporary romances and melodramas. A dispute over her pay (she discovered she was making the same amount of money as the little boy who played her son in Three on a Match) led to her finishing out her contract on permanent suspension, and then working as a freelancer, but although she worked regularly, the quality of her scripts declined sharply. She appeared as secretary Della Street in 1937`s vehicle for Donald Woods as Perry Mason, The Case of the Stuttering Bishop. She also acted on Broadway.
===With her then-husband===, British actor Leslie Fenton, Dvorak travelled to England where she supported the war effort by working as an ambulance driver, and worked in several British films. She retired from the screen in 1951, when she married her 3rd (and last) husband, Nicholas Wade, to whom she remained married until his death in 1977. It was her longest and most successful marriage. She had no children by any of her marriages.
===She lived=== her post-retirement years in anonymity until her death (from undisclosed causes) in Honolulu, Hawaii at the age of 67. She was cremated and her ashes scattered.
===Ann Dvorak=== has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 6321 Hollywood Boulevard.
==Ann Dvorak== (August 2, 1911 – December 10, 1979) was an American stage and film actress.
===Asked how=== to pronounce her adopted surname, she told The Literary Digest: "My fake name is properly pronounced vor'shack. The D remains silent. I have had quite a time with the name, having been called practically everything from Balzac to Bickelsrock."
===Anna McKim=== was born in New York City in 1911 to silent film actress Anna Lehr and actor/director Edwin McKim. While in New York, she attended St. Catherine's Convent. After moving to California, she attended Page School for Girls in Hollywood.
===She made=== her film debut when she was 5 years old in the silent film version of Ramona (1916) and was credited "Baby Anna Lehr". She continued in children's roles in The Man Hater (1917) and Five Dollar Plate (1920), but then stopped acting in films. Her parents separated in 1916 and divorced in 1920, and she didn't see her father again until 13 years later when she made a public plea to the press to help her find him.
===In the late 1920s,=== Dvorak worked as a dance instructor and gradually began to appear on film as a chorus girl. Her friend Karen Morley introduced her to Howard Hughes, who groomed her as a dramatic actress. She was a success in such pre-Code films as Scarface (1932) as Paul Muni's sister; in Three on a Match (1932) with Joan Blondell and Bette Davis as the doomed, unstable Vivian, in Love Is a Racket (1932) and in Sky Devils (1932) opposite Spencer Tracy. Known for her style and elegance, she was a popular leading lady for Warner Brothers during the 1930s, and appeared in numerous contemporary romances and melodramas.
===At age 19,=== Dvorak eloped with Leslie Fenton, her English co-star from The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932), and they married March 17, 1932. They left for a year-long honeymoon without giving adequate notice to the studio and in spite of her contractual obligations. This led to a period of litigation and pay dispute during which she discovered she was making the same amount of money as the boy who played her son in Three on a Match. She completed her contract on permanent suspension and then worked as a freelancer, but although she worked regularly, the quality of her scripts declined sharply.
===She appeared=== as secretary Della Street to Donald Woods' Perry Mason in The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (1937). She also acted on Broadway. With her then-husband, Leslie Fenton, Dvorak traveled to England where she supported the war effort by working as an ambulance driver, and appeared in several British films. She appeared as a saloon singer in Abilene Town, released in 1946. The following year she showed she could handle comedy well by giving an assured performance in Out of the Blue (1947).
===Later years and death===
===Dvorak's marriage=== to Fenton ended in divorce in 1946. In 1947, she married her second husband, Igor Dega, a Russian dancer who danced with her briefly in The Bachelor's Daughters. The marriage ended in divorce two years later.
===Dvorak retired=== from the screen in 1951, when she married her third and last husband, Nicholas Wade, to whom she remained married until his death in 1975. She had no children. In 1959, she and her husband moved to Hawaii, a place she had always loved.
===Several weeks=== before her death, Dvorak suffered severe stomach pains. She was diagnosed with cancer which had metastasized beyond cure. She died on December 10, 1979, aged 68, in Honolulu. She was cremated and her ashes scattered off Waikiki Beach.
===Dvorak has a star=== on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6321 Hollywood Boulevard for her contribution to motion pictures. It was dedicated February 8, 1960.
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