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Place of Death
New York City, New York
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Torchy Blane series
Profile Bio Text
Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Farrell came to Hollywood towards the end of the silent era. She was 5`3" with naturally brown hair and brown eyes.
Farrell began her career with a theatrical company at the age of 7. She played Little Eva in Uncle Tom`s Cabin. She paused at times to continue her education but appeared with a number of theatrical companies and in several Broadway productions.
She was in the cast of Cobra and The Best People with actress Charlotte Treadway, at the Morosco Theater in Los Angeles, California in 1925.
Farrell was first signed to a long-term contract by First National Pictures in July 1930. She was given the feminine lead in Little Caesar directed by Mervyn Leroy.
Warner Brothers signed her to re-create on film the role she played in Life Begins on Broadway. Farrell worked on parts in twenty movies in her first year with the studio. She came to personify the wise-cracking, hard-boiled, and somewhat dizzy blonde of the early talkies, along with fellow Warner Brothers brassy blonde, Joan Blondell, with whom she would be frequently paired.
Her brassy persona was used to great effect in Little Caesar (1931) opposite Edward G. Robinson, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) opposite Paul Muni, Havana Widows (1933) with Blondell, Bureau of Missing Persons (1933) opposite Pat O`Brien, Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) opposite Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray, and The Big Shakedown (1934) with Charles Farrell and Bette Davis.
She became one of Warner Brothers most prolific actresses of the 1930s, solidifying her success with her own film film series, as Torchy Blane, "Girl Reporter". In this role Farrell was promoted as being able to speak 400 words in 40 seconds. Farrell would portray the character Torchy Blane in approximately eight films, from 1937 to 1939 when the role was taken over by Jane Wyman.
In 1937 she starred opposite Dick Powell and Joan Blondell in the Academy Award nominated Lloyd Bacon and Busby Berkeley directed musical comedy Gold Diggers of 1937.
When her Warner Brothers contact expired in 1939 she opted to focus on her stage career once again. She said that working in plays gave her more of a sense of individuality whereas in films you get frustrated because you feel you have no power over what you`re doing.
In private life she dated Hollywood film writer Robert Riskin in the early 1930s. She married Jack Durant of the Mitchell and Durant vaudeville team in June 1931. In 1941 Farrell became the wife of Dr. Henry Ross. Her son is club entertainer Tommy Farrell.
Farrell went out of vogue in the 1940s but made a comeback later in life, winning an Emmy Award in 1963, for her work in the television series Ben Casey.
She was appearing on Broadway in a production of Forty Carats in 1969 when she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
She remained with the show until ill health forced her departure in November 1970. She died from lung cancer, aged 66. She died at her home in New York City and was interred in the U.S. Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, New York.
Glenda Farrell has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 6524 Hollywood Boulevard.
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Joan Blondell, Mary Brian, Lyle Talbot, Dick Powell, James Cagney, Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert, Aline MacMahon
Glenda Farrell (June 30, 1904 – May 1, 1971) was an American film, television, and stage actress best known for her starring role as Torchy Blane in the 1930s film series by Warner Bros.
Wiki Bio Text
==Glenda Farrell== Actress - 30 Jun 1904 to 1 May 1971 - American actress Glenda Farrell, like so many other performers born around the turn of the century, made her stage debut in a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Her first adult professional job was with Virginia Brissac's stock company in San Diego, after which she worked up and down the California coast until leaving for Broadway in the late 1920s. Farrell's performance in the stage play Skidding established her reputation, and in 1929 she was wooed to Hollywood along with many other stage actors in the wake of the "talkie" revolution. Uncharacteristically cast as the ingenue in Little Caesar (1930), Farrell would thereafter be cast in the fast-talking, "hard-boiled dame" roles that suited her best.
====Though her characters==== had a tough veneer, Farrell was sensitive enough to insist upon script changes if the lines and bits of business became too rough and unsympathetic; still, she seemed to revel in the occasional villainess, notably her acid performance as Paul Muni's mercenary paramour in I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang(1932). In 1937, Farrell was assigned by Warner Bros. to portray dauntless news reporter Torchy Blaine in a series of brisk "B" pictures. She was gratified by the positive fan mail she received for Torchy, and justifiably proud of her ability to spout out 390 words per minute in the role, but Farrell decided to leave Warners and free-lance after five "Torchy Blaines." The actress's character roles in the 1940s and 1950s may have been smaller than before, but she always gave 100 percent to her craft. Farrell moved into television with ease, appearing on virtually every major dramatic weekly series and ultimately winning an Emmy for her work on the two-part Ben Casey episode of 1963, "A Cardinal Act of Mercy." Farrell's exit from movies was the 1964 Jerry Lewis farce The Disorderly Orderly, an assignment she plunged into with all the enthusiasm and sheer professionalism that she'd brought to the rest of her screen career.
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