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Joan Blondell Edit Profile

Actress

Joan Blondell was an American actress. An Oscar nominee.

Background

Blondell, Joan was born on August 30, 1912 in New York City. Daughter of Edward and Kathryn (Cain) Blondell.

Education

Student many schools.

Career

Having been called West by Warners along with fames Cagney in 1930—they were young successes in the same Broadway play—Joan Blondell may have been struck by the way Cagney prospered while she staved a supporting actress.

In fact, she was a mainstay at that studio for men, able to sing and dance as well as swop sour dialogue with gangsters, cops, or hustling stage managers. A pretty girl, she was given a cutting edge by so much dull work.

When, at last, she broke away from Warners—some ten years later—it was to discover that her talent was already out of date. From 1930-39, she made fifty-three movies, mostly at Warners; but in the next ten years she made only thirteen. Hardly any of her pictures were big or important for their time, but look back over the Warners product and see how her slightly blowsy blonde, as round and shiny as cultured pearls, has lasted.

Time and again she brings life, fun, and worldliness to her scenes: Sinner’s Holiday (30, John Adolfi), the screen version of the play she and Cagney had starred in; Office Wife (30, Lloyd Bacon); Other Men's Women (30, William Wellman); Illicit (31, Archie Mayo); My Past (31, Roy del Ruth); Night Nurse (31, Wellman); Public Enemy (31, Wellman); Blonde Crazy (31, del Ruth); The Crowd Roars (32, Howard Hawks); Famous Ferguson Case (32, Bacon); Miss Pinkerton (32, Bacon); Big City Blues (32, Mervyn Le Roy); The Greeks Had a Word for Them (32, Lowell Sherman); Three on a Match (32, Le Roy); Lawyer Man (33, William Dieterle); Blondie Johnson (33, Ray Enright); Gold Diggers of 1933 (33, Le Roy); Goodbye Again (33, Michael Curtiz); Footlight Parade (33, Bacon); Havana Wid-ows (33, Enright); Convention City (33, Mayo); The Kansas City Princess (34, William Keighley); Smarty (34, Robert Florey); I’ve Got Your Number (34, Enright); He Was Her Man (34, Bacon); Dames (34, Enright); The Traveling Saleslady (35, Enright); Broadway Gondolier (35, Bacon); We’re in the Money (35, Enright); Miss Pacific Fleet (35, Enright); Colleen (36, Alfred E. Green); Bullets or Ballots (36, Keighley); Stage Struck (36, Busby Berkeley); Three Men on a Horse (36, Le Roy and Mayo); Gold Diggers of 1937 (36, Bacon); The King and the Chorus Girl (37, Le Roy); The Perfect Specimen (37, Curtiz); Back in Circulation (37, Enright); Stand In (37, Tay Garnett); There’s Always a Woman (38, Alexander Hall); and East Side of Heaven (39, David Butler). After that, she went back to the theatre and married her third husband, Mike Todd; the first two had been cinematographer George Barnes and actor Dick Powell. She worked a lot on TV as well as on the stage, and managed to tickle our sense of nostalgia in a number of character parts: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (45, Elia Kazan); Adventure (46, Victor Fleming); Nightmare Alley (47, Edmund Doubling); For Heaven’s Sake (50, George Seaton); The Blue Veil (51, Curtis Bernhardt); The Opposite Sex (56, David Miller); This Could Be the Night (57, Robert Wise); The Desk Set (58, Walter Lang); Will Success Spoil Bock Hunter? (58, Frank Tashlin); Angel Baby (61, Paul Wendkos); The Cincinnati Kid (65, Norman Jewison); Waterhole 3 (67, William Graham); and Support Your Local Gunfighter (71, Burt Kennedy).

She had a striking comeback a few years later with Opening Night (77, John Cassavetes); Grease (78, Randal Kleiser); The Glove (78, Ross Hagen); The Camp (79, Franco Zeffirelli); and The Woman Inside (80, Joseph Van Winkle).

Works

  • Other Work

    • Author: Center Door Fancy, 1972.

Membership

Member family vaudeville act Lost Boy, 1915-1928.

Connections

In August 31, 1937 she got married to George Barnes (divorced).

Her second husband wasDick Powell, June 1937 (divorced 1944).

In 1946 she got married for the 3d time to Mike Todd, but divorced in 1950.

Children: Norman, Ellen.

father:
Edward Blondell

mother:
Kathryn (Cain) Blondell

spouses:
George Barnes

Dick Powell

Mike Todd

children:
Norman Blondell

Ellen Blondell