Ann Dvorak

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Ann Dvorak
Ann Dvorak.jpg
Dvorak in 1940s
Anna McKim

(1911-08-02)August 2, 1911 [1]
New York City, U.S.
DiedDecember 10, 1979(1979-12-10) (aged 68)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
EducationSt. Catherine's Convent
Page School for Girls
Years active1916–1952
(m. 1932;div. 1945)
Igor Dega
(m. 1947;div. 1951)
Nicholas Wade
(m. 1951;died 1975)

Ann Dvorak (born Anna McKim; August 2, 1911 – December 10, 1979) was an American stage and film actress. [2] [3]


Asked how to pronounce her adopted surname, she told The Literary Digest in 1936: "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." [4]

Early years

Dvorak was the daughter and only child of silent film actress Anna Lehr and 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. [5]

She made her film debut when she was five years old in the silent film version of Ramona (1916), credited as "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; she did not see her father again until 13 years later, when she made a public plea to the press to help her find him.[ citation needed ]


Paul Muni and Dvorak in Scarface (1932) Scarface-Muni-Dvorak.jpg
Paul Muni and Dvorak in Scarface (1932)

In the late 1920s, Dvorak worked as an assistant choreographer to Sammy Lee at MGM and gradually began to appear on film uncredited usually as a chorus girl or in bit parts. Her friend, actress Karen Morley, introduced her to billionaire movie producer 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 Bette Davis and Joan Blondell as the doomed, unstable Vivian; in The Crowd Roars (1932) with James Cagney; and in Sky Devils (1932) opposite Spencer Tracy. Known for her style and elegance, she was a popular leading lady for Warner Bros. 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 on March 17, 1932. [6] They left for a year-long honeymoon in spite of her contractual obligations to the studio, which led to a period of litigation and pay disputes 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, then worked as a freelancer. 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). With her then-husband, Leslie Fenton, Dvorak traveled to England where she supported the war effort by working as an ambulance driver and acted in several British films. She appeared as a saloon singer in Abilene Town with Randolph Scott and Edgar Buchanan, released in 1946. The following year she adeptly handled comedy by giving an assured performance in Out of the Blue (1947). In 1948, Dvorak gave her only performance on Broadway in The Respectful Prostitute . [7]

Later years and death

Dvorak's marriage to Fenton ended in divorce in 1946. In 1947, she married Igor Dega, a Russian dancer who danced with her briefly in The Bachelor's Daughters . The marriage ended two years later.

Dvorak retired from the screen in 1952, 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, which she had always loved.

Several weeks before her death, she suffered severe stomach pains. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died on December 10, 1979, aged 68, in Honolulu. [8] [7] 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. [9]



1916 Ramona Ramona (age 4)
1917 The Man Hater Phemie's Little Sister
1929 The Hollywood Revue of 1929 Herself – Chorus GirlUncredited
So This Is College StudentUncredited
It's a Great Life Chorus GirlUncredited
Devil-May-Care ChorineUncredited
1930 Chasing Rainbows
The Woman Racket Chorus GirlUncredited
Lord Byron of Broadway Chorus GirlUncredited
Free and Easy ChorineUncredited
Children of Pleasure Chorus GirlUncredited
Estrellados ChorineUncredited
Our Blushing Brides One of the 'Quartet' of Models with TonyUncredited
Way Out West Carnival Show GirlUncredited
Good News StudentUncredited
Doughboys ChorineScenes deleted
The March of Time Chorus GirlUncredited
Love in the Rough Chorus GirlUncredited
Madam Satan Zeppelin RevelerUncredited
War Nurse Nurse in VA HospitalUncredited
1931 Dance, Fools, Dance Chorus GirlUncredited
A Tailor Made Man BitUncredited
Just a Gigolo Cafe PatronUncredited
Politics Rally Audience ExtraUncredited
Son of India Village DancerUncredited
Stranger in Town Marian Crickle
This Modern Age Party GuestUncredited
The Guardsman Fan Saying 'There He Is'Uncredited
1932 Sky Devils Mary Way
Scarface Francesca "Cesca" Camonte
The Crowd Roars Lee Merrick
The Strange Love of Molly Louvain Molly Louvain
Love Is a Racket Sally Condon
Crooner Judith 'Judy' Mason
Three on a Match Vivian Revere
1933 The Way to Love Madeleine
College Coach Claire Gore
1934 Massacre Lydia
Heat Lightning Myra
Side Streets Marguerite Gilbert
Midnight Alibi Joan Morley
Friends of Mr. Sweeney Miss Beulah Boyd
Housewife Nan
I Sell Anything Barbara
Gentlemen Are Born Susan Merrill
Murder in the Clouds Judy
1935 Sweet Music Bonnie Haydon
G Men Jean Morgan
Bright Lights Fay Wilson
Dr. Socrates Josephine Gray
Thanks a Million Sally Mason
1937 We Who Are About to Die Miss Connie Stewart
Racing Lady Ruth Martin
Midnight Court Carol O'Neill
The Case of the Stuttering Bishop Della Street
She's No Lady Jerry
Manhattan Merry-Go-Round Ann Rogers
1938 Merrily We Live Minerva Harlan
Gangs of New York Connie Benson
1939 Blind Alley Mary
Stronger Than Desire Eva McLain
1940 Cafe Hostess Jo
Girls of the Road Kay Warren
1942 This Was Paris Ann Morgan
1943 Squadron Leader X Barbara Lucas
Escape to Danger Joan Grahame
1945 Flame of Barbary Coast 'Flaxen' Tarry
Masquerade in Mexico Helen Grant
1946 Abilene Town Rita
The Bachelor's Daughters Terry Wilson
1947 Out of the Blue Olive Jensen
The Private Affairs of Bel Ami Claire Madeleine Forestier
The Long Night Charlene
1948 The Walls of Jericho Belle Connors
1950 Our Very Own Mrs. Gert Lynch
A Life of Her Own Mary Ashlon
The Return of Jesse James Susan (Sue) Ellen Younger
Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. Malone Connie Kepplar
1951 I Was an American Spy Mrs. Claire 'High Pockets' Phillips
The Secret of Convict Lake Rachel Schaeffer

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  1. Rice, Christina (2013). Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Pg. 13.
  2. "Ann Dvorak". Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  3. Rice, Christina (2013). Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN   978-0-8131-4426-9. JSTOR   j.ctt4cgs9x.
  4. Funk, Charles Earle (1936). What's the name, please? A guide to the correct pronunciation of current prominent names. New York and London: Funk & Wagnalls.
  5. "Dvorak Details". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle . June 12, 1932. p. 59. Retrieved September 15, 2015 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. "Ann Dvorak, Actor Marry After Airplane Elopement". Chicago Tribune . March 18, 1932. p. 8. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  7. 1 2 "Ann Dvorak Dies; Screen Actress, 67". The New York Times. December 20, 1979. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  8. "Ann Dvorak". Los Angeles Times .
  9. "Ann Dvorak". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved September 16, 2015.