Lynne Carver

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Lynne Carver
Lynne Carver (1940).JPG
Carver in 1940
Virginia Reid Sampson

(1916-09-13)September 13, 1916
DiedAugust 12, 1955(1955-08-12) (aged 38)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1934–1948
Spouse(s) Nicholas Nayfack (1937–1942, divorce)
William Mullaney (1948–1955)

Lynne Carver (born Virginia Reid Sampson, [1] September 13, 1916 – August 12, 1955) was an American film actress. She appeared in more than 40 films between 1934 and 1953.


Early years

Carver was born in Lexington, Kentucky. [2] [3] Her father, Reid Johnson Sampson, was a mining engineer in Arizona and New Mexico for several years preceding World War I, and he and his family were briefly detained by Pancho Villa during one of the Mexican general's raids across the border into the Southwestern US, when Carver was an infant.[ citation needed ]

The Sampson family were prominent Kentuckians for several generations, where her grandfather, William Sampson, had served as Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court during the American Civil War.

Her older sister, Marjorie Lee Sampson, followed Virginia to Hollywood and landed a few small parts, but never achieved the status of her sister, and soon moved on.


Carver went to Hollywood at a young age to pursue a career in acting after winning a beauty pageant. Early on she was billed as Virginia Reid with RKO Pictures and can be seen in several musicals as one of the "Goldwyn Girls". She dated Howard Hughes, briefly, in the 1930s, before moving on to MGM as Lynne Carver where she became a regular in their stable of actresses.[ citation needed ] In a 1938 interview, she explained her name change by saying, "I wanted to keep some sort of family name ... Finally my father suggested two, Lynn and Craven. I added the 'e' to the first and changed the last one to Carver because we didn't like Craven much." [3]

Carver in the trailer for Madame X Lynnecarverx.jpg
Carver in the trailer for Madame X

First playing minor bit parts, Carver eventually moved up to the level of ingenue in a few of her later roles. As her career advanced, she appeared in several films with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and was probably best known for her role as Alice Raymond in the early Dr. Kildare films. She was Barbara in the magical musical production Maytime in 1937 along with Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald and also appeared with them in Bitter Sweet, a 1940 attempt to recapture the success of Maytime. Two of her better known MGM performances are as Sylvia Bellaire in the 1938 musical comedy film, Everybody Sing starring Allan Jones and Judy Garland, and as Bess, Scrooge's nephew's fiancée, in A Christmas Carol starring Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge. Both films were released in 1938. Her last film for MGM was Tennessee Johnson which starred Van Heflin as the 17th President of the United States. Carver played Martha, the daughter of Andrew Johnson.

The slowdown of work in Hollywood due to World War II caused her career to stall. During and after the war, she played mostly in Republic westerns with Roy Rogers and Johnny Mack Brown and other more obscure films, but never achieved the level of success she had known earlier.

Personal life

On March 31, 1935, Carver married dentist Ralph McClung in Selma, Alabama. [4] They had divorced by mid-December 1936. [5] She married Nicholas Nayfack in 1937[ citation needed ] and they divorced in 1942. [6] She was married to theatrical agent William Mullaney, [7] lived in New York, and had a busy stage and TV career until 1954.


Carver died at Memorial Hospital in New York City after a year-long battle with cancer, on August 12, 1955, aged 38. [8]


1934 Down to Their Last Yacht Singer in QuartetUncredited
1934 Kid Millions Goldwyn GirlUncredited
1935 Murder on a Honeymoon Actress Holding ParrotUncredited
1935 Roberta Fashion ModelUncredited
1935 Strangers All Blonde Actress in FilmUncredited
1935 Hooray for Love Jane – with College BoyUncredited
1935 Old Man Rhythm College GirlUncredited
1935 To Beat the Band Minor Role
1937 Maytime Barbara Roberts Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
1937 Madame X Helene
1937 The Bride Wore Red Maddelena Monti
1938 Everybody Sing Sylvia Bellaire
1938 Young Dr. Kildare Alice Raymond
1938 A Christmas Carol Bess
1939 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mary Jane
1939 Within the Law June
1939 Calling Dr. Kildare Alice Raymond
1940 Broadway Melody of 1940 Emmy Lou Lee
1940 Sporting Blood Joan Lockwood
1940 Dulcy Angela Forbes
1940 Bitter Sweet Dolly
1941 Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case Joyce Belmont
1942 Man from Cheyenne Marian Hardy
1942 Yokel Boy Vera Valaize
1942 Sunset on the Desert Ann Kirby
1942 Tennessee Johnson Martha Lincoln
1943 The Human Comedy Daughter BeaufrereUncredited
1943 Presenting Lily Mars Bonnie - ShowgirlUncredited
1944 Law of the Valley Ann Jennings
1945 Flame of the West Abbie Compton
1946 Drifting Along Pat McBride
1948 Crossed Trails Maggie Flynn

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  1. Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 96. ISBN   9780786457632 . Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  2. "Records Here Show Film Actress Bride Of Alabama Dentist". The Selma Times-Journal. Alabama, Selma. May 5, 1935. p. 2. Retrieved September 19, 2019 via
  3. 1 2 Neville, Lucie (April 3, 1938). "But she will talk about her husband". Arizona Republic. Arizona, Phoenix. Every Week Magazine. p. 39. Retrieved September 19, 2019 via
  4. "Records Here Show Film Actress Bride Of Alabama Dentist". The Selma Times-Journal. Alabama, Selma. May 5, 1935. p. 1. Retrieved September 19, 2019 via
  5. Rawles, Obera H. (December 14, 1936). "Intimate Facts about New Hollywood Stars: Lynne Carver". The Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Texas, Corpus Christi. Central Press. p. 5. Retrieved September 19, 2019 via
  6. "Actress Petitions For Name Change". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. February 27, 1948. p. 21. Retrieved September 19, 2019 via
  7. Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. (2 volume set). McFarland. p. 123. ISBN   9780786479924 . Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  8. "Lynne Carver Dies: Screen Actress '38". The New York Times. August 13, 1955. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved May 24, 2021.