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Irene Dunne biography

Irene Dunne was an American actress and singer known for her versatile talent, grace, and remarkable career in film, television, and theater. Here are some key points about Irene Dunne:

  1. Early Life: Irene Dunne was born on December 20, 1898, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
  2. Singing Career: Before entering acting, Dunne had a successful career as a singer, performing in operas and musicals.
  3. Film Debut: She made her film debut in “Leathernecking” (1930), and her performance in “Cimarron” (1931) earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
  4. Wide Range of Roles: Irene Dunne was known for her versatility and ability to excel in both comedic and dramatic roles.
  5. “The Awful Truth”: She starred opposite Cary Grant in the screwball comedy “The Awful Truth” (1937), which became one of her most iconic and beloved films.
  6. “Show Boat”: Dunne’s portrayal of Magnolia Hawks in the film adaptation of the musical “Show Boat” (1936) showcased her singing talents.
  7. Multiple Oscar Nominations: She received five Academy Award nominations for her performances in films like “Theodora Goes Wild” (1936), “The Awful Truth,” “Love Affair” (1939), “I Remember Mama” (1948), and “Anna and the King of Siam” (1946).
  8. Transition to Television: In the 1950s, she transitioned to television and appeared in various TV shows and anthologies.
  9. “I Remember Mama”: Dunne starred in the film “I Remember Mama” (1948), playing the role of a Norwegian immigrant mother, which earned her critical acclaim.
  10. Retirement: She largely retired from acting in the 1950s, focusing on her family and philanthropic activities.
  11. Marriage: Irene Dunne was married to Dr. Francis Griffin from 1928 until his passing in 1959.
  12. Honorary Oscars: In recognition of her contributions to the film industry, Dunne received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 1985 Academy Awards.
  13. Legacy: Irene Dunne is remembered as one of the most talented and respected actresses of her time, with a career that spanned over four decades.
  14. Personal Charisma: Known for her warmth, intelligence, and charm, Dunne was well-liked by colleagues and fans alike.

Irene Dunne’s performances, both on screen and in theater, continue to be celebrated for their depth and authenticity. She left a lasting legacy in the entertainment industry and remains an inspiration for future generations of actors.

Trivia of Irene Dunne

Certainly! Here are some trivia tidbits about Irene Dunne:

  1. Operatic Training: Before her acting career, Irene Dunne received training in opera and was a talented singer. Her singing abilities were showcased in several of her film roles.
  2. Film Debut: Her film debut was in the pre-Code comedy “Leathernecking” (1930), opposite Robert Montgomery.
  3. Academy Award Nominations: Irene Dunne received five Academy Award nominations for Best Actress, making her one of the most-nominated actresses of her time. She never won an Oscar but was recognized for her exceptional performances.
  4. Versatile Actress: She demonstrated her versatility by excelling in both comedic and dramatic roles, making her one of the most respected actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
  5. Screwball Comedies: Dunne was particularly known for her work in screwball comedies like “The Awful Truth” (1937) with Cary Grant.
  6. “Cimarron” Role: Her role in “Cimarron” (1931) was her first big success and earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
  7. “Show Boat” Performance: Her performance as Magnolia Hawks in the film adaptation of the musical “Show Boat” (1936) showcased her singing talents and received praise.
  8. Quaker Oats Spokeswoman: In the 1950s and 1960s, Dunne became the spokeswoman for Quaker Oats, appearing in their television commercials.
  9. Lasting Marriage: Irene Dunne had a long and happy marriage with Dr. Francis Griffin, lasting from 1928 until his passing in 1959.
  10. Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: She received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 1985 Academy Awards in recognition of her philanthropic efforts.
  11. Retirement: After her film career slowed down in the 1950s, Dunne largely retired from acting to focus on her family and charitable work.
  12. Influential Mentor: She was a mentor and friend to actress Anne Baxter, guiding her in the early stages of her career.
  13. Animal Lover: Irene Dunne was a devoted animal lover and supported various animal welfare causes throughout her life.
  14. Educational Background: She graduated from the University of Chicago, where she was known for her involvement in theater productions.
  15. Admiration for Katharine Hepburn: She was known to hold Katharine Hepburn in high regard and once commented that if she couldn’t play a role, she’d want Hepburn to do it.

Irene Dunne’s legacy as a talented actress and her philanthropic contributions continue to be remembered and celebrated in the entertainment industry.

Movies and webseries of Irene Dunne

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Irene Dunne’s career primarily included work in movies and television. While web series were not prevalent during her time, here are some of her notable movie and TV appearances:


  1. Cimarron (1931) – Dunne’s performance in this film earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. The movie is based on the Edna Ferber novel about the Oklahoma Land Rush.
  2. Theodora Goes Wild (1936) – This romantic comedy featured Dunne in the lead role as a small-town woman who secretly writes a scandalous novel.
  3. The Awful Truth (1937) – One of her most iconic roles, Dunne starred alongside Cary Grant in this classic screwball comedy that earned her another Oscar nomination.
  4. Love Affair (1939) – In this romantic drama, she starred opposite Charles Boyer, and the film was remade later as “An Affair to Remember.”
  5. My Favorite Wife (1940) – This comedy paired Dunne with Cary Grant again in a story about a woman returning home after being stranded on a desert island for years.
  6. Anna and the King of Siam (1946) – She played the role of Anna Leonowens in this drama set in 19th-century Siam (modern-day Thailand).
  7. I Remember Mama (1948) – Dunne’s role as the Norwegian immigrant mother in this heartwarming film earned her critical acclaim.


  1. The Ford Television Theatre (1953-1956) – Dunne appeared in several episodes of this anthology series.
  2. Robert Montgomery Presents (1953) – She guest-starred in this anthology series, which featured adaptations of various stories.
  3. Screen Directors Playhouse (1955) – Another anthology series in which Dunne appeared, showcasing her versatility in different roles.
  4. The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1957) – Dunne made a guest appearance on this musical variety show hosted by Dinah Shore.

Please note that this information is based on my knowledge up to September 2021, and there might have been developments or new information since that time. Additionally, web series were not a prominent medium during Irene Dunne’s career, so she might not have been involved in any web series projects. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on her work, I recommend checking official sources or entertainment databases.


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