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

(1911-08-02)August 2, 1911[1]
DiedDecember 10, 1979(1979-12-10) (aged 68)
EducationCatherine's Convent
Page School for Girls
Years active1916–52
(m. 1932; div. 1945)

Igor Dega
(m. 1947; div. 1951)

Nicholas Wade
(m. 1951; died 1975)
Parent(s)Anna Lehr
Edwin McKim

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

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."[2]

Early years

Dvorak was born Anna McKim in New York City on August 2, 1911 to silent film actress Anna Lehr and actor/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.[3]

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


Paul Muni and Dvorak in Scarface (1932)
Paul Muni and Dvorak in Scarface (1932)

In the late 1920s, Dvorak worked as a dance instructor and gradually began to appear on film as a chorus girl. 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 Joan Blondell and Bette Davis 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.[4] 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 and 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, 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.[5]

Later years and death

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

Dvorak retired from the screen in 1951, 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, a place she had always loved.

Several weeks before her death, Dvorak suffered severe stomach pains. She was diagnosed with cancer that had metastasized beyond cure. She died on December 10, 1979, aged 68, in Honolulu.[6][5] 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.[7]



Year Title Role Note
1916 Ramona Ramona (age 4)
1917 The Man Hater Phemie's Little Sister
1929 The Hollywood Revue of 1929 Herself – Chorus Girl Uncredited
So This Is College Student Uncredited
It's a Great Life Chorus Girl Uncredited
Devil-May-Care Chorine Uncredited
1930 Chasing Rainbows
The Woman Racket Chorus Girl Uncredited
Lord Byron of Broadway Chorus Girl Uncredited
Free and Easy Chorine Uncredited
Children of Pleasure Chorus Girl Uncredited
Estrellados Chorine Uncredited
Our Blushing Brides One of the 'Quartet' of Models with Tony Uncredited
Way Out West Carnival Show Girl Uncredited
Good News Student Uncredited
Doughboys Chorine Scenes deleted
The March of Time Chorus Girl Uncredited
Love in the Rough Chorus Girl Uncredited
Madam Satan Zeppelin Reveler Uncredited
War Nurse Nurse in VA Hospital Uncredited
1931 Dance, Fools, Dance Chorus Girl Uncredited
A Tailor Made Man Bit Uncredited
Just a Gigolo Cafe Patron Uncredited
Politics Rally Audience Extra Uncredited
Son of India Village Dancer Uncredited
Stranger in Town Marian Crickle
This Modern Age Party Guest Uncredited
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

Short subjects

  • The Five Dollar Plate (1920)
  • The Doll Shop (1929) as One of the Dolls (uncredited)
  • Manhattan Serenade (1929) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
  • The Song Writers' Revue (1930) as Member of the Chorus (uncredited)
  • The Flower Garden (1930) as Member of Chorus
  • Pirates (1930) as Chorus Girl (uncredited)
  • The Snappy Caballero (1931)
  • A Trip Thru a Hollywood Studio (1935) as Herself (uncredited)


  1. ^ Rice, Christina (2013). Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Pg. 13.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Dvorak Details". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 12, 1932. p. 59. Retrieved September 15, 2015 – via open access
  4. ^ "Ann Dvorak, Actor Marry After Airplane Elopement". Chicago Tribune. March 18, 1932. p. 8. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Ann Dvorak Dies; Screen Actress, 67". The New York Times (in American English). December 20, 1979. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "Ann Dvorak". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ "Ann Dvorak". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved September 16, 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 June 2021, at 01:04
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