Irene Dunne [a] December 20, 1898 – September 4, 1990) was an American actress and singer who appeared in films during the Golden Age of Hollywood. She is best known for her comedic roles, despite being in films of varied genres.(born Irene Marie Dunn;
Dunne, c. 1938
Irene Marie Dunn
December 20, 1898
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||September 4, 1990 (aged 91)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Title||Irene Dunne Griffin DHS (from 1953)|
|Board member of||Technicolor (1965)|
Francis Dennis Griffin
(m. 1927; died 1965)
|Website||Irene Dunne Guild|
After her father died when she was fourteen, Dunne's family relocated from Kentucky to Indiana and she became determined to become an opera singer, but when she was rejected by The Met, she performed in musicals on Broadway until she was scouted by RKO and made her Hollywood film debut in the 1930 musical Leathernecking. She starred in 42 movies and in popular anthology television, and made guest appearances on radio until 1962; she was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress—for her performances in Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939), and I Remember Mama (1948)—and was one of the top 25 highest-paid actors of her time.
In the present, Dunne is considered one of the greatest actresses who never won an Academy Award. Some critics theorize that her performances have been underappreciated and largely forgotten, overshadowed by movie remakes and her better-known co-stars. Dunne once fled across the Atlantic Ocean to avoid starring in a comedy, but she has been praised by many during her career, and after her death, as one of the best comedic actresses in the screwball genre. She was nicknamed "The First Lady of Hollywood" for her regal manner despite being proud of her Irish-American, country girl roots.
Dunne devoted her retirement to philanthropy and was chosen by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a delegate for the United States to the United Nations, in which she advocated for world peace and highlighted refugee-relief programs. She also used the time to be with her family—her husband, dentist Dr. Francis Griffin, and their daughter Mary Frances, whom they adopted in 1938. She received numerous awards for her philanthropy, including honorary doctorates, a Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame, and a papal knighthood—Dame of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. In 1985, she was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor for her services to the arts.
Irene Marie Dunn was born on December 20, 1898, at 507 East Gray Street in Louisville, Kentucky, to Joseph John Dunn (1863–1913), an Irish-American steamboat engineer/inspector for the United States government, and Adelaide Antoinette Dunn (née, Henry) (1871–1936), a concert pianist/music teacher of German descent from Newport. She was their second child and second daughter, and had a younger brother named Charles (1901–1981); Dunne's elder sister, born 1897, died soon after her birth. The family alternated between living in Kentucky and St. Louis, due to her father's job offers, but he died in April 1913 from a kidney infection when she was fourteen.[b] She saved all of his letters and both remembered and lived by what he told her the night before he died: "Happiness is never an accident. It is the prize we get when we choose wisely from life's great stores."[c]
Following her father's death, Dunne's family moved to her mother's hometown of Madison, Indiana, living on W. Second St., in the same neighborhood as Dunne's grandparents' home. Dunne's mother taught her to play the piano as a very small girl—according to Dunne, "Music was as natural as breathing in our house,"—but unfortunately for her, music lessons frequently prevented her from playing with the neighborhood kids. Her first school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream began her interest in drama, so she took singing lessons as well, and sang in local churches and high school plays before her graduation in 1916. Her first ambition was to become a music teacher and studied at the Indianapolis Conservatory of Music and Webster College, earning a diploma in 1918, but saw an audition advertizement for the Chicago Musical College when she visited friends during a journey to Gary, and won the College scholarship, officially graduating in 1926. She hoped to become a soprano opera singer, relocating to New York after finishing her second year in 1920, but failed two auditions with the Metropolitan Opera Company due to her inexperience and her "slight" voice.
Dunne took more singing lessons and then dancing lessons to prepare for a possible career in musical theater. On a New York vacation to visit family friends, she was recommended to audition for a stage musical, eventually starring as the leading role in the popular play Irene, which toured major cities as a roadshow throughout 1921. "Back in New York," Dunne reflected, "I thought that with my experience on the road and musical education it would be easy to win a role. It wasn't." Her Broadway debut was December 25 the following year as Tessie in Zelda Sears's The Clinging Vine. She then obtained the leading role when the original actress took a leave of absense in 1924. Supporting roles in musical theater productions followed in the shows The City Chap (1925), Yours Truly (1927) and She's My Baby (1928). Her first top-billing, leading role Luckee Girl (1928) was not as successful as her previous projects. She would later call her career beginnings "not great furor." At this time, Dunne added the extra "e" to her surname, which had ironically been misspelled as "Dunne" at times throughout her life until this point; until her death, "Dunne" would then occasionally be misspelled as "Dunn." Starring as Magnolia Hawks in a road company adaptation of Show Boat was the result of a chance meeting with its director Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.[d] in an elevator the day she returned from her honeymoon, when he mistook her for his next potential client, eventually sending his secretary to chase after her.[e] A talent scout for RKO Pictures attended a performance, and Dunne signed the studio's contract, appearing in her first movie, Leathernecking (1930), an adaptation of the musical Present Arms. Already in her 30s when she made her first film, she would be in competition with younger actresses for roles, and found it advantageous to evade questions that would reveal her age, so publicists encouraged the belief that she was born in 1901 or 1904; the former is the date engraved on her tombstone.
The "Hollywood musical" era had fizzled out so Dunne moved to dramatic roles during the Pre-Code era, leading a successful campaign for the role of Sabra in Cimarron (1931) with her soon-to-be co-star Richard Dix, earning her first Best Actress nomination. A Photoplay review declared, "[This movie] starts Irene Dunne off as one of our greatest screen artists." Other dramas included Back Street (1932) and No Other Woman (1933); for Magnificent Obsession (1935), she reportedly studied Braille and focused on her posture with blind consultant Ruby Fruth. This was after she and Dix reunited for Stingaree (1934), where overall consensus from critics was that Dunne had usurped Dix's star power. The 1934 Sweet Adeline remake and Roberta (1935) were Dunne's first two musicals since Leathernecking; Roberta also starred dancing partners Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and she sang the musical's breakaway pop hit "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." In 1936, she starred as Magnolia Hawks in Show Boat (1936), directed by James Whale. Dunne had concerns about Whale's directing decisions, but she later admitted that her favorite scene to film was "Make Believe" with Allan Jones because the blocking reminded her of Romeo and Juliet. It was during this year that Dunne's RKO contract had expired and she had decided to become a freelance actor, with the power to choose studios and directors. She was apprehensive about attempting her first comedy role as the title character in Theodora Goes Wild (1936), but discovered that she enjoyed the production process, and received her second Best Actress Oscar nomination for the performance.
Dunne followed Theodora Goes Wild with other romantic and comedic roles. The Awful Truth (1937) was the first of three films also starring Cary Grant and was later voted the 68th best comedy in American cinema history by the American Film Institute. Their screwball comedy My Favorite Wife (1940) was praised as an excellent spiritual successor, whereas Penny Serenade (1941) was a "romantic comedy that frequently embraced melodrama." Dunne also starred in three films with Charles Boyer: Love Affair (1939), When Tomorrow Comes (1939), and Together Again (1944). Love Affair was such an unexpected critical and financial success that the rest of Dunne and Boyer's films were judged against it; When Tomorrow Comes was considered the most disappointing of the "trilogy," and the advertizing for Together Again promoted the actors' reunion more than the movie. Dunne and Grant were praised as one of the best romantic comedy couples, while the Dunne and Boyer pairing was praised as the most romantic in Hollywood.
On her own, Dunne showed versatility through many film genres. Critics praised her comedic skills in Unfinished Business (1941) and Lady in a Jam (1942), despite both movies' negative reception. When the United States entered the Second World War, Dunne participated in celebrity bond tours around the country, announcing at a rally in 1942, "This is no time for comedy. I'm now a saleswoman, I sell bonds." She followed the tour with her only two war films: A Guy Named Joe (1943)[f] and The White Cliffs of Dover (1944). Despite A Guy Named Joe's troubled production and mixed reviews, it was one of the most successful films of the year. Over 21 (1945) was Dunne's return to comedy but the themes of war (such as her character's husband enlisting in the army) immediately dated the story, which may have contributed to its lack of success. Strong but ladylike motherly roles in the vein of Cimarron's Sabra would follow throughout her next films, such as Anna Leonowens in the fictionalized biopic Anna and the King of Siam (1946), and mothers Vinnie Day in Life with Father (1947), and Marta Hanson in I Remember Mama (1948). Dunne openly disliked Vinnie's ditziness and had rejected Life with Father numerous times, eventually taking the role because "it seemed to be rewarding enough to be in a good picture that everyone will see." For I Remember Mama, Dunne worked on her Norwegian accent with dialect coach Judith Sater, and wore body padding to appear heavier; Marta Hanson was her fifth and final Best Actress nomination.
Dunne's last three films were box-office failures. The comedy Never a Dull Moment (1950) was accused of trying too hard. Dunne was excited to portray Queen Victoria in The Mudlark (1950) for a chance to "hide" behind a role with heavy makeup and latex prosthetics. It was a success in the UK, despite initial critical concern over the only foreigner in a British film starring as a well-known British monarch, but her American fans disapproved of the prosthetic decisions. The comedy It Grows on Trees (1952) became Dunne's last movie performance, although she remained on the lookout for suitable film scripts for years afterwards. She filmed a television pilot based on Cheaper by the Dozen that was not picked up. On the radio, she and Fred MacMurray respectively played a feuding editor and reporter of a struggling newspaper in the 52-episode comedy-drama Bright Star, which aired in syndication between 1952 and 1953 by the Ziv Company. She also starred in and hosted episodes of television anthologies, such as Ford Theatre, General Electric Theater, and the Schlitz Playhouse of Stars. Faye Emerson wrote in 1954 that "I hope we see much more of Miss Dunne on TV," and Nick Adams called Dunne's performance in Saints and Sinners worthy of an Emmy nomination. Dunne's last acting credit was in 1962, but she was once rumored to star in a movie named Heaven Train, and rejected an offer to cameo in Airport '77. "I never formally retired," she later explained, "but an awful lot of the girls my age soldiered on in bad vehicles. [I] couldn't run around with an ax in my hand like Bette [Davis] and Joan [Crawford] did to keep things going."
Dunne appeared at 1953's March of Dimes showcase in New York City to introduce two little girls nicknamed the Poster Children, who performed a dramatization about polio research. She was later present at Disneyland's "Dedication Day" in 1955 to christen the Mark Twain Riverboat with a bottle containing water from several major rivers across the United States. Years before, Dunne had also christened the SS Carole Lombard.
During the Second World War, Dunne co-founded the Clark Gable's Hollywood Victory Committee. It organized servicemen entertainment and war bond sales tours on behalf of willing Hollywood participants.[g]
In her retirement, she devoted herself primarily to humanitarianism. Some of the organizations she worked with include the American Cancer Society, the Los Angeles Orphanage, and the American Red Cross. She was also president of Santa Monica's St. John's Hospital and Health Clinic and became a board member of Technicolor in 1965, the first woman ever elected to the board of directors. She established an African American school for Los Angeles, negotiated donations to St. John's through box office results, and served as chairwoman in 1949 for the American Heart Association's women's committee, and Hebrew University Rebuilding Fun's sponsors committee. She appeared in 1955's celebrity-rostered television special Benefit Show for Retarded Children with Jack Benny as host. Dunne also donated to refurbishments in Madison, Indiana, funding the manufacture of Camp Louis Ernst Boy Scout's gate in 1939 and the Broadway Fountain's 1976 restoration. In 1987, she founded the Irene Dunne Guild, a foundation which remains "instrumental in raising funds to support programs and services at St. John's." It was reported that the Guild had raised $20 million by the time of her death.
Dunne reflected in 1951: "If I began living in Hollywood today I would certainly one thing that I did when I arrived, and that is to be active in charity. If one is going to take something out of a community—any community—one must put something in, too." She also hoped that charity would encourage submissive women to find independence: "I wish women would be more direct. [...] I was amazed when some quiet little mouse of a woman was given a job which seemed to be out of all proportion to her capabilities. Then I saw the drive with which she undertook that job and put it through to a great finish. It was both inspiring and surprising. I want women to be individuals. They should not lean on their husbands' opinions and be merely echoes of the men of the family[.]"
American delegate to the United NationsEdit
In 1957, President Eisenhower appointed Dunne one of five alternative U.S. delegates to the United Nations in recognition of her interest in international affairs and Roman Catholic and Republican causes. Dunne admired the U.N.'s dedication to creating world peace, and was inspired by colleagues' beliefs that Hollywood influenced the world. On September 12, she was sworn in with Herman B. Wells, Walter H. Judd, A. S. J. Carnahan, Philip M. Klutznick and George Meany. She held delegacy for two years and addressed the General Assembly twice. She gave her delegacy its own anthem: "Getting to Know You" because "it's so simple, and yet so fundamental in international relations today." Dunne later described her Assembly request for $21 million to help Palestinian refugees as her "biggest thrill," and called her delegacy career the "highlight of my life." She also concluded, "I came away greatly impressed with the work the U.N. does in its limited field—and it does have certain limits. I think we averted a serious situation in Syria, which might have been much more worse without a forum to hear it... And I'm much impressed with the work the U.N. agencies do. I'm especially interested in UNICEF's work with children[,] and the health organization [.]"
Dunne was a lifelong Republican and participated in 1948's Republican convention. She accepted the U.N. delegacy offer because she viewed the U.N. as apolitical. She later explained: "I'm a Nixon Republican, not a Goldwater one.[h] I don't like extremism in any case. The extreme rights do as much harm as the extreme lefts." Her large input in politics created an assumption that she was a member of the "Hollywood right-wing fringe," which Dunne denied, calling herself "foolish" for being involved years before other celebrities did.
Dunne's father frequently told Dunne about his memories of traveling on bayous and lazy rivers. Dunne's favorite family vacations were riverboat rides and parades, later recalling a voyage from St. Louis to New Orleans, and watching boats on the Ohio River from the hillside. She admitted, "No triumph of either my stage or screen career has ever rivaled the excitement of trips down the Mississippi on the riverboats with my father."
Dunne was an avid golf player and had played since high school graduation; she and her husband often played against each other and she made a hole in one in two different games. She was good friends with Loretta Young, Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, Carole Lombard, and George Stevens Jr., and became godmother to Young's son, Peter. Dunne also bonded with Leo McCarey over numerous similar interests, such as their Irish ancestry, music, religious backgrounds,[i] and humor. School friends nicknamed her "Dunnie" and she was referred to as this in Madison High School's 1916 yearbook, along with the description "divinely tall and most divinely fair."
One of Dunne's later public appearances was in April 1985, when she attended the unveiling of a bronze bust in her honor at St. John's Hospital and Health Clinic. The artwork, commissioned by the hospital from artist Artis Lane, has a plaque reading "IRENE DUNNE First Lady Of Saint John's Hospital and Health Center Foundation."
Between 1919 and 1922, Dunne was close to Fritz Ernst, a businessman based in Chicago who was 20 years older than her and a member of one of the richest families in Madison, Indiana. They frequently corresponded over letters while Dunne was training for musical theater but when Fritz proposed, Dunne rejected, due to pressure from her mother and wanting to focus on acting. They remained friends and continued writing letters until Ernst died in 1959.
At a New York, Biltmore Hotel supper party in 1924, Dunne met Northampton-born dentist Francis Griffin. According to Dunne, he preferred being a bachelor, yet tried everything he could to meet her. To her frustration, he did not telephone her until over a month later, but the relationship had strengthened and they married in Manhattan on July 13, 1927. They had constantly argued about the state of their careers if they ever got married, with Dunne agreeing to consider theater retirement sometime in the future and Griffin agreeing to support Dunne's acting. Griffin later explained: "I didn't like the moral tone of show business. [...] Then Ziegfeld signed her for 'Show Boat' and it looked like she was due for big things. Next came Hollywood and [she] was catapulted to the top. Then I didn't feel I could ask her to drop her career. [I] really didn't think marriage and the stage were compatible but we loved each other and we were both determined to make our marriage work."
When Dunne decided to star in Leathernecking, it was meant to be her only Hollywood project, but when it was a box-office bomb, she took an interest in Cimarron. Soon after, she and her mother moved to Hollywood and maintained a long-distance relationship with her husband and brother in New York until they joined her in California in 1936. They remained married until Griffin's death on October 14, 1965, and lived in the Holmby Hills in a "kind of French Chateau" they designed.[j] They had one daughter, Mary Frances (née Anna Mary Bush; born 1932), who was adopted by the couple in 1936 (finalized in 1938) from the New York Foundling Hospital, run by the Sisters of Charity of New York. Due to Dunne's privacy, Hollywood columnists struggled to find scandals to write about her—an eventual interview with Photoplay included the disclaimer, "I can guarantee no juicy bits of intimate gossip. Unless, perhaps she lies awake nights heartsick about the kitchen sink in her new home. She's afraid it's too near to the door. Or would you call that juicy? No? No, I thought not." When the magazines alleged that Dunne and Griffin would divorce, Griffin released a statement denying any marital issues. When Griffin was asked about how the marriage had lasted, he replied, "When she had to go on location for a film I arranged my schedule so I could go with her. When I had to go out of town she arranged her schedule so she could be with me. We co-operate in everything. [...] I think a man married to a career woman in show business has to be convinced that his wife's talent is too strong to be dimmed or put out. Then, he can be just as proud of her success as she is and, inside he can take a bow himself for whatever help he's been."
After retiring from dentistry, Griffin became Dunne's business manager, and helped negotiate her first contract. The couple became interested in real estate, later investing in the Beverly Wilshire and partnering with Griffin's family's businesses (Griffin Equipment Company and The Griffin Wellpoint Company.) Griffin sat as a board member of numerous banks, but his offices were relocated from Century City to their home after his death, when Dunne took over as president.
Dunne was a devout Roman Catholic, who became a daily communicant. She was a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California. In 1953, Pope Pius XII awarded Dunne and her husband papal knighthoods as Dame[k] and Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, respectively. Griffin also became a Knight of Malta in 1949.
Dunne died at the age of 91 in her Holmby Hills home on September 4, 1990, and is entombed in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles. She had been unwell for a year and became bedridden about a month before. Her personal papers are housed at the University of Southern California. She was survived by her daughter, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Dunne is considered one of the best actresses of The Golden Age of Hollywood never to win an Academy Award. After I Remember Mama was released, Liberty magazine hoped that she would "do a Truman" at the 1949 Oscars. In 1985, Roger Fristoe pointed out that "a generation of filmgoers is mostly unfamiliar with her work" because some of her movies had been remade, including Love Affair (remade as An Affair to Remember), Show Boat (remade in 1951), My Favourite Wife (remade as Move Over, Darling), and Cimarron (remade in 1960). Dunne once noted that she had lacked the "terrifying ambition" of some other actresses, explaining in 1977, "I drifted into acting and drifted out. Acting is not everything. Living is."
Although known for her comedic roles, Dunne admitted that she never saw comedy as a worthy genre, even leaving the country to the London premiere of Show Boat with her husband and James Whale to get away from being confronted with a script for Theodora Goes Wild. "I never admired a comedienne," she said retrospectively, "yet it was very easy for me, very natural. It was no effort for me to do comedy at all. Maybe that's why I wasn't so appreciative of it." She ascribed her sense of humor to her late father, as well as her "Irish stubbornness." Her screwball comedy characters have been praised for their subversions to the traditional characterisation of female leads in the genre, particularly Susan (Katharine Hepburn) in Bringing Up Baby and Irene (Carole Lombard) in My Man Godfrey. "Unlike the genre's stereotypical leading lady, who exhibits bonkers behaviour continuously," writes Wes D. Gehring, "Dunne's screwball heroine [in Theodora Goes Wild] chooses when she goes wild." Biographers and critics argue that Dunne's groundedness made her screwball characters more attractive than her contemporaries. In his review for My Favorite Wife, Bosley Crowther wrote that a "mere man is powerless" to "her luxurious and mocking laughter, her roving eyes and come-hither glances." Maria DiBattista points out that Dunne is the "only comic actress working under the strictures of the Production Code" who ends both of her screwball movies alongside Cary Grant with a heavy implication of sharing a bed with him, "under the guise of keeping him at bay." Meanwhile, outside of comedy, Andrew Sarris theorized that Dunne's sex appeal is due to the common narrative in her movies about a good girl "going bad."
Dunne was popular with co-workers off-camera, earning a reputation as warm, approachable and having a "poised, gracious manner" like royalty, which spilled into her persona in movies. She earned the nickname "The First Lady of Hollywood" because "she was the first real lady Hollywood has ever seen," said Leo McCarey, with Gregory La Cava adding, "If Irene Dunne isn't the first lady of Hollywood, then she's the last one." Ironically, this title had been bestowed on her when she was a little girl when an aunt cooed "What a little lady!" This ladylike attitude furthered Sarris' sex appeal claims, admitting that the scene when she shares a carriage with Preston Foster on the train in Unfinished Business was practically his "rite of passage" to a sex scene in a film, theorizing that the sex appeal of Dunne came from "a good girl deciding thoughtfully to be bad." On the blatant eroticism of the same train scene, Megan McGurk wrote, "The only thing that allowed this film to pass the censors was that good-girl Irene Dunne can have a one-night stand with a random because she loves him, rather than just a once-off fling. For most other women of her star magnitude, you could not imagine a heroine without a moral compass trained on true north. Irene Dunne elevates a tawdry encounter to something justifiably pure or blameless. She's just not the casual sex type, so she gets away with it." When approached about the nickname in 1936, Dunne admitted that it had grown tiresome but approved if it was meant as "the feminine counterpart of 'gentleman'"; a later interview she did have with the Los Angeles Times would ironically be titled "Irene Dunne, Gentlewoman." She would also be made a Dame (or Lady)[k] of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
Charles Boyer, "IRENE as Seen by Charles Boyer", Photoplay, 1939, p. 24
The Los Angeles Times referred to Dunne's publicity in their obituary as trailblazing, noting her as one of the first actors to become a freelancer in Hollywood during its rigid studio system through her "non-exclusive contract that gave her the right to make films at other studios and to decide who should direct them," and her involvement with the United Nations as a decision that allowed entertainers from movies and television to branch out into philanthropy and politics, such as Ronald Reagan and George Murphy.
Dunne later said, "Cary Grant always said that I had the best timing of anybody he ever worked with." Lucille Ball admitted at an American Film Institute seminar that she based her comedic skills on Dunne's performance in Joy of Living. When asked about life after retiring from baseball, Lou Gehrig stated that he would want Dunne as a screen partner if he ever became a movie actor. Charles Boyer described her as "a gracious house," adding, "the best room would be the music room [...] Great music, and the best of good swing, and things by Gershwin would sound there always. The acoustics would be perfect. Guests in this house would be relaxed and happy but they would have to mind their manners." Dunne told James Bawden in 1977: "Now don't you dare call me normal. I was never a Pollyanna. There was always a lot of Theodora in me."
Awards and nominationsEdit
Dunne received five Best Actress nominations during her career: for Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) and I Remember Mama (1948); she was the first actor to lose against the same actor in the same category twice, losing to Best Actress winner Luise Rainer in 1936 and 1937. When asked if she ever resented never winning, Dunne pointed out that the nominees she was up against had strong support, believing that she would never have had a chance, especially when Love Affair was against Gone with the Wind. "I don't mind at all," she told Joyce Haber, "Greta Garbo never got an Oscar either [and] she's a living legend."
However, Dunne was honored numerous times for her philanthropy from Catholic organizations and schools, receiving the University of Notre Dame's Laetare Medal, and the Bellarmine Medal from Bellarmine College. She received numerous honorary doctorates, including from Chicago Musical College (for music), Loyola University and Mount St. Mary's College (both for Law). For her film career, she was honored by the Kennedy Center, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6440 Hollywood Blvd, and displays in the Warner Bros. Museum and Center for Motion Picture Study. A two-sided marker was erected in Dunne's childhood hometown of Madison in 2006.
|Chicago Musical College honorary Doctor of Music||1945|||
|NCCJ's American Brotherhood Award||1948|||
|Protestant Motion Picture Council Award[l]|||
|American Motherhood Pictures Award|||
|Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year|||
|Dame of the Holy Sepulchre||1953|||
|Honorary member of the Madison Chamber of Commerce||1954|||
|International Best Dressed List||1958|||
|Indiana's Woman of the Year|||
|Loyola University honorary Law degree|||
|St. Mary's College honorary Law degree||1964|||
|Colorado Women of Achievement||1968|||
|St. John's Hospital and Health Center's Lifetime Trustee||1982|||
|Irene Dunne Guild bust||1985|||
|Kennedy Center Honoree|||
- 1936 – 17th
- 1938 – 23rd
- 1939 – 24th
- 1944 – 19th
- 1948 – 24th
"Lovely to Look At" was the only song Dunne performed in a non-musical movie that entered the charts, peaking at number 20 in 1935.
Songs from the Pen of Jerome KernEdit
Decca Records released Dunne's only album, titled Irene Dunne in Songs from the Pen of Jerome Kern,[m] which contained recordings of six show tunes composed by Jerome Kern. It was recorded between July 16 and August 24, 1941, with Victor Young's orchestra, making Dunne another singing movie star to create a Jerome Kern album.
- According to Dunne's baptism record, her full name is "Irene Maria Dunn," however, some news reports (including an interview) have written "Marie" instead of "Maria." Her birth record does not include her middle name, and the 1900 census writes "Irene M. Dunn," whereas the 1920 census only writes "Dunn, Irene." Whichever is a spelling error is unknown.
- Joseph Dunn's death has also been reported as happening in 1909 when Dunne was eleven, but this was most likely at the time when Dunne was trying to conceal her real age from the Hollywood media.
- The full quote: "Happiness is never an accident. It is the prize we get when we choose wisely from life's great stores. So don't reach out wildly for this and that and the other thing. You'll end up empty-handed if you do. Make up your mind what you want. Go after it. And be prepared to pay well for it. I hope that you'll go after the rooted things: the self-respect that comes when we accept our share of responsibility. Satisfying work. Marriage. A home. A family. For these are the things that grow better with time, not less. These things are the bulwarks of happiness." Dunne only quoted the last three sentences to American Magazine in 1944.
- Ziegfeld's father founded Chicago Musical College.
- Magnolia Hawks had been a dream role for Dunne and she had bought the sheet music of the musical to practise, so this story was jokingly disputed by American Magazine with the comment: "Neither you not I nor [her husband] would ever suspect that she deliberately went to Florenz Ziegfeld [Jr] and suggested that she'd like to play Magnolia in the road company."
- A Guy Named Joe was released in December 1943, but the AFI Catalog website writes that it was released in March 1944.
- A few video clips of Dunne during bond tours appeared in the movies Show Business at War (1943) and Follow the Boys (1944).
- Dunne supported Nixon in the 1950 United States Senate election in California and Goldwater in the 1964 United States presidential election.
- McCarey was a guilty lapsed Catholic, however
- Considered out-of-date, the home was demolished after Dunne's death.
- Initially reported as "Lady", the true rank is actually "Dame," but "Lady" is sometimes used colloquially. See Order of the Holy Sepulchre#Ranks for more information.
- Shared with the cast and crew of I Remember Mama.
- Also known as Songs by Jerome Kern, Jerome Kern Songs, Irene Dunne in Songs by Jerome Kern.
- "Irene Maria Dunn". Baptism Record. Louisville, Kentucky: Saint Martin of Tours Church. 262. (birthdate recorded as December 20, 1898; baptism recorded as six days later)
- "[Irene] Dunn". Kentucky Birth Register. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. 3086.
December , 1898
- Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). "Cavalry". Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. p. 18. ISBN 978-0786409839. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
- Fristoe (1985)
- Haber, Joyce (March 16, 1975). "The Sweet Smell of Irene Dunne". Los Angeles Times. p. 33. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- Thomas, Bob (September 5, 1990). "Film Star Irene Dunne dies at 88". San Francisco Examiner. p. A-14. Archived from the original on September 16, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "DUNNE, Irene Marie; 88; Louisville KY>Los Angeles CA; Albuquerque J (NM); 1990-9-5; clh". Obituary Daily Times Index, 1995–Current. Albuquerque: The Obituary Daily Times. September 5, 1990.
- "Magisterial District 7, Precincts 26, 23 Louisville city Ward 10". Twelfth Census of the United States. National Archives and Records Administration. June 13, 1900. 36.
Dunn, Irene M.
- "Madison; Ward 3". Fourteenth Census of the United States: 1920 – Population. Department of Commence Bureau of the Census. Jefferson (Indiana): 6A. January 7, 1920. 27.
- Bochenek (2015).
- Gehring (2003), p. 7.
- Ward (2006); Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929), Early Childhood.
- Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929).
- "Death Notices". Los Angeles Times. August 17, 1981. p. 18. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
- "Charles Robert Dunne". California Death Index, 1940-1997. California Department of Public Health.
- "Capt. J.J. Dunn". Madison Daily Herald. April 7, 1913.
- "Joseph J. Dunn is Dead". St. Louis Globe-Democrat. April 7, 1913. Archived from the original on June 13, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Gehring (2003), p. 8.
- Gehring (2003), p. 11; Hats, Hunches & Happiness by Irene Dunne (1945).
- Ormiston, Roberta. "To Make You Happier". Photoplay. No. April 1944. p. 107.
- Hats, Hunches & Happiness by Irene Dunne (1945).
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- Ward (2006).
- Gehring (2003), p. 11; Bochenek (2015).
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Irene Dunne, who once wanted to teach music but who bypassed that vocation to become a starring actress in motion pictures, will be awarded an honorary degree of doctor of music by the Chicago Musical College.
- Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929); Gehring (2003), p. 14–15.
- Bawden, James (September 10, 1977). "A Visit with Irene Dunne". American Classic Screen. p. 9.
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- Gehring (2003), p. 16.
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Musical numbers on the program will be given by the following Indiana girls: Miss Wynota Cleaveland of Crawfordsville, Miss Anah Webb of Bedford, Miss Irene Dunne of Madison, Miss Lillian Prass of Lafayette...
- "Chateau-Thierry Stage and Hoosier Girls Feature Dinner". The Indianapolis Star. December 8, 1918. p. 33. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
The following Hoosier girls took part: Miss Irene Dunne, Madison, represented France...
- "'Together Again' With Irene Dunn [sic] Next 'Lux' Drama". Harrisburg Telegraph. December 7, 1946. p. 19. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- McDonough (1985).
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- Charles Champlin (December 5, 1985). "Critic at Large: Irene Dunne: Always a Lady of the House". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
Depending on which film source you read, Irene Dunne will be 81, 84 or 87 on Dec. 20. The official birth year is 1904, which makes her almost 81 and which she says sternly is correct, although in all events, "We do not think about Dec. 20. It is a day I choose to disregard."
- Gehring (2003), p. 27.
- "Cimarron". Archived from the original on June 23, 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
It was nominated for Best Direction, Best Actor (Richard Dix), Best Actress (Irene Dunne) and Best Cinematography.
- "[Cimarron review]". Photoplay. April 1931.
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- Thornton Delehanty (May 18, 1934). "Irene Dunne and Richard Dix in 'Stingaree'". New York Post. p. 13.
[Stingaree] is a preposterous tale, with Mr. Dix doing his best to prevent it from being even faintly credible.
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The role [of Stingaree] gives [Richard] Dix an opportunity to return to the adventurous, twinkly-eyed roles he enacted in the early days of his success. Miss Dunne, opposite, has her first opportunity to exploit thoroughly her beautiful voice.
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[Irene Dunne said:] James Whale wasn't the right director. He was more interested in atmosphere and lighting and he knew so little about [riverboat] life.
- Livingstone, Beulah (September 21, 1936). "The Story of Irene Dunne". Table Talk. p. 14.
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[The plot of My Favorite Wife] has anything to do with its very obvious resemblance to another [Leo] McCarey comedy, The Awful Truth.
- Wilson, Robert, ed. (1971). The Film Criticism of Otis Ferguson. Philadelphia Temple University Press. p. 302.
[My Favorite Wife is a] no-nonsense-sequel to The Awful Truth.
- "Penny Serenade". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
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[When Tomorrow Comes] does not have as much comedy in it as when Miss Dunne and Mr. Boyer presented last season when they co-starred in Love Affair.
- "Fantasies Omitted". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 21, 1939. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
There is something missing in When Tomorrow Comes [...] Indeed, [director John M. Stahl] has woven together the elements for a romance that is as near to actuality and as far from affection as that of the Love Affair starring effort [...] There isn't the sparkling wit of Love Affair...
- Gehring (2003), p. 109.
- "Knickerbocker Star Jeanne Crain; Loew's Brings Dunne, Boyer". The Tennessean. November 19, 1944. p. 16–B. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
Billed as an exciting and hilarious love affair, [Together Again] bought forth from the publicity department with this paragraph: 'Their eyes meet again! Their lips meet again! Their hearts meet again in this year's most glorious...enchanting...daring romantic comedy. What love! What laughter!'
- "'Favorite Wife' at Memoria". Boston Post. June 21, 1940.
Miss Dunne and Mr. Grant make the perfect team for romantic comedy [and] they are both charming people.
- Parsons, Louella O. (August 11, 1939). "Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer Engaging in Romantic Film, "When Tomorrow Comes"". Los Angeles Examiner.
I don't know any more romantic pair on the screen than Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer.
- "Unfinished Business". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020.
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- "[Lady In a Jam review]". The New Yorker. July 22, 1942.
On the whole, [Lady In a Jam] shouldn't happen to Irene Dunne.
- Crowther, Bosley (September 2, 1941). "[Unfinished Business review]". The New York Times. p. 20.
Under the circumstances, the actors do exceedingly well. Miss Dunne, even though she must combine the naivete of Cinderella with the devastating wit of a Dorothy Parker, is charming.
- Gehring (2003), p. 135.
- "Film Star Irene Dunne Exceeds Million Mark in Sale of War Bonds". Wilkes-Barre Record. September 11, 1942. p. 1. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
- Gehring (2003), p. 194.
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- Steinberg, Cobbett (1978). Reel Facts: The Movie Book of Records. Vintage Books. p. 342. ISBN 978-0394724164.
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[Over 21] must now get along as a film at the Music Hall without [the] benefit of timeliness.
- Cameron, Kate (August 17, 1945). "Gaiety Is Keynote of Music Hall Film". New York Daily News. p. 34. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 28, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
With people everywhere thinking, planning, talking and breathing peace, [it] is a bit startling to [suddenly transport] back to the early days of the war.
- Gehring (2003), p. 146.
- Gehring (2003), p. 33.
- "Anna and the King of Siam". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
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- Gehring (2003), p. 156.
- Scheuer, Philip K. (August 31, 1947). "Personality First, Irene Dunne Says". Los Angeles Times.
- Gehring (2003), p. 159.
- Gehring (2003), p. 171.
- Cameron, Kate (November 22, 1950). "Never a Dull Moment – A Zany Comedy". Daily News. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
There are some engagingly-homely touches in the comedy, but for the most part, it is given over to slapstick antics and strains too hard for its comic effects.
- Bosley Crowther (November 22, 1950). "The Screen in Review; 'Never a Dull Moment,' New Film at the Rivoli, Stars Irene Danne, Fred MacMarray". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
...its sole achievement as entertainment is the presentation of Irene Dunne in a series of rustic encounters that are about as funny as stepping on a nail.
- "AFI|Catalog – The Mudlark". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
- Gehring (2003), p. 170.
- "Irene Dunne as British Queen 'Insult'". Los Angeles Examiner. March 30, 1958.
- "AFI|Catalog – It Grows on Trees". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
- Gehring (2003), p. 172.
- Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
Bright Star, comedy.
- "2 Big Hollywood Actors in Great New Comedy Roles". The Indiana Gazette. January 5, 1952. p. 14. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Emerson, Faye (April 21, 1954). "Faye Emerson Writes on Radio and TV". Albuquerque Tribune.
- Parsons, Louella (October 12, 1962). "Hollywood". Anderson Daily Bulletin.
What makes me feel so bad is that Miss Dunne is so wonderful as the movie actress with an incurable disease she is sure to be in the running for an Emmy award.
- Hedda Hopper (September 20, 1965). "Irene Can't Wait for 'Heaven Train'". Los Angeles Times. p. 21. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Frye (2004)
- "Stars Shine in Gala Fashion Revue for March of the Dimes". The News and Observer. February 2, 1953. p. 8. Archived from the original on June 15, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
Basil O'Connor, president of the Foundatioin, opened the show. Irene Dunne introduced the 1953 March of Dimes Poster Children...
- Humphrey, Hal (July 11, 1955). "'Disneyland' Dedication to Draw Notables". Oakland Tribune. Archived from the original on June 13, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
Irene Dunne, a personal friend of [Walt] Disney, will christen the Mark Twain, a 105-foot sternwheeler which plies its way around a three-quarter mile canal in Frontierland.
- Susan Pennington; Chris Beachum (December 20, 2019). "Irene Dunne movies: 12 greatest films ranked from worst to best". Gold Derby. Archived from the original on May 26, 2020.
- "Launch S.S. Carole Lombard Tomorrow". The Herald-News. Passaic, New Jersey. January 14, 1944. p. 18. Archived from the original on June 13, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
Actress Irene Dunne will break the wine bottle on the S.S. Carole Lombard's steel prow...
- "Liberty Ship Carole Lombard Sent Down Ways". The Los Angeles Times. January 16, 1944. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
Best of Luck – Capt. Gable, Louis B. Mayer, head of M.G.M., and Irene Dunne, waving farewells as the S.S. Carole Lombard slides down ways of Calship yards.
- Gehring (2003), p. 168-170.
- "Irene Dunne Returns in Television Drama". The Press Courier. February 10, 1959.
- "Irene Dunne Named Top Member of Catholic Laity". The Des Moines Register. March 28, 1949. p. 3. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
- "Irene Dunne: From Boards to the Board". The San Francisco Examiner. February 16, 1965. p. 28. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- Gehring (2003), p. 176.
- Baer, Louise (May 8, 1949). "Well Dunne, Irene". The Syracuse Post Standard. p. 27. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Irene Dunne. "If You Want Success...". Screenland. No. July 1951.
More recently, I've worked with heart and cancer foundations, Red Cross and especially the St. John's Hospital for which our premiere of "The Mudlark" raised $137.000 for a new building wing.
- "Film Premiere to Help: St. John's Hospital Addition Advanced". Los Angeles Times. February 10, 1963. p. 2. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020.
The premiere [of How the West Was Won] is sponsored by the St. John's Hospital Foundation. [...] Irene Dunne, who became president of the St. John’s Hospital Foundation in 1951, was instrumental in arranging the benefit premiere.
- "Irene Dunne Guild". Irene Dunne Guild. Archived from the original on June 19, 2020.
- Gehring (2003), p. 175.
- "IHB: Irene Dunne". May 19, 2006. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012.
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- Irene Dunne. "If You Want Success...". Screenland. No. July 1951.
- Wilson, Bess M. (April 20, 1951). "Irene Dunne Describes Charity as Key to Women's Services : 'More Direct Approach Advised'". Los Angeles Times. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020. (other half of article)
- "Ike Appoints Irene Dunne to U.N. Post". Palm Beach Post. August 10, 1957. p. 4. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bell (1958): 'Says Irene: "You never for a moment forget that war and peace and life itself are at stake. When I go back home after this session of the General Assembly, I'll be an enthusiastic saleslady for the U.N. as an essential force [for] world peace in this age of atoms and outer-space moons."'
- "Irene Dunne: Gentlewoman". Los Angeles Times. March 5, 1958. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016.
- Bell (1958): '"There are a great many thoughtful people in Hollywood," Irene says, "especially among the writers, directors, and technicians. I think they are aware of Hollywood's impact on people all over the world, but even they have no idea of how tremendous that impact is. I know now—from talking with the other U.N. delegates. And I'm going home and try to tell the people back there what an important contribution Hollywood can make, or how much harm it can do."'
- "Meany, Many Others Take Oaths As Delegates to UN". The Sacramento Bee. September 13, 1957. p. A-8. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- "Irene Dunne". Archived from the original on May 16, 2020.
- Bell (1958)
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- "Irene Dunne Finds Career in U.N. "Highlight of My Life"". New York Herald Tribune. October 16, 1957. p. 3.
- Thomas, Bob (February 27, 1958). "Actress Found U.N. Exciting". The Evening Sun. Hanover, Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Gehring (2003), p. 163.
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- "Irene Dunne – a Famous Actress Who Didn't Look Back". Los Angeles Times. November 29, 1970. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016.
- Gehring (2003), p. 10-11.
- Hoyt, Caroline S. (December 1938). "Irene Dunne's True Life Story". Modern Screen. p. 28.
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- Gehring (2003), p. 178.
- Frye (2004)
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- Gehring (2003), p. 80.
- Gehring (2003), p. 80-83.
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- Gehring (2003), p. 22; Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929).
- Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929); Gehring (2003), p. 22.
- "Figures in Recent Local Weddings". The Indianapolis Star. July 31, 1927. p. 57. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- "Manhattan". Index to Marriages. New York: New York City Municipal Archives. 8: 372, 588. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020 – via Ancestry.com. (Dunne and Griffin's marriage license code is 19627; Dunne's name is on page 372, and Griffin's name is on page 588)
- Gehring (2003), p. 22.
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- Gehring (2003), pp. 24-25, 50, 94.
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Dr. Francis D. Griffin, 79, husband of actress Irene Dunne, has died of a heart ailment. He died Thursday night in the couple's home after a long illness.
- Orr, Robin (February 24, 1969). "Portrait of a Lady". Oakland Tribune.
- Frye (2004): "When Irene and her husband, Frank Griffin, who was a dentist, arrived in Hollywood in 1930, they bought a lot in Holmby Hills for $10[,]000 and built a two-story house on it for $40[,]000."
- "Good Night, Irene Dunne; Hollywood Loses An Airy and Elegant Gal from Film's Golden Age". People. September 17, 1990. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
- "Irene Dunne Adopts Baby: Actress Formally Becomes Foster-Mother of Girl, 4". The New York Times. March 17, 1938. p. 17. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020.
Irene Dunne, screen actress, and her husband, Dr. Francis Griffin, have adopted a 4-year-old girl whom they have named Mary Frances Dunne, it was learned yesterday at the County Clerk's office, where the adoption order is on file.
- Hamilton, Sara (1936). "This Is Really Irene Dunne". Photoplay. No. April 1936.
- "Press". Archived from the original on January 28, 2011.
Fed up with speculations about a pending divorce, Frank finally issued a statement [...] At last Hollywood had to accept a working, happy marriage.
- Frye (2004)
- Gehring (2003), p. 24.
- Frye (2004)
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Irene Dunne, a devout Catholic,...
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Father Chase says that Miss Dunne attends Mass and receives Communion daily. "When I was stationed in Los Angeles," he declares, "she missed only two days out of an entire year."
- "Our History". Church of the Good Shepherd. Archived from the original on May 20, 2020.
The Guild and Good Shepherd Parish itself were soon populated by such film notables as Jackie Coogan, Neil Hamilton and Ben Turpin and in later years would include the likes of Ray Bolger, Jane Wyman, Jimmy Durante, Danny Thomas, Loretta Young, Gene Kelly, Rosalind Russell, Irene Dunne, Ricardo Montalbano [sic], Bob Newhart, Jack Haley and MacDonald Carey.
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- "Actress and Singer Honored by the Church". The Tablet. December 20, 1953. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
Honored with Miss Dunne was her husband, Dr. Francis S. [sic] Griffin...
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- Fristoe (1985), p. 1, ARTS: "Louisville native Irene Dunne is such a good actress that she never won an Academy Award[. This] is easily explained. Like her frequent co-stars Cary Grant and Charles Boyer, Miss Dunne was so consistently splendid [that] she was always taken for granted at Oscar time."
- "Academy Awards Snubbed by Oscar: Mistakes & Omissions". Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
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Few Hollywood stars have been awarded honorary degrees. Even fewer can add M.D. to their names. Were Irene Dunne the boastful kind, she could brag about both of these distinctions, for Chicago Musical College made her an M.D. ...
- "Kennedy Center Biographical Info for Irene Dunne". Archived from the original on August 5, 2007.
- "Kennedy Center Honors Irene Dunne (1985)". YouTube. Archived from the original on March 31, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
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- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library, 2000, Gifts of Vanna Bonta
- "Dr. Irene Dunne". The Portsmouth Herald. June 11, 1945. p. 2. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Irene Dunne Honored by Conference". Petaluma Argus-Courier. Petaluma, California. December 20, 1948. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
The National Conference of Christians and Jews has named Irene Dunne as the person "who has done most in 1948 to promote better understanding among peoples of all faiths."
- "Irene Dunne Gets 'Laetare' Medal at Notre Dame". The News Palladium. June 30, 1949. p. 20. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020.
- ""I Remember Mama" Win Church Group Award". The Salt Lake Tribune. January 28, 1949. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Catholics Honor Irene Dunne, Dennis Day". Santa Cruz Sentinel. December 3, 1953. p. 2. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Irene Dunne Is Honored by Local Chamber". Madison Courier. May 3, 1954.
- "Best Dressed Women". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 12, 2013.
- "Irene Dunne Named Woman of the Year". Indianapolis News. April 11, 1958 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Irene Dunne Delivers Speech At Loyola U." The Colton Courier. June 16, 1958. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Irene Dunne Honored". The Daily Chronicle. June 6, 1949. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
The Los Angeles school conferred the degree on the actress yesterday "in recognition of her courageous fidelity to Catholic principles in public and private life" and for her work in cancer research organizations.
- "College Honors Irene Dunne". The San Francisco Examiner. February 25, 1965. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Irene Dunne Songs ••• Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Archived from the original on June 18, 2020.
- "[advertizing section]". The Evening Times. November 27, 1946. Archived from the original on June 22, 2020. Retrieved June 19, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "[advertizing section:] Investments in Pleasure". The Morning Call. March 19, 1947. Archived from the original on June 21, 2020. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Irene Dunne (vocalist)"". Archived from the original on June 19, 2020.
- Woodward, Leroy (March 9, 1947). "Platter Clatter". The Owensboro Messenger. Archived from the original on June 22, 2020. Retrieved June 19, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
INTERSTATE stands ready with the musical highlights on record, offering both albums and records. The albums include the following : BING CROSBY'S JEROME KERN SONGS, JEROME KERN SONGS [by] (FRED WARING), JEROME KERN SONGS (IRENE DUNNE), JEROME KERN (AL GOODMAN), JEROME KERN'S SHOW TUNES (AL GOODMAN), JEROME KERN'S MUSIC (CAPITOL ARTISTS)
- Gehring, Wes D. (2003). Slide, Anthony (ed.). Irene Dunne: First Lady of Hollywood. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810858640.
- Fristoe, Roger (December 15, 1985). "Louisville's Own: Irene Dunne". Courier Journal – via Newspapers.com.
- Irene Dunne (February 17, 1945). "Hats, Hunches and Happiness". Picturegoer. England. Archived from the original on February 4, 2011.
- Dunne, Irene (1985). "Screening of the Past: A Rare Interview with Irene Dunne" (Interview). Interviewed by John McDonough. Archived from the original on March 17, 2019.
- Dunne, Irene (1978). "Interview with James Harvey, September 1978" (Interview). Interviewed by James Harvey. Archived from the original on August 14, 2013.
- "The Irene Dunne Site: The Pre-Hollywood Years – 1898–1929". Archived from the original on December 5, 2013.
- Bell, Joseph N. (January 12, 1958). "Irene Dunne: Saleslady for the U.N." Family Weekly. pp. 4–5 – via Newspapers.com.
- William Frye (2004). "Everyone Loved Irene". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016.
- Dr. Annette Bochenek (September 3, 2015). "Irene Dunne | Hometowns to Hollywood". Hometowns to Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020.
- Don Ward (March 2006). "Irene Dunne's career was a true success story". Roundabout Entertainment Guide. Kentuckianana Publishing Inc. Archived from the original on June 2, 2020.
- Turner Classic Movies; Osborne, Robert (2006). Leading Ladies: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0811852487.
- Cavell, Stanley (1981). Pursuits of Happiness: Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674739062.
- Kendall, Elizabeth (1990). The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s. New York City: Cooper Square Publishers. ISBN 978-0815411994.
- Schultz, Margie (1991). Irene Dunne: A Bio-Bibliography. New York City: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0313273995.
- Carman, Emily (2015). Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in the Hollywood Studio System. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-1477307816.
- Gehring, Wes D. (2003). "I'm Still In Love With Irene Dunne". FindArticles. Archived from the original on May 31, 2012.
- Roberts, John (1998). "Irene Dunne – Elegant Leading Lady of the Golden Age". No. 14. Archived from the original on December 11, 2004. Cite magazine requires
- Schickel, Richard (1991). "We Remember Irene". Film Comment. No. March/April. New York City: Film Society of Lincoln Center.
- Schickel, Richard (1990). Rense, Paige (ed.). "Irene Dunne: Nominee for The Awful Truth". Architectural Digest. No. April. Los Angeles.
- "Irene Dunne (1904–1990): A Bright Star," Filmnews,by Peter Kemp November 1990.
- "Irene Dunne, Top-rank Film Star of the '30s and '40s, Dead at 88". Variety. New York. September 10, 1990.
- "Irene Dunne: The Awesome Truth," Film Comment (New York), by James McCourt January/February 1980.
- "Irene Dunne: Native Treasure," Close-Ups: The Movie Star Book, DeWitt Bodeen, edited by Danny Peary, New York, 1978.
- Irene Dunne, in Films in Review (New York), Madden, J. C., December 1969.
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- Irene Dunne on IMDb
- Irene Dunne at the Internet Broadway Database
- Irene Dunne at the TCM Movie Database
- Irene Dunne discography at Discogs
- Irene Dunne at Find a Grave
- Irene Dunne Film Reference by Jeanine Basinger
- Photographs of Irene Dunne
- Works by or about Irene Dunne at Internet Archive (audio recordings)
- "Irene Dunne interview (1979)". YouTube.