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June Travis (August 7, 1914 – April 14, 2008) was an American film actress.

June Travis
Ceiling Zero (1936) 2.jpg
James Cagney and June Travis in Ceiling Zero (1936)
June Dorothea Grabiner

(1914-08-07)August 7, 1914
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedApril 14, 2008(2008-04-14) (aged 93)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Resting placeOak Woods Cemetery, Chicago
Other namesJune Travis Friedlob
Years active1935–1965
Spouse(s)Fred Friedlob (1940–1979;his death)



Born as June Dorothea Grabiner, she was the daughter of Harry Grabiner, vice-president of the Chicago White Sox in the 1930s.[1]

She had dark brown hair and green eyes.[1] She stood 5'4" tall. She attended Parkside Grammar School in Chicago and the Starrett School for Girls. She later studied at UCLA. When she returned to Illinois, she matriculated at the University of Chicago.[2]


On January 3, 1940, Travis married Fred Friedlob. They had two daughters, Cathy and June. Friedlob died in May 1979 in Chicago.

Screen actressEdit

A Paramount Pictures vice-president noticed her in Miami, Florida, at a White Sox exhibition game. He offered Travis a screen test when she came to Pasadena, California, where the major league baseball team trained. The first time she was presented with a screen contract, she suffered from screen fright and turned it down. She returned to Chicago and school and the next winter, accepted a film studio offer in Palm Springs, California.

Travis made her screen debut in Stranded (1935),[2] a film which starred Kay Francis and George Brent. She played the role of Mary Rand. She followed this with a part in Not On Your Life (1935), with Warren William and Claire Dodd. Howard Hawks directed her in Ceiling Zero (1936), a Warner Bros. feature. In preparation for her role, Travis learned flying, navigation, and parachute jumping from Amelia Earhart. The aviator gave her instructions in September 1935, including the film stars James Cagney and Pat O'Brien. Also in 1936, she portrayed secretary Della Street to Perry Mason as played by Ricardo Cortez in The Case of the Black Cat.

Travis (second from right) with Pat O'Brien, Martha Tibbetts, James Cagney and Stuart Erwin in Ceiling Zero (1936)

She was Ronald Reagan's leading lady in his first movie, Love Is on the Air, in 1937.

Her most notable film role was likely in The Star (1952) starring Bette Davis.

Travis became known as the Queen of the B-movies on the Warner Bros. lot. Later, she said that if she had remained in Hollywood two more years, she would have been a star.[3] However, following three years, she came home to Chicago for Christmas with her parents. She did not return to making motion pictures. Travis stopped regularly appearing in films after 1938, though she made minor appearances in The Star and Monster a Go-Go.


Travis played Stormy Wilson Curtis in the radio soap opera Girl Alone[4] and Bernice in Arnold Grimm's Daughter, another soap opera.[5]

Stage actressEdit

By the late 1970s, Travis was performing on stage.[citation needed] She admitted that the transition from acting on film was a difficult one.[citation needed]


On April 14, 2008, Travis, age 93, died in a hospital of complications from a stroke she suffered weeks earlier. She is buried in Chicago's Oak Woods Cemetery.[6][7]



  1. ^ a b "Say Hello to ..." (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror. 15 (1): 52. November 1940. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Chicago Girl, June Travis, nee Grabiner, Comes to the Lake Screen in 'Ceiling Zero'". Forest Parker. April 23, 1936. p. 18. Retrieved May 2, 2017 – via  
  3. ^ "Actress was two years off Hollywood stardom". The Sydney Morning Herald. May 22, 2008. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  4. ^ Fairfax, Arthur (December 28, 1940). "Mr. Fairfax Replies" (PDF). Movie Radio Guide. 10 (12): 43. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  5. ^ Wolf, Tom (October 30, 1941). "Television Promises to Create New Market for 'Etheral' Beauty". Indiana Gazette. p. 32. Retrieved March 7, 2015 – via  
  6. ^ Lentz, Harris M. III (2009). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2008: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 431. ISBN 978-0786434824. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  7. ^ June Travis at Find a Grave
  • Long Beach Press-Telegram, "Actress looks back at what might have been", April 23, 1977, p. 16
  • Los Angeles Times, "Wrong Sex For Baseball, Girl Turns Actress", April 15, 1935, p. 19
  • Los Angeles Times, "Another Society Bud Lured To Movies", April 20, 1935, p. 13
  • Los Angeles Times, "The Pageant of the Film World", April 27, 1935, p. A9
  • Los Angeles Times, "Kirkland's Troth Seen", August 20, 1935, p. A1
  • The New York Times, "Screen Notes", September 21, 1935, p. 18
  • New York Times, "Miss Earhart Teaches Aviation", September 26, 1935, p. 25
  • Chicago Tribune, "June Travis Friedlob 1914 ~ 2008", April 16, 2008

External linksEdit