Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Olive Deering, Chico Marx and Bonita Granville

Who was born on this date:

Oliver Deering (left) from The Ten Commandments

Actress Olive Deering was born on October 11, 1918 in New York City. She was an actress of the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. Her first stage role was a walk on bit role in Girls in Uniform (1933). Other film credits include Shock Treatment, Caged and Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah as Miriam, a role she reprised in DeMille's The Ten Commandments. Deering appeared on many radio programs, and more than 200 television programs. She died on March 22, 1986 in New York City and is buried at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

Who died on this date: 

On October 11, 1961, actor/ comedienne Chico Marx died. He was born on March 22, 1887 in New York City. He along with his brothers formed the Marx Brothers. His persona in the act was that of a dim-witted albeit crafty con artist, seemingly of rural Italian origin, who wore shabby clothes, and sported a curly-haired wig and hat. As the first-born of the five Marx Brothers, he also played an important role in the management and development of the act, at least in its early years.

The Marx Brothers' second-to-last film, A Night in Casablanca (1946), was made for Chico's benefit since he had filed for bankruptcy a few years prior. Because of his out-of-control gambling, the brothers finally took the money as he earned it and put him on an allowance, on which he stayed until his death. Chico Marx died of arteriosclerosis on October 11, 1961: he was the eldest brother and the first to pass away. During his lifetime, his year of birth had commonly been given as 1891 instead of the true year of 1887; as a result, obituaries reported his age at the time of his passing as 70 rather than 74. He is interred at Forest Lawn Glendale, near the crypt of his younger brother Gummo.

On October 11, 1988, actress Bonita Granville died. She was born on February 2, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. She made her film debut at the age of nine in Westward Passage (1933). Over the next couple of years she played un-credited supporting roles in such films as Little Woman (1933) and Anne of Green Gables (1934) before playing the role of Mary in These Three (1936), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress. Despite this success, and although she continued to work, the next few years brought her few opportunities to build her career. In 1938, she starred as the saucy mischievous daughter in the multi-Academy Awards nominated hit comedy film Merrily We Live and as girl detective Nancy Drew in the hit film Nancy Drew, Detective. As a young adult, she was once again cast in supporting roles, often in prestigious films such as Now, Voyager (1942), as well as two Andy Hardy films with Mickey Rooney, Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (1944) and Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946). Her career began to fade by the mid-1940s. Bonita died on October 11, 1988 in Santa Monica, California and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles.

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