America’s Sweetheart passed away in the spring of this year at the age of 91 and America barely blinked an eye. Her passing was only a whisper of a blip on the entertainment or news media radar. It isn’t even acknowledged in the Memoriam section on the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences website. This bothers me.
I only discovered Deanna Durbin in January of 2012 let’s put it this way I have been watching, studying movies for over fifty years, thousands of movies…how could I have missed seeing at least one of her movies in all of this time? How could I have never heard her name? How come Rochellelynn (who hasn’t watched movies as long as I have) knew who she was and I didn’t?
Thanks to the plethora of information on the DeannaDurbinDevotees website I am now educated about Durbin and a member of the Devotee’s, and I am educated about the treatment she received by the last dying breath of the studio system the last three years of her Universal-International contract.
At the 11th Annual Academy Awards held on February 23, 1939 Deanna Durbin received a Juvenile Academy Award for her significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and as a juvenile player, setting high standards of ability and achievement for the year 1938. Some of her films as well earned nominations in various categories by the Academy.
Deanna Durbin was also slapped a lot in her movies; once by Helen Parrish in Three Smart Girls Grow Up. Once by Gale Sondergaard in Christmas Holiday, and Elizabeth Patterson really gave her a smack across the chops in Lady on a Train.
I am hoping that on March 2nd 2014 the 86th Academy Awards show doesn’t slap her again by ignoring her in their yearly: In Memoriam tribute.
I am hoping that whoever reads this Post will visit the Website of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and urge them to remember Deanna Durbin along with her fellow actors during the broadcast.
Happy Birthday Deanna!