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Frances Dee Biography
- Brunette Frances Dee was born in Los Angeles, where her Army officer father was stationed, and grew up in Chicago after her father was transferred there. In 1929, he was re-assigned to L.A., and, as a lark, Dee began working in motion pictures as an extra. Her debut was in Words and Music (1929) with Lois Moran. After her breakthrough role in Playboy of Paris (1930) opposite Maurice Chevalier , she met Joel McCrea on the set of the 1933 film The Silver Cord (1933). Following a whirlwind courtship, the two were married later that year in Rye, New York. Their 57-year marriage ended in 1990, when McCrea died. In the 70s, she and McCrea were rumored to be worth between fifty and one hundred million dollars. Dee hasnt acted since the mid-50s, and said she didnt miss it. The nonagenarian actress a huge hit at the 1998 Memphis Film Festival in Tunica, Mississippi. She died in 2004.
Frances Dee Filmography
- (2007) Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows as (archive footage)
- (2006) Far as the Eye Can See as Grandma
- (2003) Complicated Women as Herself
- (1988) The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind as Herself - Actress Testing as Scarlett (archive footage)
- (1985) All-Star Party for 'Dutch' Reagan as Herself
- (1982) Night of 100 Stars as Herself
- (1971) This Is Your Life as Herself
- (1969) Hollywood: The Selznick Years as Herself, film clip (screen test for 'Gone with the Wind') (archive footage) (uncredited)
- (1954) Gypsy Colt as Em MacWade
- (1953) Mister Scoutmaster as Helen Jordan
- (1952) Because of You as Susan Arnold
- (1952) Four Star Playhouse as
- (1952) The Ford Television Theatre as Ellen Thornton
- (1951) Cattle Drive as Photo of 'Dan's Girl in Santa Fe' (uncredited)
- (1951) Payment on Demand as Eileen Benson
- (1951) Reunion in Reno as Mrs. Doris Linaker
- (1950) Lux Video Theatre as Louise
- (1949) Fireside Theatre as
- (1949) Fireside Theatre as Ellen Woodhart
- (1948) Four Faces West as Fay Hollister
- (1947) The Private Affairs of Bel Ami as Marie de Varenne
- (1945) Patrick the Great as Lynn Andrews
- (1943) Happy Land as Agnes Marsh
- (1943) I Walked with a Zombie as Betsy Connell
- (1942) Meet the Stewarts as Candace Goodwin
- (1941) A Man Betrayed as Sabra Cameron
- (1941) Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 1 as Herself (uncredited)
- (1941) So Ends Our Night as Marie Steiner
- (1939) Coast Guard as Nancy Bliss
- (1938) If I Were King as Katherine de Vaucelles
- (1937) Souls at Sea as Margaret Tarryton
- (1937) Wells Fargo as Justine Pryor
- (1936) Come and Get It as Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
- (1936) Half Angel as Allison Lang
- (1935) Becky Sharp as Amelia Sedley
- (1935) Screen Snapshots Series 14, No. 9 as Herself
- (1935) The Gay Deception as Mirabel
- (1934) Coming-Out Party as Joyce 'Joy' Stanhope
- (1934) Finishing School as Virginia Radcliff
- (1934) Keep 'Em Rolling as Marjorie Deane
- (1934) Of Human Bondage as Sally
- (1933) Blood Money as Elaine Talbart
- (1933) Headline Shooter as Jane Mallory
- (1933) King of the Jungle as Ann Rogers
- (1933) Little Women as Meg
- (1933) One Man's Journey as Joan Stockton
- (1933) The Crime of the Century as Doris Brandt
- (1933) The Silver Cord as Hester
- (1932) If I Had a Million as Mary Wallace
- (1932) Love Is a Racket as Mary Wodehouse
- (1932) Sky Bride as Woman (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
- (1932) The Night of June 13th as Ginger Blake
- (1932) The Strange Case of Clara Deane as Nancy Deane
- (1932) This Reckless Age as Lois Ingals
- (1931) An American Tragedy as Sondra Finchley
- (1931) Caught as Kate Winslow
- (1931) June Moon as Edna Baker
- (1931) Nice Women as Jerry Girard
- (1931) Rich Man's Folly as Ann Trumbull
- (1931) Working Girls as Louise Adams
- (1930) A Man from Wyoming as Nurse (uncredited)
- (1930) Along Came Youth as Elinor Farrington
- (1930) Follow Thru as Womanin Ladies' Locker Room (uncredited)
- (1930) Manslaughter as Party Guest (uncredited)
- (1930) Monte Carlo as Receptionist (uncredited)
- (1930) Playboy of Paris as Yvonne Phillbert
- (1930) True to the Navy as Girl at Table (uncredited)
- (1929) Words and Music as (uncredited)
Frances Dee Trivia and Facts
- She accepted the role in I Walked with a Zombie (1943) so that she could use her salary to purchase a new automobile for her mother.
- In 1995 she donated 220 acres of her Thousand Oaks, California ranch to the Conejo Recreation and Park District to be preserved as parkland. Earlier, in 1981, she and Joel had given 75 acres to the District.
- The nonagenarian actress was a huge hit at the 1998 Memphis Film Festival in Tunica, Mississippi. Dees biographer Andrew Wentink said she gained new fame in the 1990s for her role in films that forced the adoption of a Hollywood code on morality in the 1930s.
- In 1935, she and her husband Joel McCrea separated, but soon reconciled. In 1966, McCrea filed for divorce, charging Frances with cruelty, however, the couple stayed married until McCreas death.
- Initially had a screen test for the role of "Scarlett OHara" and was actually George Cukor s first choice for the role of "Melanie" in Gone with the Wind (1939) , but was deemed by David O. Selznick as being too similar in beauty to Vivien Leigh to play the role. Olivia de Havilland was then given the part.
- Met future husband Joel McCrea on the set of The Silver Cord (1933). He had been smitten after seeing her in the movie An American Tragedy (1931) and requested that she be cast in his movie. During the filming, however, she was seeing off-screen co-star Eric Linden . Joel and Frances began dating after the movie was completed, after her romance with Linden was over. It was her relationship with McCrea that compelled her to sign with RKO.
- Had three sons by Joel McCrea : Jody McCrea (born 1934), David McCrea (born 1935) and Peter McCrea (born 1955). Son Peter married Jack Lemmon s daughter Courtney Lemmon on March 24, 2001. Both Jody, David and their families live in New Mexico. Frances passed away in Connecticut where she was staying with son Peter.
- Born in Los Angeles, she and older sister Margaret (born in 1908) moved when she was quite young to Cincinnati, then to Washington D.C., before finally settling in the Hyde Park area of Chicago where the sisters attended Shakespeare Grammar School.
- First grew interested in acting when she was cast as the lead in a senior play at Hyde Park High School.
- She and her husband were staunch Republicans and personal friends of Ronald Reagan .
Frances Dee Quotes
- I wanted to give up my career when I married Joel, but he wouldnt let me. I thought marriage, a home, husband and family were all I wanted. Joel knew I was sincere in my belief but he was wise enough to realize that sooner or later I might miss my work and blame him.
Frances Dee Photoshoots
- "Time" (USA), 22 March 2004, Vol. ?, Iss. ?, pg. 20, by: Time, "Milestones"
- "Movieline" (USA), September 1999, Vol. 11, Iss. 1, pg. 41, by: Stephen Rebello, "Risqué Business"
- "IFK-Wien" (Austria), 1933, Vol. 3, Iss. 602, pg. 2-3, by: IFK-Wien, "Der Herr der Wildnis"
- "IFK-Wien" (Austria), 1932, Vol. 2, Iss. 738, pg. 2-3, by: IFK-Wien, "Die Nacht des 13.Juni"