Deanna Durbin, a star whose songs and smile made her one of the biggest box office draws of Hollywood’s Golden Age with fans that included Winston Churchill, has died.
Durbin died on about April 20 in a village outside Paris where she had lived, out of public view, since 1949, family friend Bob Koster of Los Angeles told the Associated Press on Wednesday. Koster’s father, Henry Koster, directed six of Durbin’s films. Bob Koster did not know the cause of death.
At the height of her career, the Canadian-born Durbin, who made her first feature, Three Smart Girls, at age 13, was among the highest-paid actresses.
Her admirers included Churchill, who said she was his favorite star according to biographer William Manchester, and Anne Frank, who had Durbin’s photo pasted on the wall in the secret quarters where she and her family hid in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. READ FULL STORY