Canadian singer and actress Deanna Durbin, who enjoyed a short but successful career as a Universal contract star from 1936 to 1948, has died. She was 91. Durbin passed away “a few days ago”, her son Peter H. David told the NYT. Cause of death was not disclosed. Durbin was discovered at age 13 by MGM but moved to Universal the next year. There her debut film Three Smart Girls earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination and launched her career as one of the most popular teen idols of her generation. In 1939 she shared a Juvenile Academy Award with Mickey Rooney for their “significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and as juvenile players setting a high standard of ability and achievement”. Career highlights include One Hundred Men And A Girl (1937), First Love (1939), and The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943). Attempts at a more mature image led the ex-child star to roles in the 1944 noir Christmas Holiday opposite Gene Kelly and 1945’s Lady On A Train. She retired in 1949 and in 1960 earned a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
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