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Glenda Farrell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (10)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Enid, Oklahoma, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameGlenda Patricia Farrell
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Glenda Farrell began as the archetypal wisecracking blonde in 1930s gangland films like Little Caesar (1931) and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932). Diminutive, grey-eyed and undeniably sassy, she was a seasoned performer long before Warner Brothers snapped her up as a contract player in 1929. She made her debut on the stage as a 7 year-old playing Little Eva in "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Via provincial theatre Glenda eventually made her way to Broadway where she scored a palpable hit in "Life Begins" (later recreating her role for the screen). That attracted the Hollywood talent scouts and her movie contract followed in due course. Though seemingly destined for typecasting as hardboiled gangster molls, showgirls and gold diggers, it was her role as fast-talking, resourceful girl reporter Torchy Blane in her own series of films (beginning with Smart Blonde (1937)) that made her a star, albeit a minor one. She later recalled "Warners never made you feel you were just a member of the cast. They might star you in one movie and give you a bit part in the next...You were still well paid and you didn't get a star complex. We were a very close group..."

Glenda was also paired with another livewire, Joan Blondell, for a series of high octane, madcap farces which consistently made money at the box office. Inevitably, though, her roles became more and more repetitive. After her contract with Warner Brothers expired, she continued to appear with diminishing effectiveness in films for Universal (1938) and Columbia (1942-44). In the 50s, Glenda made the transition to more mature character roles, alternating screen work with Broadway plays -- pretty much throughout the remainder of her acting career -- eventually winning a Primetime Emmy Award in 1963 as Best Supporting Actress for the television series Ben Casey (1961). She took ill during a stage performance of "Forty Carats" in New York in 1969 and died at her home two years later. As the wife of a former U.S. Army colonel, Glenda became the only actress to be interred in the cemetery of West Point Military Academy.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (2)

Dr. Henry Ross (19 January 1941 - 1 May 1971) ( her death)
Thomas John Richards (3 May 1921 - 8 July 1930) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (10)

Buried at West Point US Military Academy, Post Cemetery, West Point, New York - VII D-211
Grandmother of Mark Farrell.
Her son Tommy Farrell was born October 7, 1921 at her parents' house.
The fast-talking reporter Torchy Blane, who Farrell played in a series of movies, was the inspiration for Lois Lane.
Was considered for the role of Belle Watling in Gone with the Wind (1939).
One of the reasons Farrell was cast in Lady for a Day (1933) was because of her relationship with writer Robert Riskin.
Appeared in three Oscar Best Picture nominees: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), Lady for a Day (1933) and The Talk of the Town (1942).
In November 2018, she was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month.
Had her cat "Frankie" fitted for glasses by a Hollywood optician after noticing the animal was continually bumping into furniture all over the house.
Appeared in eight films with her best friend Joan Blondell.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on the arrival of talkies] Not many actors could talk. So they shoved the ones that came from Broadway into everything. It all went so fast. I used to ask myself, 'What set am I on today? What script am I supposed to be doing - this one or that one? All I shouted for was a day off. We got it Sunday. But I had to stay in bed that one day to get ready for the next six days of shooting. I wonder if Jack Warner appreciated his movie-acting family?

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