Irene Dunne

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Irene Dunne

Studio photograph of Irene Dunne.jpg
Dunne, c. 1938
Irene Marie Dunn

(1898-12-20)December 20, 1898[1][2]
DiedSeptember 4, 1990(1990-09-04) (aged 91)
Other names
  • The First Lady of Hollywood
  • Irene Dunne Griffin
  • Dunnie
Alma mater
  • Actress
  • singer
  • philanthropist
Years active1922–1962
TitleIrene Dunne Griffin DHS (from 1953)[3]
Francis Dennis Griffin
m. 1927; died 1965)
AwardsSee list
Musical career
InstrumentsVocals (soprano)
LabelsDecca Records
WebsiteIrene Dunne Guild

Irene Dunne (born Irene Marie Dunn; December 20, 1898 – September 4, 1990) was an American actress and singer who appeared in Hollywood films during its golden age. She is best known for her comedic roles, despite being in films of varied genres, and has been revered as one of the most notorious Academy Award snubs.

After her father died when she was fourteen, Dunne's family relocated from Kentucky to Indiana and she became determined to become an opera singer, but when she was rejected by The Met, she performed in musicals on Broadway until she was scouted by RKO and made her Hollywood film debut in the 1930 musical Leathernecking. She starred in 42 movies and made guest appearances on radio and in popular anthology television until 1962; she was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress – for her performances in Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939), and I Remember Mama (1948) – and was one of the top 25 highest-paid actors of her time.

Dunne spent retirement devoted to philanthropy and was chosen by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a delegate for the United States to the United Nations, in which she advocated for world peace, such as highlighting refugee-relief programs. She also used the time to be with her family – her husband, dentist Dr. Francis Griffin, and their daughter, whom they adopted in 1938. She received numerous awards for her philanthropy, including honorary doctorates, a Laetare Medal and a Sepulchre damehood, and was given the Kennedy Center Honors for her services to the arts.

In the present, Dunne is known as one of the greatest actresses who never won an Oscar. Some critics theorize that her performances have been underappreciated and largely forgotten, overshadowed by movie remakes and her better-known co-stars. Dunne fled across the Atlantic Ocean to avoid starring in a comedy, but she has been praised by many during her career, and after her death, as one of the best comedic actresses in the screwball genre. She was nicknamed "The First Lady of Hollywood" for her regal attitude despite being proud of her Irish-American, country girl roots, but the contrasts have been credited for her down-to-earth characters.

Early life[edit]

Irene Marie Dunn[4][5] was born on December 20, 1898,[1][2] at 507 East Gray Street in Louisville, Kentucky,[6] to Joseph John Dunn (1863–1913), an Irish-American steamboat engineer/inspector for the United States government,[7] and Adelaide Antoinette Dunn (née, Henry) (1871–1936), a concert pianist/music teacher of German descent from Newport.[8] She was their second child and second daughter,[9] and had a younger brother named Charles (1901–1981);[10][11] Dunne's elder sister, born 1897, died soon after her birth.[9] The family alternated between living in Kentucky and St. Louis,[9] due to her father's job offers, but he died in April 1913[12][13] from a kidney infection[14] when she was fourteen.[a] She saved all of his letters and both remembered and lived by what he told her the night before he died: "Happiness is never an accident. It is the prize we get when we choose wisely from life's great stores."[b][17]

Following her father's death, Dunne's family moved to her mother's hometown of Madison, Indiana, living at 916 W. Second St.,[19] in the same neighborhood as Dunne's grandparents' home.[20] Dunne's mother taught her to play the piano as a very small girl — according to Dunne, "Music was as natural as breathing in our house,"[17] — but unfortunately for her, music lessons frequently prevented her from playing with the neighborhood kids.[9] Her first school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream began her interest in drama,[21] so she took singing lessons as well, and sang in local churches and high school plays before her graduation in 1916.[22] Her first ambition was to become a music teacher and studied at the Indianapolis Conservatory of Music and Webster College,[19] earning a diploma in 1918, but saw an audition advertizement for the Chicago Musical College when she visited friends during a journey to Gary, and won the College scholarship, officially graduating in 1926.[23] She hoped to become a soprano opera singer, relocating to New York after finishing her second year in 1920, but did not pass the audition with the Metropolitan Opera Company due to her inexperience and her "slight" voice.[24]


Dunne dressed as a rabbit for a Broadway show, c. mid-1920s

Dunne took more singing lessons and then dancing lessons to prepare for a possible career in musical theater.[9] On a New York vacation to visit family friends, she was recommended to audition for a stage musical,[17] eventually starring as the leading role in the popular play Irene,[9] which toured major cities as a roadshow throughout 1921.[25] "Back in New York," Dunne reflected, "I thought that with my experience on the road and musical education it would be easy to win a role. It wasn't."[17] Her Broadway debut was December 25, the following year as Tessie in Zelda Sears's The Clinging Vine,[26] and she took leading role when the original actress took a leave of absence in 1924.[17] Supporting roles in musical theater productions followed in the shows The City Chap (1925),[27][28] Yours Truly (1927)[29] and She's My Baby (1928),[30] as well as a season of light opera in Atlanta,[9] later calling her career beginnings "not great furor",[17] and her first top-billing, leading role Luckee Girl (1928)[31] was not as successful as her previous projects.[9] Somewhere around this era, Dunne added the extra "e" to her surname,[5] which had ironically been mispelled as "Dunne" at times throughout her life until this point;[32][33] until her death, "Dunne" would then occasionally be mispelled as "Dunn".[34] Starring as Magnolia Hawks in a road company adaptation of Show Boat was the result of a chance meeting with its director Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.[c] in an elevator the day she returned from her honeymoon, when he mistook her for his next potential client, eventually sending his secretary to chase after her.[17][d] A talent scout for RKO Pictures attended a performance,[9] and Dunne signed the studio's contract, appearing in her first movie, Leathernecking (1930),[38] a film version of the musical Present Arms.[39] Already in her 30s when she made her first film, she would be in competition with younger actresses for roles, and found it advantageous to evade questions that would reveal her age, so publicists encouraged the belief that she was born in 1901 or 1904;[5][40] the former is the date engraved on her tombstone.[3][9]

Dunne in Love Affair (1939)

The "Hollywood musical" era had fizzled out so Dunne moved on to dramatic roles during the Pre-Code era, leading a successful campaign for Cimarron (1931) with her soon-to-be co-star Richard Dix,[41] leading to her first Best Actress nomination.[42] Her role as the determined but ladylike mother figure of Sabra reflected her later persona and reflected in other films she starred in afterwards, such as the melodramas Back Street (1932)[43] and Magnificent Obsession (1935).[44] The latter had the best critical acclaim and the melodrama she reportedly did the most preparation for, studying Braille and working on posture with blind consultant Ruby Fruth.[45] This was after she and Dix reunited for Stingaree (1934),[46] where overall consensus was that Dunne had usurped Dix's star power.[47][48] The 1934 Sweet Adeline remake[49] and Roberta (1935)[50] was the first two musicals Dunne had appeared in since Leathernecking; Roberta also starred dancing partners Fred and Ginger, and she sang the musical's breakaway pop hit "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". Between this, her movies had given her characters opportunities to sing to an audience, and she also starred in Stingaree and The Great Lover (1931)[51] as opera singers. In 1936, she starred as Magnolia Hawks in Show Boat (1936), directed by James Whale.[52] Dunne had concerns about Whale's directing decisions,[53] but she later remarked that her favorite scene to film was "Make Believe" with Allan Jones because it reminded her of Romeo and Juliet.[54] It was during this year that Dunne's RKO contract had expired and she had decided to become a freelance actor,[5] with the power to choose studios and directors.[55] Dunne was apprehensive about attempting her first comedy role as the title character in Theodora Goes Wild (1936),[56] but discovered that she enjoyed it,[57] and received her second Best Actress Oscar nomination for the performance.[56]

Later years of Dunne's film career became diverse. She starred in three films each with Charles Boyer and Cary Grant in screwball comedies (The Awful Truth (1937),[58] My Favorite Wife (1940)),[59] romantic dramas (Love Affair (1939),[60] When Tomorrow Comes (1939)),[61] drama (Penny Serenade (1941))[62] and comedy (Together Again (1944)).[63] She starred in fictionalized dramas Anna and the King of Siam (1946)[64] and later The Mudlark (1950)[65] as Anna Leonowens and Queen Victoria, respectively, was in the comedies Unfinished Business (1941), Lady in a Jam (1942)[66] and Over 21 (1945),[67] and the war movies A Guy Named Joe (1943)[e] and The White Cliffs of Dover (1944).[70] She also starred as mothers Lavinia Day in Life with Father (1947),[71] and Marta Hanson in I Remember Mama (1948).[72] Marta required her to wear aging makeup and body padding,[73] and she wore prosthetics to portray Queen Victoria.[74]

To Dunne's dismay, her last three films were box-office failures.[75] The Mudlark was a success in the UK, despite initial critical concern over the only foreigner in a British film starring as a well-known British monarch,[76] but Dunne's American fans disapproved of the makeup decision.[77] The comedy It Grows on Trees (1952) became Dunne's last movie performance,[78] although she remained on the lookout for suitable film scripts for years afterwards;[79] she was once rumored to star in a movie named Heaven Train,[80] and rejected an offer to cameo in Airport '77.[81] However, she made appearances in other media, starring as newspaper editor Susan Armstrong in the radio program Bright Star (1952-53) with co-star Fred MacMurray,[82][83] appeared at 1953's March of Dimes showcase in New York City,[84] hosted and starred in episodes of Ford Theatre, General Electric Theater, and the Schlitz Playhouse of Stars until 1962, and made guest performances on reality television, such as charity specials,[85] talk shows, and made two appearances as the mystery guest on What's My Line?.[86][87] Faye Emerson wrote in 1954 that "I hope we see much more of Miss Dunne on TV"[88] and Nick Adams called Dunne's performance in Saints and Sinners worth an Emmy nomination.[89]

Describing her anomalous career in 1980, James McCourt wrote "Irene Dunne seems more than, less than, or other than a movie star."[90] Dunne later said that she had lacked the "terrifying ambition" of some other actresses: "I drifted into acting and drifted out. Acting is not everything. Living is."[91][92]

Hollywood retirement[edit]

Dunne christens SS Carole Lombard.

Dunne was present at Disneyland on "Dedication Day" in 1955 and was asked by Walt Disney to christen the Mark Twain River Boat,[93][94] which she did with a bottle filled with water from several major rivers across the United States.[6] Years before, Dunne had also christened the S.S. Carole Lombard.[95][96]


In her retirement, she devoted herself primarily to humanitarianism.[97] Some of the organizations she worked with include the American Cancer Society,[6] the Los Angeles Orphanage,[98] and the American Red Cross.[6] She was also president of St. John's Hospital Clinc[98] and became a board member of Technicolor in 1965, the first woman ever elected to the board of directors.[99][97] She established an African American school for Los Angeles,[100] negotiated donations to St. John's through box office results,[101] and served as chairwoman in 1949 for the American Heart Association's[6] women's committee,[100] and Hebrew University Rebuilding Fun's sponsors committee.[102] On television, she appeared in 1955's celebrity-rostered Benefit Show for Retarded Children with Jack Benny as host.[85] Dunne also donated to refurbishments in Madison, Indiana, funding the manufacture of Camp Louis Ernst Boy Scout's gate in 1939 and the Broadway Fountain's 1976 restoration.[6][103]

Dunne reflected: "If I began living in Hollywood today I would certainly one thing that I did when I arrived, and that is to be active in charity. If one is going to take something out of a community — any community — one must put something in, too."[104] She also hoped that charity would encourage submissive women to find independence: "I wish women would be more direct. [...] I was amazed when some quiet little mouse of a woman was given a job which seemed to be out of all proportion to her capabilities. Then I saw the drive with which she undertook that job and put it through to a great finish. It was both inspiring and surprising. I want women to be individuals. They should not lean on their husbands' opinions and be merely echoes of the men of the family[.]"[105]

American delegate to the United Nations[edit]

In 1957, President Eisenhower appointed Dunne one of five alternative U.S. delegates to the United Nations in recognition of her interest in international affairs and Roman Catholic and Republican causes.[106] Dunne admired the U.N.'s dedication to creating world peace,[107][108] and was inspired by colleagues' beliefs that Hollywood influenced the world.[109] She held delegacy for two years and addressed the General Assembly twice.[110] She gave her delegacy its own anthem: "Getting to Know You" because "it's so simple, and yet so fundamental in international relations today."[111] Dunne later described her Assembly request for $21 million to help Palestinian refugees as her "biggest thrill",[112] and called her delegacy career the "highlight of my life".[113] She also concluded, "I came away greatly impressed with the work the U.N. does in its limited field — and it does have certain limits. I think we averted a serious situation in Syria, which might have been much more worse without a forum to hear it... And I'm much impressed with the work the U.N. agencies do. I'm especially interested in UNICEF's work with children[,] and the health organization[.]"[114]

Political views[edit]

Dunne was a lifelong Republican and participated in 1948's Republican convention.[115] She accepted the U.N. delegacy offer because she viewed the U.N. as apolitical.[116] She later explained: "I'm a Nixon Republican, not a Goldwater one.[f] I don't like extremism in any case. The extreme rights do as much harm as the extreme lefts."[118] Her large input in politics created an assumption that she was a member of the "Hollywood right-wing fringe", which Dunne denied, calling herself "foolish" for being involved years before other celebrities did.[116]

Personal life[edit]

Monochrome photo of two women and a man dressed in formal attire; the two women (standing right) are smiling up at the man (facing opposite), who looks slightly amused.
Dunne with James Stewart and Loretta Young at Samuel Goldwyn's party (August 30, 1962)

Dunne's father's boat engineering job sparked Dunne's enjoyment of steamboat rides, later being quoted, "No triumph of either my stage or screen career has ever rivalled the excitement of trips down the Mississippi on the riverboats with my father."[17] He told her stories about traveling on bayous and lazy rivers,[119] and the family once watched boats on the Ohio River from the hillside.[120][119] Dunne noted the irony of starring in Show Boat and its film adaptation when she promoted the movie to the media and reminisced about her vacations with The New York Times.[120]

Dunne was an avid golf player and had played since high school graduation;[9] she and her husband often played against each other and she made a hole in one in two different games.[100] She was good friends with Loretta Young,[121] Jimmy Stewart,[121] Bob Hope,[121] Ronald Reagan,[122] Carole Lombard,[123] and George Stevens Jr.,[124] and became godmother to Young's son, Peter.[125] Dunne also bonded with Leo McCarey over numerous similar interests, such as their Irish ancestry, music, religious backgrounds,[g] and humor.[127] School friends nicknamed her "Dunnie"[21] and she was referred to as this in Madison High School's 1916 yearbook, along with the description "divinely tall and most divinely fair".[9]

One of Dunne's later public appearances was in April 1985, when she attended the dedication of a bronze bust in her honor at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, for which her foundation, The Irene Dunne Guild, had raised more than $20 million.[128] The Irene Dunne Guild remains "instrumental in raising funds to support programs and services at St. John's" hospital in Santa Monica.[129] The artwork, commissioned by the hospital from artist Artis Lane, has a plaque reading "IRENE DUNNE First Lady Of Saint John's Hospital and Health Center Foundation".[130]


Between 1919 and 1922, Dunne was close to Fritz Ernst, a businessman based in Chicago who was 20 years older than her and a member of one of the richest families in Madison, Indiana.[131] They frequently corresponded over letters while Dunne was training for musical theater but when Fritz proposed, Dunne rejected, due to pressure from her mother and wanting to focus on acting.[131] They remained friends and continued writing letters until Ernst died in 1959.[132]

Dunne with husband, Dr. Francis Griffin

At a New York, Biltmore Hotel supper party in 1924, Dunne met Northampton-born dentist[133] Francis Griffin.[17] According to Dunne, he preferred being a bachelor, yet tried everything he could to meet her.[17] To her frustration, he did not telephone her until over a month later, but the relationship had strengthened and they married in Manhattan on July 13, 1927.[134] They had constantly argued about the state of their careers if they ever got married,[17] with Dunne agreeing to consider theater retirement sometime in the future and Griffin agreeing to support Dunne's acting.[135] Griffin later explained: "I didn't like the moral tone of show business. [...] Then Ziegfeld signed her for 'Show Boat' and it looked like she was due for big things. Next came Hollywood and [she] was catapulted to the top. Then I didn't feel I could ask her to drop her career. [I] really didn't think marriage and the stage were compatible but we loved each other and we were both determined to make our marriage work."[136]

When Dunne decided to star in Leathernecking, it was meant to be her only Hollywood project, but when it was a box-office bomb, she took an interest in Cimarron.[17] Soon after, she and her mother moved to Hollywood and maintained a long-distance relationship with her husband and brother in New York until they joined her in California in 1936.[137] They remained married until Griffin's death on October 14, 1965,[138][139] and lived in the Holmby Hills in a "kind of French Chateau"[140] they designed.[141][h] They had one daughter, Mary Frances (née Anna Mary Bush; born 1932), who was adopted by the couple in 1936 (finalized in 1938) from the New York Foundling Hospital, run by the Sisters of Charity of New York.[142][143] Due to Dunne's privacy, Hollywood columnists struggled to find scandals to write about her — an eventual interview with Photoplay included the disclaimer, "I can guarantee no juicy bits of intimate gossip. Unless, perhaps she lies awake nights heartsick about the kitchen sink in her new home. She's afraid it's too near to the door. Or would you call that juicy? No? No, I thought not."[144] When the magazines alleged that Dunne and Griffin would divorce, Griffin released a statement denying any marital issues.[145] When Griffin was asked about how the marriage had lasted, he replied, "When she had to go on location for a film I arranged my schedule so I could go with her. When I had to go out of town she arranged her schedule so she could be with me. We co-operate in everything. [...] I think a man married to a career woman in show business has to be convinced that his wife's talent is too strong to be dimmed or put out. Then, he can be just as proud of her success as she is and, inside he can take a bow himself for whatever help he's been."[136]

After retiring from dentistry, Griffin became Dunne's business manager,[146] and helped negotiate her first contract.[147] The couple became interested in real estate, later investing in the Beverly Wilshire [148] and partnering with Griffin's family's businesses (Griffin Equipment Company and The Griffin Wellpoint Company.)[136] Griffin sat as a board member of numerous banks,[136] but his offices were relocated from Century City to their home after his death, when Dunne took over as president.[118]


Dunne was a devout Roman Catholic,[149] who became a daily communicant. She was a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California.[150] Both Dunne and her husband were members of the Knights of Malta.[3]


Crypt of Irene Dunne at Calvary Cemetery (notice incorrect birth year)

Dunne died at the age of 91 in her Holmby Hills home on September 4, 1990,[128] and is entombed in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.[3] She had been unwell for a year and became bedridden about a month before.[5] Her personal papers are housed at the University of Southern California.[151] She was survived by her daughter, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.[152]


Dunne is considered one of the best actresses of The Golden Age of Hollywood never to win an Academy Award,[153][154] along with actresses such as Deborah Kerr, Myrna Loy, and Barbara Stanwyck.[155] Despite this, she is not as well-remembered as the other three. Jessica Pickens theorized on Netflix DVD's Blog, "She was in dramatic 'weepers,' musicals, and comedies. Perhaps this versatility could be why she goes overlooked—she wasn't pinned down to one role or stereotype."[156] Pickens also points out that "so many of her films were remade into large budget films in the 1950s after she ended her film career",[156] such as Anna and the King of Siam (remade as The King and I ten years later), Love Affair (remade as An Affair to Remember), Show Boat (remade in 1951) and Cimarron (remade in 1960).[94][156] Dunne's well-known films are notably The Awful Truth, My Favourite Wife, Penny Serenade and Roberta — the latter an Astaire/Rogers film[50] ("more a vehicle for the dancing pair, than anything else"[156]), and the other three co-starring Cary Grant; all three actors ranked in AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Stars (males: Grant, #2; Astaire, #5; Rogers, #14 female).[157] The Awful Truth was voted the 68th best comedy of American cinema.[158] Roger Fristoe pointed out that because of the remakes, "a generation of filmgoers is mostly unfamiliar with her work" because "the (usually superior) originals [are] hidden away in studio vaults to avoid odious comparisons."[159]

Monochrome photograph of a bespectacled, short-haired woman in a suit jacket reading from papers at a podium
Dunne addresses the United Nations General Assembly about American donations towards the United Nations' refugee-relief programs.[160]

Although known for her comedic roles, Dunne admitted that she never saw comedy as a worthy genre, even leaving the country on a cruise to the London premiere of Show Boat[161] with her husband and James Whale to get away from being confronted with a script for Theodora Goes Wild.[35] "I never admired a comedienne," she said retrospectively, "yet it was very easy for me, very natural. It was no effort for me to do comedy at all. Maybe that's why I wasn't so appreciative of it."[57] She dedicated her sense of humor to her late father,[162] as well as her "Irish stubbornness".[14] Her screwball comedy characters have been praised for their subversions to the traditional characterisation of female leads in the genre, particularly Susan (Katharine Hepburn) in Bringing Up Baby and Irene (Carole Lombard) in My Man Godfrey. "Unlike the genre's stereotypical leading lady, who exhibits bonkers behaviour continuously," writes Wes D. Gehring, "Dunne's screwball heroine [in Theodora Goes Wild] chooses when she goes wild."[163] Biographers and critics argue that Dunne's groundedness made her screwball characters more attractive than her contemporaries; Maria DiBattista points out that Dunne is the "only comic actress working under the strictures of the Production Code" who ends both of her screwball movies alongside Cary Grant with a heavy implication of sharing a bed with him, "under the guise of keeping him at bay."[164] Meanwhile, outside of comedy, Andrew Sarris theorized that Dunne's sex appeal is due to the common narrative in her movies about a good girl "going bad".[165]

Dunne was popular with co-workers off-camera, earning a reputation as warm, approachable and having a "poised, gracious manner"[162] like royalty,[94] which spilled into her persona in movies. She earned the nickname "The First Lady of Hollywood"[94] because "she was the first real lady Hollywood has ever seen," said Leo McCarey,[166] with Gregory La Cava adding, "If Irene Dunne isn't the first lady of Hollywood, then she's the last one."[167] Ironically, this title had been bestowed on her when she was a little girl when an aunt cooed "What a little lady!"[162] This ladylike attitude furthered Sarris' sex appeal claims, admitting that the scene when she shares a carriage with Preston Foster on the train in Unfinished Business was practically his "rite of passage" to a sex scene in a film,[165] theorizing that the sex appeal of Dunne came from "a good girl deciding thoughtfully to be bad".[165] On the blatant eroticism of the same train scene, Megan McGurk wrote, "The only thing that allowed this film to pass the censors was that good-girl Irene Dunne can have a one-night stand with a random because she loves him, rather than just a once-off fling. For most other women of her star magnitude, you could not imagine a heroine without a moral compass trained on true north. Irene Dunne elevates a tawdry encounter to something justifiably pure or blameless. She's just not the casual sex type, so she gets away with it."[168] When approached about the nickname in 1936, Dunne admitted that it had grown tiresome but approved if it was meant as "the feminine counterpart of 'gentleman'";[169] a later interview she did have with the Los Angeles Times would ironically be titled "Irene Dunne, Gentlewoman".[108] She would also be made a Dame (or Lady)[i][170] of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.[3] The Los Angeles Times referred to Dunne's publicity in their obituary as trailblazing, noting her as one of the first actors to become a freelancer in Hollywood during its rigid studio system through her "non-exclusive contract that gave her the right to make films at other studios and to decide who should direct them,"[55] and her involvement with the United Nations as a decision that allowed entertainers from movies and television to branch out into philanthropy and politics, such as Ronald Reagan and George Murphy.[55][171]

Dunne later said, "Cary Grant always said that I had the best timing of anybody he ever worked with."[57] Lucille Ball admitted at an American Film Institute seminar that she based her comedic skills on Dunne's performance in Joy of Living.[172] When asked about life after retiring from baseball, Lou Gehrig stated that he would want Dunne as a screen partner if he ever became a movie actor.[173] Charles Boyer described her as "a gracious house",[174] adding, "...the best room would be the music room [...] Great music, and the best of good swing, and things by Gershwin would sound there always. The acoustics would be perfect. Guests in this house would be relaxed and happy but they would have to mind their manners."[175] A two-sided marker was erected in Dunne's childhood hometown of Madison in 2006.[103]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Dunne looking at her Laetare Medal with her husband and daughter, Mary Frances, at the University of Notre Dame in 1949

Dunne received five Best Actress nominations during her career: for Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) and I Remember Mama (1948); she was the first actor to lose against the same actor in the same category twice, losing to Best Actress winner Louise Rainer in 1936 and 1937.[176] When asked if she ever resented never winning, Dunne pointed out that the nominees she was up against had strong support, believing that she would never have had a chance, especially when Love Affair was against Gone with the Wind.[177]

However, Dunne was honored numerous times for her philanthropy from Catholic organizations and schools, receiving the University of Notre Dame's Laetare Medal, [6] the Bellarmine Medal from Bellarmine College,[159] and received seven honorary doctorates,[178] including from Chicago Musical College (for music),[179] Loyola University and Mount St. Mary's College (both for Law).[6][55] In 1953, she and her husband were made Lady[i] and Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, respectively.[180] For her film career, she was honored by the Kennedy Center,[181][182] a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6440 Hollywood Blvd,[183] and displays in the Warner Bros. Museum and Center for Motion Picture Study.[184]

Received honors
Award Year Ref(s)
Chicago Musical College honorary Doctor of Music 1945 [6]
NCCJ's American Brotherhood Award 1948 [185][102]
Laetare Medal 1949 [6]
Protestant Motion Picture Council Award[j] [100]
American Motherhood Pictures Award [100]
Lateran Cross 1951 [116]
Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year [116]
Dame of the Holy Sepulchre 1953 [3][170][187]
Honorary member of the Madison Chamber of Commerce 1954 [188]
International Best Dressed List 1958 [189]
Indiana's Woman of the Year [190]
Loyola University honorary Law degree [191]
St. Mary's College honorary Law degree 1964 [170]
Bellarmine Medal 1965 [159][192]
Colorado Women of Achievement 1968 [178]
Irene Dunne Guild bust 1985 [130]
Kennedy Center Honoree [181]


Box-office ranking[edit]

  • 1936 - 17th
  • 1938 - 23rd
  • 1939 - 24th
  • 1944 - 19th
  • 1948 - 24th

Selected discography[edit]


"Lovely to Look At" was the only song Dunne performed in a non-musical movie that entered the charts, peaking at number 20 in 1935.[193]

Songs from the Pen of Jerome Kern[edit]

Decca Records released Dunne's only album, titled Irene Dunne in Songs from the Pen of Jerome Kern,[k] which contained recordings of six show tunes composed by Jerome Kern. It was recorded between July 16 and August 24, 1941, with Victor Young's orchestra,[196] making Dunne another singing movie star to create a Jerome Kern album.[197]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Joseph Dunn's death has also been reported as happening in 1909 when Dunne was eleven,[15] but this was most likely at the time when Dunne was trying to conceal her real age from the Hollywood media.
  2. ^ The full quote: "Happiness is never an accident. It is the prize we get when we choose wisely from life's great stores. So don't reach out wildly for this and that and the other thing. You'll end up empty-handed if you do. Make up your mind what you want. Go after it. And be prepared to pay well for it.[16] I hope that you'll go after the rooted things: the self-respect that comes when we accept our share of responsibility. Satisfying work. Marriage. A home. A family. For these are the things that grow better with time, not less. These things are the bulwarks of happiness."[17] Dunne only quoted the last three sentences to American Magazine in 1944.[18]
  3. ^ Ziegfeld's father founded Chicago Musical College.[35]
  4. ^ Magnolia Hawks had been a dream role for Dunne and she had bought the sheet music of the musical to practise,[36] so this story was jokingly disputed by American Magazine with the comment: "Neither you not I nor [her husband] would ever suspect that she deliberately went to Florenz Ziegfeld [Jr] and suggested that she'd like to play Magnolia in the road company."[37]
  5. ^ A Guy Named Joe was released in December 1943,[68] but the AFI Catalog website writes that it was released in March 1944.[69]
  6. ^ Dunne supported Nixon in the 1950 United States Senate election in California and Goldwater in the 1964 United States presidential election.[117]
  7. ^ McCarey was a guilty lapsed Catholic,[126] however
  8. ^ Considered out-of-date, the home was demolished after Dunne's death.[19]
  9. ^ a b True rank is actually "Dame", but "Lady" is sometimes used colloquially. See Order of the Holy Sepulchre#Ranks for more information.
  10. ^ Shared with the cast and crew of I Remember Mama.[186]
  11. ^ Also known as Songs by Jerome Kern,[194] Jerome Kern Songs,[195] Irene Dunne in Songs by Jerome Kern.


  1. ^ a b "Irene Maria Dunn". Baptism Record. Louisville, Kentucky: Saint Martin of Tours Church. 262. (birthdate recorded as December 20, 1898; baptism recorded as six days later)
  2. ^ a b "[Irene] Dunn". Kentucky Birth Register. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. 3086. December [20], 1898
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). "Cavalry". Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. p. 18. ISBN 978-0786409839.
  4. ^ "DUNNE, Irene Marie; 88; Louisville KY>Los Angeles CA; Albuquerque J (NM); 1990-9-5; clh". Obituary Daily Times Index, 1995-Current. Albuquerque: The Obituary Daily Times. September 5, 1990.
  5. ^ a b c d e Thomas, Bob (September 5, 1990). "Film Star Irene Dunne dies at 88". San Francisco Examiner – via
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bochenek (2015).
  7. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 7.
  8. ^ Ward (2006); Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929), Early Childhood.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929).
  10. ^ "Death Notices". Los Angeles Times. August 17, 1981. p. 18.
  11. ^ "Charles Robert Dunne". California Death Index, 1940-1997. California Department of Public Health.
  12. ^ "Capt. J.J. Dunn". Madison Daily Herald. April 7, 1913.
  13. ^ "Joseph J. Dunn is Dead". St. Louis Globe-Democrat. April 7, 1913 – via
  14. ^ a b Gehring (2003), p. 8.
  15. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 11; "Hats, Hunches & Happiness" (1945).
  16. ^ Ormiston, Roberta. "To Make You Happier". Photoplay. No. April 1944. p. 107.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Hats, Hunches & Happiness" (1945).
  18. ^ Jerome Beatty. "Lady Irene". American Magazine. No. November 1944. p. 117.
  19. ^ a b c Ward (2006).
  20. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 11; Bochenek (2015).
  21. ^ a b Gehring (2003), p. 11.
  22. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 13.
  23. ^ Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929); Gehring (2003), p. 14-15.
  24. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 15.
  25. ^ "The Star of 'Irene' Coming to Luna Thursday". Logansport Pharos-Tribune. March 18, 1922. p. 5 – via access
  26. ^ "The Clinging Vine – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". Internet Broadway Database.
  27. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 16.
  28. ^ "The City Chap - Broadway Musical - Original | IBDB". Internet Broadway Database. (Dunne is credited as "Irene Dunn")
  29. ^ "Yours Truly – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". Internet Broadway Database.
  30. ^ "She's My Baby – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". Internet Broadway Database.
  31. ^ "Luckee Girl – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". Internet Broadway Database.
  32. ^ Webb, Anah (December 4, 1918). "Bedford Girl". The Bedford Daily. p. 1 – via Musical numbers on the program will be given by the following Indiana girls: Miss Wynota Cleaveland of Crawfordsville, Miss Anah Webb of Bedford, Miss Irene Dunne of Madison, Miss Lillian Prass of Lafayette...
  33. ^ "Chateau-Thierry Stage and Hoosier Girls Feature Dinner". The Indianapolis Star. December 8, 1918. p. 33 – via The following Hoosier girls took part: Miss Irene Dunne, Madison, represented access
  34. ^ "'Together Again' With Irene Dunn [sic] Next 'Lux' Drama". Harrisburg Telegraph. December 7, 1946. p. 19. Retrieved September 12, 2015 – via access
  35. ^ a b McDonough (1985).
  36. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 23.
  37. ^ Beatty, Jerome (1944). "Lady Irene". American Magazine (November 1944). p. 118.
  38. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Leathernecking". American Film Institute.
  39. ^ "'Present Arms.'". Shamokin News-Dispatch. May 17, 1930. p. 5 – via access
  40. ^ Charles Champlin (December 5, 1985). "CRITIC AT LARGE : IRENE DUNNE: ALWAYS A LADY OF THE HOUSE". Los Angeles Times. Depending on which film source you read, Irene Dunne will be 81, 84 or 87 on Dec. 20. The official birth year is 1904, which makes her almost 81 and which she says sternly is correct, although in all events, "We do not think about Dec. 20. It is a day I choose to disregard."
  41. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 27.
  42. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Cimarron". It was nominated for Best Direction, Best Actor (Richard Dix), Best Actress (Irene Dunne) and Best Cinematography.
  43. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Back Street". American Film Institute.
  44. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Magnificent Obsession". American Film Institute.
  45. ^ "Actress Prepares to Portray Blind Role". Times. November 1935.
  46. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Stingaree". American Film Institute.
  47. ^ Thornton Delehanty (May 18, 1934). "Irene Dunne and Richard Dix in 'Stingaree'". New York Post. p. 13. [Stingaree] is a preposterous tale, with Mr. Dix doing his best to prevent it from being even faintly credible.
  48. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 42.
  49. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Sweet Adeline". American Film Institute.
  50. ^ a b "AFI|Catalog - Roberta". American Film Institute.
  51. ^ "AFI|Catalog - The Great Lover". American Film Institute.
  52. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Show Boat". American Film Institute.
  53. ^ Curtis, James (1998). James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters. Boston: Faber and Faber. pp. 269–270. [Irene Dunne said:] James Whale wasn't the right director. He was more interested in atmosphere and lighting and he knew so little about [riverboat] life.
  54. ^ Livingstone, Beulah (September 21, 1936). "The Story of Irene Dunne". Table Talk. p. 14.
  55. ^ a b c d "From the Archives: Irene Dunne, Leading Star of '30s and '40s, Dies at 88". LA Times. September 5, 1990.
  56. ^ a b "AFI|Catalog - Theodora Goes Wild". American Film Institute.
  57. ^ a b c James Harvey (1978).
  58. ^ "AFI|Catalog - The Awful Truth". American Film Institute.
  59. ^ "AFI|Catalog - My Favorite Wife". American Film Institute.
  60. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Love Affair". American Film Institute.
  61. ^ "AFI|Catalog - When Tomorrow Comes". American Film Institute.
  62. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Penny Serenade". American Film Institute.
  63. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Together Again". American Film Institute.
  64. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Anna and the King of Siam". American Film Institute.
  65. ^ "AFI|Catalog - The Mudlark". American Film Institute.
  66. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Lady in a Jam". American Film Institute.
  67. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Over 21". American Film Institute.
  68. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 194.
  69. ^ "AFI|Catalog - A Guy Named Joe". American Film Institute.
  70. ^ "AFI|Catalog - The White Cliffs of Dover". American Film Institute.
  71. ^ "AFI|Catalog - Life with Father". American Film Institute.
  72. ^ "AFI|Catalog - I Remember Mama". American Film Institute.
  73. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 159.
  74. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 170.
  75. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 171.
  76. ^ "Irene Dunne as British Queen 'Insult'". Los Angeles Examiner. March 30, 1958.
  77. ^ Bawden, James (September 10, 1977). "A Visit with Irene Dunne". American Classic Screen. p. 9.
  78. ^ "AFI|Catalog - It Grows on Trees". American Film Institute.
  79. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 172.
  80. ^ Hedda Hopper (September 20, 1965). "Irene Can't Wait for 'Heaven Train'". Los Angeles Times. p. 21 – via
  81. ^ Frye (2004)
  82. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved August 31, 2019. Bright Star, comedy.
  83. ^ "2 Big Hollywood Actors in Great New Comedy Roles". The Indiana Gazette. January 5, 1952. p. 14 – via
  84. ^ "Stars Shine in Gala Fashion Revue for March of the Dimes". The News and Observer. February 2, 1953. p. 8 – via Basil O'Connor, president of the Foundatioin, opened the show. Irene Dunne introduced the 1953 March of Dimes Poster Children...
  85. ^ a b Gehring (2003), p. 175.
  86. ^ "UCLA Library Catalog Holdings Information". Archived from the original on May 30, 2020.
  87. ^ "UCLA Library Catalog Holdings Information". Archived from the original on May 30, 2020.
  88. ^ Emerson, Faye (April 21, 1954). "Faye Emerson Writes on Radio and TV". Albuquerque Tribune.
  89. ^ Parsons, Louella (October 12, 1962). "Hollywood". Anderson Daily Bulletin. What makes me feel so bad is that Miss Dunne is so wonderful as the movie actress with an incurable disease she is sure to be in the running for an Emmy award.
  90. ^ Basinger, Jeanine (2007). "Disentanglement: Loretta Young, Irene Dunne, Norma Shearer". The Star Machine. New York: Alfred A. Knopf; Vintage Books. p. 355. ISBN 978-0307388759.
  91. ^ Shipman, David (November 3, 1988). Movie Talk. Bloomsbury; St Martin's Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0747501817.
  92. ^ Dunne, Irene (September 10, 1977). "A Visit with Irene Dunne". American Classic Screen (Interview). Interviewed by James Bawden: 11.
  93. ^ Humphrey, Hal (July 11, 1955). "'Disneyland' Dedication to Draw Notables". Oakland Tribune. Irene Dunne, a personal friend of [Walt] Disney, will christen the Mark Twain, a 105-foot sternwheeler which plies its way around a three-quarter mile canal in Frontierland.
  94. ^ a b c d Susan Pennington; Chris Beachum (December 20, 2019). "Irene Dunne movies: 12 greatest films ranked from worst to best". Gold Derby. Archived from the original on May 26, 2020.
  95. ^ "Launch S.S. Carole Lombard Tomorrow". The Herald-News. Passaic, New Jersey. January 14, 1944. p. 18 – via Actress Irene Dunne will break the wine bottle on the S.S. Carole Lombard's steel prow...
  96. ^ "Liberty Ship Carole Lombard Sent Down Ways". The Los Angeles Times. January 16, 1944. BEST OF LUCK -Capt. Gable, Louis B. Mayer, head of M.G.M., and Irene Dunne, waving farewells as the S.S. Carole Lombard slides down ways of Calship yards.
  97. ^ a b Gehring (2003).
  98. ^ a b "Irene Dunne Returns in Television Drama". The Press Courier. February 10, 1959.
  99. ^ "Irene Dunne: From Boards to the Board". The San Francisco Examiner. February 16, 1965. p. 28.
  100. ^ a b c d e Baer, Louise (May 8, 1949). "Well Dunne, Irene". The Syracuse Post Standard. p. 27 – via
  101. ^ Irene Dunne. "If You Want Success...". Screenland. No. July 1951. More recently, I've worked with heart and cancer foundations, Red Cross and especially the St. John's Hospital for which our premiere of "The Mudlark" raised $137.000 for a new building wing.
  102. ^ a b "About Us - Irene Dunne Guild". Irene Dunne Guild. Archived from the original on June 19, 2020.
  103. ^ a b "IHB: May 19, 2006 - Irene Dunne". Archived from the original on December 13, 2012.
  104. ^ Irene Dunne. "If You Want Success...". Screenland. No. July 1951.
  105. ^ Wilson, Bess M. (April 20, 1951). "Irene Dunne Describes Charity as Key to Women's Services : 'More Direct Approach Advised'". Los Angeles Times. p. 1-2. (other half)
  106. ^ "Ike Appoints Irene Dunne to U.N. Post". Palm Beach Post. August 10, 1957. p. 4 – via
  107. ^ Bell (1958): 'Says Irene: "You never for a moment forget that war and peace and life itself are at stake. When I go back home after this session of the General Assembly, I'll be an enthusiastic saleslady for the U.N. as an essential force [for] world peace in this age of atoms and outer-space moons."'
  108. ^ a b "Irene Dunne: Gentlewoman". Los Angeles Times. March 5, 1958. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016.
  109. ^ Bell (1958): '"There are a great many thoughtful people in Hollywood," Irene says, "especially among the writers, directors, and technicians. I think they are aware of Hollywood's impact on people all over the world, but even they have no idea of how tremendous that impact is. I know now — from talking with the other U.N. delegates. And I'm going home and try to tell the people back there what an important contribution Hollywood can make, or how much harm it can do."'
  110. ^ "Irene Dunne". Archived from the original on May 16, 2020.
  111. ^ Bell (1958)
  112. ^ "Irene Dunne Describes Work as U.N. Delegate". Los Angeles Times. February 3, 1958. p. 9 – via
  113. ^ "Irene Dunne Finds Career in U.N. "Highlight of My Life"". New York Herald Tribune. October 16, 1957. p. 3.
  114. ^ Thomas, Bob (February 27, 1958). "Actress Found U.N. Exciting". The Evening Sun. Hanover, Pennsylvania – via
  115. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 163.
  116. ^ a b c d Hicks, Cordell (August 11, 1959). "Irene Dunne: Magnetic, Gentle Woman". Los Angeles Times – via
  117. ^ Critchlow, Donald T. (October 21, 2013). When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics. ISBN 9781107650282.
  118. ^ a b "Irene Dunne - a Famous Actress Who Didn't Look Back". Los Angeles Times. November 29, 1970. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016.
  119. ^ a b Gehring (2003), p. 10-11.
  120. ^ a b McManus, John T. (May 7, 1936). "Magnolia of the Movies". The New York Times. p. 3.
  121. ^ a b c Gehring (2003), p. 178.
  122. ^ Frye (2004)
  123. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 95.
  124. ^ Frye (2004)
  125. ^ Louella O. Parsons (September 5, 1945). "Hollywood". Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph.
  126. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 80.
  127. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 80-83.
  128. ^ a b "Irene Dunne, Leading Star of '30s and '40s, Dies at 88". Los Angeles Times. September 5, 1990. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  129. ^ "How Can You Support - Saint John's Health Center Foundation". Saint John's Foundation. Archived from the original on May 15, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  130. ^ a b "Irene Dunne (sculpture)". SIRIS. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  131. ^ a b Gehring (2003), p. 22; Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929).
  132. ^ Pre-Hollywood Years (1898–1929); Gehring (2003), p. 22.
  133. ^ "Figures in Recent Local Weddings". The Indianapolis Star. July 31, 1927. p. 57.
  134. ^ "Manhattan". Index to Marriages. New York, New York; Borough: New York City Municipal Archives. 8: 372, 588 – via (Dunne and Griffin's marriage license code is 19627; Dunne's name is on page 372, and Griffin's name is on page 588)
  135. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 22.
  136. ^ a b c d Hyams, Joe (April 27, 1958). "'Be A Trailer' Irene Dunne's Husband Says". The Daily Boston Globe.
  137. ^ Gehring (2003), pp. 24-25, 50, 94.
  138. ^ "Francis D Griffin". California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: California Department of Health Services – via
  139. ^ "Irene Dunne's Husband Dies". The Sacramento Bee. October 16, 1965. Dr. Francis D. Griffin, 79, husband of actress Irene Dunne, has died of a heart ailment. He died Thursday night in the couple's home after a long illness.
  140. ^ Orr, Robin (February 24, 1969). "Portrait of a Lady". Oakland Tribune.
  141. ^ Frye (2004): "When Irene and her husband, Frank Griffin, who was a dentist, arrived in Hollywood in 1930, they bought a lot in Holmby Hills for $10[,]000 and built a two-story house on it for $40[,]000."
  142. ^ "Good Night, Irene Dunne; Hollywood Loses An Airy and Elegant Gal from Film's Golden Age". People. September 17, 1990. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  143. ^ "Irene Dunne Adopts Baby: Actress Formally Becomes Foster-Mother of Girl, 4". The New York Times. March 17, 1938. p. 17.
  144. ^ Hamilton, Sara (1936). "This Is Really Irene Dunne". Photoplay. No. April 1936.
  145. ^ "Press". Archived from the original on January 28, 2011. Fed up with speculations about a pending divorce, Frank finally issued a statement [...] At last Hollywood had to accept a working, happy marriage.
  146. ^ Frye (2004)
  147. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 24.
  148. ^ Frye (2004)
  149. ^ Stafford, Jeff. "Thirteen Women". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 12, 2010. Irene Dunne, a devout Catholic,...
  150. ^ "Our History - Church of the Good Shepherd". Church of the Good Shepherd. Archived from the original on May 20, 2020. The Guild and Good Shepherd Parish itself were soon populated by such film notables as Jackie Coogan, Neil Hamilton and Ben Turpin and in later years would include the likes of Ray Bolger, Jane Wyman, Jimmy Durante, Danny Thomas, Loretta Young, Gene Kelly, Rosalind Russell, Irene Dunne, Ricardo Montalbano [sic], Bob Newhart, Jack Haley and MacDonald Carey.
  151. ^ "USC Cinematic Arts Library's Archives of Performing Arts: Collections List". USC Libraries Research Guides. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  152. ^ Flint, Peter B. (September 6, 1990). "Irene Dunne, a Versatile Actress Of the 1930's and 40's, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  153. ^ Michael, Milton (January 22, 2008). "Neil Postman, Irene Dunne and Living". Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  154. ^ "ACADEMY AWARDS Snubbed by Oscar: Mistakes & Omissions". Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  155. ^ "The 50 Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar". IMDb. October 2, 2010. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  156. ^ a b c d Pickens, Jessica. "Don't Overlook Her: Classic Film Star Irene Dunne". Netflix DVD. Archived from the original on May 17, 2020.
  157. ^ "AFI's 100 YEARS...100 STARS". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020.
  158. ^ "AFI's 100 YEARS...100 LAUGHS". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020.
  159. ^ a b c Fristoe, Roger (December 15, 1985). "Louisville's Own: Irene Dunne". Courier Journal – via
  160. ^ Bell (1958)
  161. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 69.
  162. ^ a b c Gehring (2003), p. 9.
  163. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 71.
  164. ^ Fast-Talking Dames.
  165. ^ a b c Sarris, Andrew (September 17, 1990). "Irene Dunne orbituary". New York Observer.
  166. ^ McCarey, Leo (1964). "Irene Dunne". McCalls (Interview). Interviewed by Stephen Birmingham. p. 100.
  167. ^ La Cava, Gregory (May 8, 1985). Untitled Irene Dunne dedication (Speech). Irene Dunne dedication at St. John's Hospital. The Hollywood Reporter. St. John's Hospital, California.
  168. ^ McGurk, Megan (June 2, 2017). "Irene Dunne's Unfinished Business". Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  169. ^ Tildesley, Alice L. (May 24, 1936). "Irene Dunne Defines "A Lady"". The Daily Mail Sunday Magazine. Charleston Daily Mail. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016.
  170. ^ a b c "Irene Dunne Tells Graduates 'Sell What You Have And Give to the Poor'". The Leavenworth Times. May 29, 1964 – via
  171. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 172-73.
  172. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 185.
  173. ^ Eig, Jonathan (April 3, 2006). Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig. Simon & Schuster. p. 219. ISBN 978-0743268936.
  174. ^ Gehring (2003), p. 104.
  175. ^ Boyer, Charles (1939). "IRENE as Seen by Charles Boyer". Photoplay (Interview). p. 24.
  176. ^ "Oscar deja lose: Amy Adams would be 5th performer to be defeated by the same person twice". Gold Derby. February 23, 2019. Archived from the original on May 26, 2020.
  177. ^ Shaden radio (1971).
  178. ^ a b "Irene Dunne Speaker for Awards Dinner". The Daily Sentinel. June 5, 1968 – via
  179. ^ "One of the screen's first seen by one of the nation's first artists. A revealing, intimate portrait". Motion Picture Magazine. Vol. 72. p. 50. Few Hollywood stars have been awarded honorary degrees. Even fewer can add M.D. to their names. Were Irene Dunne the boastful kind, she could brag about both of these distinctions, for Chicago Musical College made her an M.D. ...
  180. ^ "Actress and Singer Honored by the Church". The Tablet. December 20, 1953. Honored with Miss Dunne was her husband, Dr. Francis S. [sic] Griffin...
  181. ^ a b "Kennedy Center Biographical Info for Irene Dunne". Archived from the original on August 5, 2007.
  182. ^ "Kennedy Center Honors Irene Dunne (1985)". YouTube. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  183. ^ "Irene Dunne - Hollywood Walk of Fame". Archived from the original on June 2, 2020.
  184. ^ Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library, 2000, Gifts of Vanna Bonta
  185. ^ "Irene Dunne Honored by Conference". Petaluma Argus-Courier. Petaluma, California. December 20, 1948. p. 1 – via The National Conference of Christians and Jews has named Irene Dunne as the person "who has done most in 1948 to promote better understanding among peoples of all faiths."
  186. ^ ""I Remember Mama" Win Church Group Award". The Salt Lake Tribune. January 28, 1949 – via
  187. ^ "Catholics Honor Irene Dunne, Dennis Day". Santa Cruz Sentinel. December 3, 1953. p. 2 – via
  188. ^ "Irene Dunne Is Honored by Local Chamber". Madison Courier. May 3, 1954.
  189. ^ "Best Dressed Women". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 12, 2013.
  190. ^ "Irene Dunne Named Woman of the Year". Indianapolis News. April 11, 1958 – via
  191. ^ "Irene Dunne Delivers Speech At Loyola U." The Colton Courier. June 16, 1958 – via
  192. ^ "College Honors Irene Dunne". The San Francisco Examiner. February 25, 1965 – via
  193. ^ "Irene Dunne Songs ••• Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Archived from the original on June 18, 2020.
  194. ^ "[advertizing section]". The Evening Times. November 27, 1946 – via
  195. ^ "[advertizing section:] Investments in Pleasure". The Morning Call. March 19, 1947.
  196. ^ "Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Irene Dunne (vocalist)"". Archived from the original on June 19, 2020.
  197. ^ Woodward, Leroy (March 9, 1947). "Platter Clatter". The Owensboro Messenger – via INTERSTATE stands ready with the musical highlights on record, offering both albums and records. The albums include the following : BING CROSBY'S JEROME KERN SONGS, JEROME KERN SONGS [by] (FRED WARING), JEROME KERN SONGS (IRENE DUNNE), JEROME KERN (AL GOODMAN), JEROME KERN'S SHOW TUNES (AL GOODMAN), JEROME KERN'S MUSIC (CAPITOL ARTISTS)

Other sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]




External links[edit]