Wednesday, May 1, 2013
RIP: The Girl Who Walked Away
Another great one gone: Universal's savior, the little girl with the prima donna voice, Deanna Durbin. As this shot proves, she had the moxie to make it as a grown-up star, but instead left for France and more than six decades of what sounds like a perfectly happy and rewarding private life. Her resolute silence has meant that she's a comparative unknown, but one had only to see the expression on Mother Muscato's face when her name came up to know what a Very Big Star she had been (she was on a very short list of Mother's Immortals, a curiously mixed ensemble that in addition to Deanna included Mary Martin, Roberta Peters, Gordon MacRae, crooner Al Martino, and, in later years, Sade, whom she referred to exclusively phonetically, as "Sayd").
Meanwhile, in a shadowy lair high above Grosvenor Square, the fine-veined hand of Luise Rainer crosses off another name...