Virginia Grey (1917 - 2004)

A photo of Virginia Grey
Virginia Grey
1917 - 2004
March 22, 1917
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
July 31, 2004
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
Last Known Residence
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles County, California 91364
Virginia Grey was born on March 22, 1917 in Los Angeles, California United States. She died on July 31, 2004 in Los Angeles, California United States at 87 years of age. We know that Virginia Grey had been residing in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles County, California 91364.
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Updated: June 16, 2021
Virginia Grey - Biography Born March 22, 1917 in Los Angeles, California, USA Died July 31, 2004 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA (heart failure) Height 5' 5" (1.65 m) Born into a show-business family--her father was a director and her mother was a film cutter--Virginia Grey made her film debut at age 10 as Eva in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927). After a few more films as a child actress, she left the business to finish her schooling. Returning to films as an adult in the 1930s, she started out getting extra work and bit parts, but soon graduated to speaking roles and was eventually signed to a contract by MGM. The studio gave her leading parts in "B" pictures and supporting roles in "A" pictures. She left MGM in 1942 and went out on her own, working at almost every studio in Hollywood. She worked steadily in both films and TV, and retired from the business in 1970. Won a screen test after being discovered on the Universal lot at age 9. Frequent hostess of the Hollywood Canteen during WWII and sold war bonds. One of her earliest babysitters was Gloria Swanson. Was a lifelong friend of producer Ross Hunter and appeared in almost all of his major films. "Notice I wasn't in Lost Horizon (1973), however," she once said, referring to the notorious 1973 remake of the James Hilton story. A colossal critical and commercial failure, it essentially marked the end of Hunter's career as a major Hollywood player. During her participation in WWII bond drives, she developed a close relationship with John Basilone, US Marine Medal of Honor recipient, who was later killed on Iwo Jima. She had an on-again/off-again relationship with Clark Gable in the 1940s. After his wife Carole Lombard died and he returned from military service, Clark and Virginia were often seen at restaurants and nightclubs together. Many, including Virginia herself, expected him to marry her. The tabloids were all expecting the wedding announcement. It was a great surprise when he hastily married Lady Sylvia Ashley in 1949. Virginia was heartbroken. Ashley and Gable divorced in 1952, but much to Virginia's dismay their brief romance was never rekindled. Her friends say that her hoping and waiting for Clark was the reason she never married. Was close friends with Lana Turner and the two actresses appeared in a total of six films together -Rich Man, Poor Girl (1938), Dramatic School (1938), Portrait in Black (1960), Bachelor in Paradise (1962), Love Has Many Faces (1965) and Madame X (1966). Portrayed by actress Anna Torv in the HBO series The Pacific. Voluptuous figure. Personal Quotes (3) I consider myself a professional who acts--not to express my soul or elevate the cinema--but to entertain and get paid for it. [on Barbara Stanwyck and Crime of Passion (1956)] We filmed in 1956. This was five years after I dated Bob [Robert Taylor] and she filed for divorce. I accidentally put my coat on her chair and she tore into me with a vengeance in front of everyone. She never mentioned Bob, but she resented me for going out with him. She had no other reason for hating me. Hollywood men are a lot of phony balonies.
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Virginia Grey
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Virginia Grey
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Woodland Hills, Los Angeles County, California 91364
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Virginia Grey died on in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
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Virginia Grey BIRTH 22 Mar 1917 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA DEATH 31 Jul 2004 (aged 87) Woodland Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA BURIAL Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea MEMORIAL ID 9274854 · View Source Actress. Born in Los Angeles, California, she was the daughter of film director Ray Grey and made her screen debut in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1927), at age 10. From 1927 to 1970, she appeared in over 100 movies to include "The Great Ziegfeld' (1935), "Test Pilot" (1938), "Stage Door Canteen" (1943), "Jungle Jim" (1948), "The Last Command" (1955), "Portrait in Black" (1960), "Madame X" (1966) and "Airport" (1970). Her television credits included "Playhouse 90", "Peter Gunn", "Wagon Train", "Bonanza", "The Virginian", "Burke's Law", and "Marcus Welby M.D.". She died in Woodland Hills, California. Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith Family Members Parents Photo Raymond Standish Grey 1890–1925 Photo Florence Anna Pauly Grey 1890–1930


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Filmography Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927) as Eva The Michigan Kid (1928) as Rose, as a child Heart to Heart (1928) as Hazel Boyd Jazz Mad (1928) (uncredited) Misbehaving Ladies (1931) as Hazel Boyd Palmy Days (1931) as Goldwyn Girl (uncredited) Secrets (1933) as Audrey Carlton as a Child (uncredited) Dames (1934) as Chorus Girl (uncredited) The St. Louis Kid (1934) as Second Girl (scenes deleted) The Firebird (1934) as Autograph Seeker (uncredited) Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935) as Chorus Girl (uncredited) Don't Bet on Blondes (1935) as Girl with Henry (uncredited) She Gets Her Man (1935) as Club Woman (uncredited) The Great Ziegfeld (1936) as Ziegfeld Girl (uncredited) Old Hutch (1936) as Pirate's Club Customer (uncredited) Our Relations (1936) as Ethel, Girl with Dave in Drugstore Secret Valley (1937) as Joan Carlo Bad Guy (1937) as Kitty Rosalie (1937) as Mary Callahan The Canary Comes Across (1938, short) as Ann Clayton Test Pilot (1938) as Sarah Billy Rose's Casa Mañana Revue (1938, short) as Virginia Mason Snow Gets in Your Eyes (1938, short) as June Ladies in Distress (1938) as Sally The Shopworn Angel (1938) as Chorus Girl #1 (uncredited) Rich Man, Poor Girl (1938) as Miss Selma Willis Youth Takes a Fling (1938) as Madge Dramatic School (1938) as Simone Idiot's Delight (1939) as Shirley Laughlin Broadway Serenade (1939) as Pearl The Hardys Ride High (1939) as Consuela MacNish The Women (1939) as Pat Thunder Afloat (1939) as Susan Thorson Another Thin Man (1939) as Lois MacFay Three Cheers for the Irish (1940) as Patricia Casey The Captain Is a Lady (1940) as Mary Peabody The Golden Fleecing (1940) as Lila Hanley Hullabaloo (1940) as Laura Merriweather Keeping Company (1940) as Anastasia Atherton Blonde Inspiration (1941) as Margie Blake Washington Melodrama (1941) as Teddy Carlyle The Big Store (1941) as Joan Sutton Whistling in the Dark (1941) as 'Fran' Post Mr. and Mrs. North (1942) as Jane Wilson Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942) as Connie Beach Grand Central Murder (1942) as Sue Custer Bells of Capistrano (1942) as Jennifer Benton Tish (1942) as Katherine 'Kit' Bowser Sands Secrets of the Underground (1942) as Terry Parker Idaho (1943) as Terry Grey Stage Door Canteen (1943) as Virginia Grey Sweet Rosie O'Grady (1943) as Edna Van Dyke Strangers in the Night (1944) as Dr. Leslie Ross Grissly's Millions (1945) as Katherine Palmor Bentley Blonde Ransom (1945) as Vicki Morrison Flame of Barbary Coast (1945) as Rita Dane Men in Her Diary (1945) as Diana Lee Smooth as Silk (1946) as Paula Marlowe House of Horrors (1946) as Joan Medford Swamp Fire (1946) as Janet Hilton Wyoming (1947) as Lila Regan Unconquered (1947) as Diana Glamour Girl (1948) as Lorraine Royle Who Killed Doc Robbin (1948) as Ann Loring So This Is New York (1948) as Ella Goff Finch Miraculous Journey (1948) as Patricia Unknown Island (1948) as Carole Lane Leather Gloves (1948) as Jane Gilbert Mexican Hayride (1948) as Montana Jungle Jim (1948) as Dr. Hilary Parker The Threat (1949) as Carol Highway 301 (1950) as Mary Simms Hurricane at Pilgrim Hill (1950) as Janet Smedley Adams Three Desperate Men (1951) as Laura Brock Bullfighter and the Lady (1951) as Lisbeth Flood Slaughter Trail (1951) as Lorabelle Larkin Desert Pursuit (1952) as Mary Smith A Perilous Journey (1953) as Abby The Fighting Lawman (1953) as Raquel Jackson Captain Scarface (1953) as Elsa The Forty-Niners (1954) as Stella Walker Target Earth (1954) as Vicki Harris The Eternal Sea (1955) as Dorothy Buracker The Last Command (1955) as Mrs. Dickinson All That Heaven Allows (1955) as Alida Anderson The Rose Tattoo (1955) as Estelle Hohengarten Accused of Murder (1956) as Sandra Lamoreaux Crime of Passion (1957) as Sara Alidos Jeanne Eagels (1957) as Elsie Desmond The Restless Years (1958) as Miss Robeson No Name on the Bullet (1959) as Roseanne Fraden Portrait in Black (1960) as Miss Lee Tammy Tell Me True (1961) as Miss Jenks Back Street (1961) as Janey née Smith Bachelor in Paradise (1961) as Camille Quinlaw Flower Drum Song (1961) as Rosalind (uncredited) Black Zoo (1963) as Jenny Brooks The Naked Kiss (1964) as Candy Love Has Many Faces (1965) as Irene Talbot Madame X (1966) as Mimsy Rosie! (1967) as Mrs. Peters Airport (1970) as Mrs. Schultz The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975) as Landlady The Moneychangers (1976) as Miss Callahan (final film role)

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Virginia Grey died on July 31, 2004 at age 87. She was born on March 22, 1917. Virginia Grey, a Veteran Of 100 Films, Dies at 87 By Mel Gussow Aug. 6, 2004 Virginia Grey, who made her film debut in 1927 at the age of 10 as Little Eva in ''Uncle Tom's Cabin'' and acted almost continuously in movies and television for the next five decades, died on July 31 in Los Angeles. She was 87. Her death was announced by Jennifer Fagen of the public affairs department of the Motion Picture and Television Fund; she had lived at its retirement home for the last two years. Although never a box office star, Miss Grey was as indomitable as she was versatile, acting in more than 100 films and 40 television shows -- musicals, comedies, adventure films, westerns, and romantic dramas. Pretty and pert, she was often a supporting player, cast as the second lead in movies dominated by Joan Crawford, Betty Grable, Susan Hayward, and even the Marx Brothers (''The Big Store'' in 1941). In 1942 she was in ''Tarzan's New York Adventure'' with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. In many ways, her life paralleled the history of Hollywood's film studios, first as a contract player with Metro Goldwyn Mayer, later at 20th Century Fox, and at Universal under the guidance of the producer Ross Hunter. Ann Rutherford, who acted with her in several pictures (including ''Whistling in the Dark'' with Red Skelton and ''The Hardys Ride High'' with Mickey Rooney), remembered her as ''a nifty lady.'' ''She was blond and lovely,'' she recalled. ''The camera adored her. There was not a bad angle to her face.'' The key to her success, Ms. Rutherford said, was that she was so flexible: ''She could play the girl next door or somebody's other woman. And that was what kept her working.'' Ms. Grey was born in Los Angeles and nurtured in the film industry. Her father, Ray Grey, acted in Mack Sennett's Keystone comedies and later worked as an assistant director. The Grey home was frequently visited by Hollywood hopefuls, and Ms. Grey recalled that one of her babysitters was a Sennett actress, Gloria Swanson. After Mr. Grey died, his wife became a film editor at Universal. When she heard that the studio was casting ''Uncle Tom's Cabin,'' she encouraged Virginia to audition -- and she won the role. The next year she had small roles in three more movies, then stopped acting for several years to finish her education. But from 1931 onward, she was busily at work with Mary Pickford, Busby Berkeley (''Dames'' and ''Gold Diggers of 1935''), and Wallace Beery, among others. Occasionally, she played the leading female role in MGM's B-pictures. In 1939, she appeared in the ''Les Blondes'' chorus in ''Idiot's Delight,'' starring Clark Gable. Ms. Grey, who was involved romantically with Gable, never married. She is survived by her sister, Lorraine Grey Heindorf, two nieces and two nephews. After her stint at MGM, she worked in ''Stage Door Canteen,'' ''Sweet Rosie O'Grady'' (with Betty Grable), Stanley Kramer's ''So This Is New York,'' ''The Bullfighter and the Lady'' and many others. In 1955, Ross Hunter cast her in ''All That Heaven Allows'' (with Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson), followed by ''The Restless Years'' and ''Portrait in Black.'' During the 1950s and 1960s, she found renewed life on television (''Bonanza,'' ''Burke's Law,'' ''Marcus Welby, M.D.''). Among her later films were ''Love Has Many Faces'' (with Lana Turner), ''Madame X'' and in 1970 ''Airport.'' Ms. Grey allowed herself to mature onscreen, accepting the character roles that prolonged her career. And about her career, she said, pragmatically, ''I consider myself a professional who acts -- not to express my soul or elevate the cinema, but to entertain and get paid for it.''

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Virginia's lifetime.

In 1917, in the year that Virginia Grey was born, Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari was convicted and executed as a German spy. Since Mata Hari, born Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod, was a citizen of the Netherlands (which remained neutral in World War 1), she could travel freely in Europe. Her travels (and her romantic entanglements) raised suspicion and she was arrested by the French and found guilty. There is still controversy about her guilt although her name has become synonymous with a seductive female spy.

In 1929, at the age of only 12 years old, Virginia was alive when American Samoa officially became a U.S. territory. Although a part of the United States since 1900, the Ratification Act of 1929 vested "all civil, judicial, and military powers in the President of the United States of America".

In 1946, when she was 29 years old, pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock's book "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" was published. It sold half a million copies in the first six months. Aside from the Bible, it became the best selling book of the 20th century. A generation of Baby Boomers were raised by the advice of Dr. Spock.

In 1958, by the time she was 41 years old, on March 24th, Elvis Presley was inducted into the United States Army. Although he could have served in Special Services as an entertainer, he chose to become a regular soldier. Almost everyone thought it would be the end of his career - it wasn't.

In 1994, Virginia was 77 years old when on May 6th, the Channel Tunnel or "Chunnel" was officially opened. The Chunnel is a railway tunnel beneath the English Channel that connects Great Britain to mainland France. Original plans for such a tunnel were developed in 1802 and approved by Napoleon Bonaparte but the British rejected the plan fearing that Napoleon would use the railway to invade.

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