Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Little Known Actors - Dennie Moore

Dennie Moore (1907 - 1978) was an American film and stage actress who apperared in a string of films in Hollywood during the 1930s and mid-1940s. She was born Deena Rivka Moore on New Years Eve 1907 to Jewish parents Oren Moore (January 12, 1883 - March 13, 1967), a cantor at one of the synagogues, and Gabriella Gefen (October 31, 1885 - November 19, 1954).

In the late 1920s, she began her Broadway career under the name Dennie Moore so's not to shame her parents any further as they disaproved of the profession. Her first stage role was in A Lady in Love (1927) followed by parts in The Trial of Mary Dugan (1927), Torch Song (1930), and Twentieth Century (1932-1933).

In the mid-1930s to evade the Great Depression's rapid closing of live theatre Moore ventured to Hollywood and made her screen debut in Sylvia Scarlett (1935) for RKO Radio Pictures starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. In the years to come she would specialize in playing dumb blondes, maids, and wisecraking but gold hearted sidekicks. Her most memorable role, however, was as the Olga the manicurist in George Cukor's The Women (1939).

In the 1940s, she found herself with very little film roles and took a seven year hiatus from films to go back to her roots on the Broadway stage. In 1951, she appeared in her final film role in The Model and the Marriage Broker and from 1955 to 1957 she appeared in her final stage role which was as Mrs. Van Damm in The Diary of Anne Frank. In 1957 she retired from acting all together.

She did have an array of colorful friends from her acting days; they involved Sylvia Sidney, Rosalind Russell (whom she was befriended by while they starred together in The Women), Norma Shearer, and June Clyde and Fay Wray (whom she called the ''Loveliest Latter Days who ever lived.")

Following this, she sold her house in Hollywood and lived in a lavish apartment in her birthplace of New York City. Following her retierment she was active in activating for Jewish communities and women's rights. In February 1978 Moore died of natural causes. Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered from her apartment's balcony.


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