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June Allyson

June Allyson

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Also Known As: Ella Geisman Died: July 8, 2006
Born: October 7, 1917 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bronx, New York Profession: actor, dancer, singer, showgirl

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Vivacious blonde MGM star of the 1940s and 50s, in light comedies, musicals and romances, with a likably hoarse, slightly flat voice and a wistful girl-next-door quality. After a successful career on Broadway, Allyson appeared in several shorts and then made her feature debut, recreating her peppy ingenue role in the film version of the 1941 Broadway musical, "Best Foot Forward" (1943). Usually cast as sweet and wholesomely girlish types, Allyson brought an occasionally tomboyish quality to roles in films including "Good News" (1947) and "Little Women" (1949). She made a popular romantic team with the boyishly disarming Van Johnson, with whom she co-starred in five films ranging from the musical "Two Girls and a Sailor" (1944) to the rather strange drama "High Barbaree" (1947) to the farce "The Bride Goes Wild" (1948). Allyson's charmingly froggy singing voice also enhanced the appeal of such comic songs as "Thou Swell" and "Cleopatterer". Allyson later matured into supportive wife roles in the 1950s ("The Stratton Story" 1949, "The Glenn Miller Story" 1954, "Strategic Air Command" 1955), switching gears once to play the shrewish wife in "The Shrike" (1955). When her film career petered out in the...

Vivacious blonde MGM star of the 1940s and 50s, in light comedies, musicals and romances, with a likably hoarse, slightly flat voice and a wistful girl-next-door quality. After a successful career on Broadway, Allyson appeared in several shorts and then made her feature debut, recreating her peppy ingenue role in the film version of the 1941 Broadway musical, "Best Foot Forward" (1943). Usually cast as sweet and wholesomely girlish types, Allyson brought an occasionally tomboyish quality to roles in films including "Good News" (1947) and "Little Women" (1949). She made a popular romantic team with the boyishly disarming Van Johnson, with whom she co-starred in five films ranging from the musical "Two Girls and a Sailor" (1944) to the rather strange drama "High Barbaree" (1947) to the farce "The Bride Goes Wild" (1948). Allyson's charmingly froggy singing voice also enhanced the appeal of such comic songs as "Thou Swell" and "Cleopatterer". Allyson later matured into supportive wife roles in the 1950s ("The Stratton Story" 1949, "The Glenn Miller Story" 1954, "Strategic Air Command" 1955), switching gears once to play the shrewish wife in "The Shrike" (1955). When her film career petered out in the late 50s in ill-advised remakes of such 30s successes as "It Happened One Night" ("You Can't Run Away From It" 1956) and "My Man Godfrey" (1957), she turned to starring in a TV anthology drama, "The June Allyson Show", from 1959 to 1961. In later years Allyson did very occasional TV and film work and regularly made appearances in public and in the media to speak of the pleasures of the old Hollywood studio system (as in "That's Entertainment III" 1994). She was married to Dick Powell (with whom she co-starred in "Right Cross" and "The Reformer and the Redhead", both 1950) from 1945 until his death in 1963.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 These Old Broads (2001) Addie'S Mother
2.
 Girl, Three Guys, and a Gun, A (2001) Joey'S Grandma
3.
 That's Entertainment! III (1994) Host; Song Performer
6.
 Kid with the Broken Halo, The (1982) Dorothea Powell
7.
 Three on a Date (1978) Marge Emery
8.
 Blackout (1978) Madame Grant
9.
 Vega$ (1978) Loretta Ochs
10.
 Curse of the Black Widow (1977) Olga
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
At age eight, injured when tree limb fell on her; wore braces for four years
:
Entered Amateur Night dance contests in the Bronx
:
Performed in chorus line of Broadway musical, "Sing Out the News" at age 20
:
Danced in chorus line at Copacabana nightclub in NYC
1937:
Appeared in Vitaphone short films; debut, "Swing For Sale"
1938:
Worked in educational films
1939:
Acted in the stage musical "Very Warm for May", directed by Vincente Minnelli
1940:
Understudied Betty Hutton in the stage musical "Panama Hattie", starring Ethel Merman
1941:
Garnered attention in a prominent supporting role in the Broadway musical, "Best Foot Forward", choreographed by Gene Kelly
1943:
First feature film as actress, "Best Foot Foward", recreating her stage role
1944:
Established as a star with the musical films, "Music for Millions" and "Two Girls and a Sailor", the latter her first opposite Van Johnson
1946:
Starred in first dramatic film, "The Secret Heart"
1948:
Last appearance in a musical until the mid-1950s, near the end of her contract with MGM, "Words and Music", in which she was one of many guest stars; performed the song, "Thou Swell"; for the rest of her career, concentrated on comedies and dramas
1953:
Last of five films opposite Van Johnson, "Remains to Be Seen"
1955:
Made annual exhibitors poll, sponsored by the "Motion Picture Herald", of the top ten boxoffice stars; placed 9th
1956:
Last film for MGM for many years, "The Opposite Sex"; film was also her last musical
1959:
Played last feature starring role in "Stranger in My Arms"; was also last film for 13 years
1959:
Starred in the TV anthology series, "The June Allyson Show"
1970:
Succeeded Julie Harris as star of the Broadway play "40 Carats"; first stage role in two decades
1972:
Returned to films in "They Only Kill Their Masters"
:
Headlined the national tour of the stage musical "No, No Nanette" in the 1970s
1978:
Made one-shot return to films in "Blackout"
:
Began appearing opposite third husband in the stage play "My Daughter, Your Son"
1984:
Signed long-term contract with Kimberly Clark to be a commercial spokesperson for the company's products Depends & Poise
1990:
Last film acting role in ""Stranger in My House"
1994:
Was one of the hosts of the musical compilation documentary, "That's Entertainment III"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

There is an official Web site devoted to the actress at www.juneallyson.com

In 1988, Allyson was appointed by Ronald Reagan to the Council on Aging.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Dick Powell. Actor, director. Married from August 19, 1945 until his death January 2, 1963.
husband:
Glenn Maxwell. Barber shop owner. Married in 1963; divorced in 1965; remarried in 1966 and divorced second time; was Dick Powell's barber.
husband:
David Ashrow. Retired dentist, actor. Married in October 1976; acted together on stage in "My Daughter, Your Son".

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Clara Geisman. Died in 1995.
daughter:
Pamela Allyson Powell. Government worker. Adopted in 1948; served as Director.
son:
Richard Powell Jr. Actor, location manager. Born in 1950; portrayed his father in "The Day of the Locust".

Bibliography close complete biography

"June Allyson" G.P. Putnam's Sons

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