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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:||Cast ... actor singer dancer showgirl|
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.
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