Vivian Blaine


Actor
Vivian Blaine

About

Also Known As
Vivienne S Stapleton
Birth Place
Newark, New Jersey, USA
Born
November 21, 1921
Died
December 09, 1995
Cause of Death
Congestive Heart Failure

Biography

This strawberry blonde musical performer put in years in variety acts and onscreen before proving her talent on Broadway. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Blaine was trouping in vaudeville and nightclubs while still in grade school. From 1935 through 1941 Blaine worked as a band singer; spotted by a 20th Century-Fox agent, she was signed by the studio in 1942. Blaine made 11 films for Fox ove...

Family & Companions

Manuel George Frank
Husband
Agent. Married on January 10, 1945; divorced.
Milton Rackmil
Husband
Executive. Served as president of both Universal Pictures and Decca Records; married in 1959; divorced in 1961.
Stuart Clark
Husband
Divorced.

Notes

"That part was virtually written as the play was rehearsed. Vivian would suggest things she had thought out for Miss Adelaide to do. Before long Miss Adelaide became one of the strongest elements in the show, simply because an actress had put her mind to making something out of nothing." --husband/agent Manny Franks in 1952 on Blaine's involvement with "Guys and Dolls", quoted in NEW YORK TIMES, December 14, 1995

Blaine was voted the Best Dressed Woman Award by the Fashion Academy in 1952

Biography

This strawberry blonde musical performer put in years in variety acts and onscreen before proving her talent on Broadway. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Blaine was trouping in vaudeville and nightclubs while still in grade school. From 1935 through 1941 Blaine worked as a band singer; spotted by a 20th Century-Fox agent, she was signed by the studio in 1942. Blaine made 11 films for Fox over the next four years, beginning with small roles in the drama "Through Different Eyes" and the comedy "Girl Trouble" (both 1942) With these exceptions her roles were in fluffy musicals and romantic comedies. Having threatened to quit unless her parts improved, Blaine played her first major role with the 1944 Carmen Miranda musical "Greenwich Village." Blaine teamed with Miranda again in "Something for the Boys" (1944) and "Doll Face" (1945), then went on to "Nob Hill" and "State Fair" (both 1945), "If I'm Lucky" and "Three Little Girls in Blue" (both 1946). Cast as moll Miss Adelaide in the 1950 Damon Runyon-based musical "Guys and Dolls," Blaine took the role and ran with it. It was re-written and enlarged for her, and her adenoidal doxy stole the show (the most famous of her songs was "Adelaide's Lament"). The toast of Broadway, Blaine re-created the role in the 1955 film version. After two more films ("Skirts Ahoy!," 1952, and "Public Pigeon No. 1," 1957), she returned to nightclubs and touring companies, returning to Broadway in "Say, Darling" in 1958 and "Enter Laughing" in 1963. Blaine also made a number of television appearances, including the series "Those Two" (NBC, 1951-53) the special "Dream Girl" (NBC, 1955), and numerous guest spots on variety specials. In later years, she returned to films, but only supporting roles in low-budget efforts such as "Richard" (1972), "The Dark" (1979), "Parasite" (with a young Demi Moore, 1982) and "I'm Going to be Famous" (1982). Her roles in TV were somewhat larger: in the NBC pilot "Hereafter" (1975), as a neighbor on "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (syndicated, 1975-77), and three 1979 TV movies, "Sooner or Later" (NBC), "Fast Friends" (NBC, co-starring with Carrie Snodgress), and "The Cracker Factory" (ABC, with Natalie Wood).

Life Events

1942

Signed contract with 20th Century-Fox (through 1946)

1942

Film debut "Through Different Eyes"

1947

London debut in variety acts at Casino Theatre

1950

Broadway debut as Miss Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls"

1951

TV debut, regular on the NBC variety show "Those Two"

1955

Recreated Broadway role opposite Frank Sinatra in film version of "Guys and Dolls"

Photo Collections

Guys and Dolls - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for MGM's Guys and Dolls (1955), starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, and Frank Sinatra.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Family

Lionel P Stapleton
Father
Theatrical agent.
Wilhelmina Stapleton
Mother

Companions

Manuel George Frank
Husband
Agent. Married on January 10, 1945; divorced.
Milton Rackmil
Husband
Executive. Served as president of both Universal Pictures and Decca Records; married in 1959; divorced in 1961.
Stuart Clark
Husband
Divorced.

Bibliography

Notes

"That part was virtually written as the play was rehearsed. Vivian would suggest things she had thought out for Miss Adelaide to do. Before long Miss Adelaide became one of the strongest elements in the show, simply because an actress had put her mind to making something out of nothing." --husband/agent Manny Franks in 1952 on Blaine's involvement with "Guys and Dolls", quoted in NEW YORK TIMES, December 14, 1995

Blaine was voted the Best Dressed Woman Award by the Fashion Academy in 1952