Claire Trevor


Actor
Claire Trevor

About

Also Known As
Claire Trevor Bren, Claire Wemlinger
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
March 08, 1910
Died
April 08, 2000
Cause of Death
Complications From A Respiratory Ailment

Biography

Known among aficionados as "The Queen of Film Noir," Claire Trevor could play any number of heroines, but she proved particularly suited to the shadowy world of crime and mystery showcased in numerous films in the 1940s and 1950s. While not as glamorous as the most prominent actresses of the time, the husky-voiced blonde still captivated through force of character and the sincerity she b...

Photos & Videos

Key Largo - Publicity Stills
Crack-Up - Lobby Card Set
Born to Kill - Lobby Card Set

Family & Companions

Clark Andrews
Husband
Writer, radio director. Married in 1938; divorced in 1942; had directed segments of "Big Town".
Cyclos William Dunsmoore
Husband
Navy lieutenant. Married in 1943; divorced in 1947.
Milton Bren
Husband
Producer. Married from 1948 until his death from a brain tumor in 1979.

Notes

Some sources list 1910 as the year of Ms. Trevor's birth.

"I don't think female movie stars have particularly happy lives. I rather doubt that Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn had happy lives. . . . But I am sure about myself: I had a happy life; 90% of my thoughts were not directed to career." --Claire Trevor in a 1982 interview with Los Angeles Times

Biography

Known among aficionados as "The Queen of Film Noir," Claire Trevor could play any number of heroines, but she proved particularly suited to the shadowy world of crime and mystery showcased in numerous films in the 1940s and 1950s. While not as glamorous as the most prominent actresses of the time, the husky-voiced blonde still captivated through force of character and the sincerity she brought to much of her work. Following some stage assignments and a few undistinguished programmers, Trevor gained her first significant industry attention via an Oscar-nominated performance in "Dead End" (1937). However, it was John Ford's superb Western "Stagecoach" (1939) that really put Trevor on the map and she enjoyed lead roles in several major productions during the years that followed. Her turns in the superior film noir thrillers "Murder, My Sweet" (1944), "Born to Kill" (1947), "Raw Deal" (1948), and "Key Largo" (1948) established Trevor as one of its premiere players and she excelled as both determined heroines and debased antagonists. "Key Largo" also brought Trevor her only Academy Award and the powerful work she did in that John Huston classic as a deglamorized, desperate alcoholic provided a potent demonstration of her value as a character actress. Later regarded by some as more of a cult actress than a true Golden Age movie star, Trevor's filmography contained many persuasive examples of her versatility, which also extended to her stage and television assignments.

Claire Trevor was born Claire Wemlinger on March 8, 1910 in New York City, though she spent much of her childhood in Larchmont, NY. After finishing her initial schooling, Trevor attended Columbia University and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, making her stage bow in a 1929 production of "The Seagull." She sharpened her skills further by alternating between parts in short films and repertory work in various productions. Trevor first appeared on Broadway in the comedy-melodrama "Whistling in the Dark" (1932-33) and remained on the Great White Way for the less successful "The Party's Over" (1933) before she graduated to features at Fox Film Corporation. For the next few years, Trevor graced B-Westerns and other low-budget, mostly forgotten fare before she was called up for more prominent pictures, like "Dante's Inferno" (1935), where she starred opposite an ascending Spencer Tracy.

However, it was the United Artists gangster saga "Dead End" (1937) that finally gained Trevor notoriety and her performance - that of a prostitute afflicted with syphilis, something that had to be discretely communicated in the film due to then-current Hays Code restrictions - resulted in an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Trevor also found steady work on radio, where she was paired with Warner Bros. powerhouse Edward G. Robinson for the newspaper drama "Big Town" (1937-1952) and stayed for the first three of the show's 15 years on the air. The pair were deemed to be a good fit and reteamed again the following year for the endearingly comic gangster saga "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" (1938). That year, she also married future screenwriter Clark Andrews, the first of her three husbands. The following year, Trevor was cast in the film that would totally change her life and that of her then-unknown leading man.

John Ford's Western classic "Stagecoach" (1939) was regularly cited as the critical assignment for John Wayne that initiated his rapid ascension from poverty row cowboy to A-list star. However, it also made a star out of Trevor, who played Dallas, the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold, one of the passengers The Ringo Kid (Wayne) was charged with defending from marauding Indians. While it followed the well-worn clichés of the genre, "Stagecoach" was put together with considerable skill by Ford and impeccably cast. With the career boost she received from "Dead End," Trevor was among the best paid performers on the film, earning $15,000 - five times what Wayne was paid. With the success of "Stagecoach," Trevor was quickly cast in further Westerns, including two more John Wayne vehicles, "Allegheny Uprising" (1939) and "Dark Command" (1940), by which time the pay disparity between the two performers had likely moved in the other direction.

Beginning with her supporting part in "Crossroads" (1942), Trevor also appeared in the sort of mystery-thrillers for which she would be fondly remembered by film buffs. She was a femme fatale who sought her father's killer in "Johnny Angel" (1945) and the patient girlfriend of amnesia victim Pat O'Brien in "Crack-Up" (1946). While fine in those assignments, Trevor was really on fire when cast as noir heroines who were either innately bad or just unable to resist their impulses. She was a killer in "Street of Chance" (1942), a young and dangerous gold-digger in the Raymond Chandler adaptation of "Murder, My Sweet" (1944), a divorcée who succumbed to the animal magnetism of psychopath Lawrence Tierney in "Born to Kill" (1947), and a gangster moll who aided her ex-con boyfriend in "Raw Deal" (1948). Trevor also provided the mood setting narration for the latter picture, one of the most strikingly photographed thrillers of the 1940s.

However, the finest of her forays into the genre, and one of Trevor's career highlights, was the star-studded "Key Largo" (1948). The John Huston film represented the fourth and final pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and both were in fine form. However, as the main villain of the piece, Edward G. Robinson was granted the flashiest role as a notorious gangster who ducked the authorities by hiding out in a Key Largo hotel during a hurricane. Trevor played his long suffering, alcoholic girlfriend, forced to endure Robinson's repeated abuse and reduced to performing pathetic indignities. Thoroughly deglamorized, Trevor did a superb job of gaining viewer empathy. She also held her own against the two men, a particular achievement considering that this was one of the best roles Robinson had been granted in some time and he tore into the material with fervour. Trevor offered to work for less than her usual fee in order land the part. Her intuition about the role proved correct when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

By that point in her life, Trevor had been through two failed marriages, but her 1948 union with producer Milton H. Bren lasted up until his death in 1979. Bren subsequently produced "Borderline" (1950), which proved to be the last of Trevor's ventures into film noir and the couple's only movie collaboration. During her cinematic mystery run, Trevor made a one-shot return to Broadway in the short-lived farce "The Big Two" (1947) and also began moonlighting on the small screen in several of the live dramas that were popular at the dawn of the medium. Her performances in episodes of "Lux Video Theatre" (CBS/NBC, 1950-57) and "Producers' Showcase" (NBC, 1954-57) earned Trevor a pair of Emmy nominations and a win for the latter production, an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' "Dodsworth." She made a brief return to big screen frontier adventures with items like "Best of the Badmen" (1951) and the 3-D feature "The Stranger Wore a Gun" (1953), She also earned her third Best Supporting Actress nomination via the big-budget adventure "The High and the Mighty" (1954), a reunion with John Wayne. Roles in "The Mountain" (1956) and "Marjorie Morningstar" (1958) followed, along with more television work, including a memorable turn as real-life mobster Ma Barker on "The Untouchables" (ABC, 1959-1963) and a pair of appearances on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS/NBC, 1955-1962).

Trevor received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, though the actress' output also began to slow during that decade, with her most noteworthy projects being Vincente Minnelli's drama about moviemaking, "Two Weeks in Another Town" (1962), and the highly amusing Jack Lemmon vehicle "How to Murder Your Wife" (1965). "The Cape Town Affair" (1967), an uninspired remake of "Pickup on South Street" (1953) set and shot in South Africa, turned out to be Trevor's last feature for a number of years. She instead turned her attention towards other pursuits, including the lead role in a touring company version of "The Killing of Sister George." Dual tragedies struck Trevor in the late 1970s. Charles, the son she had with second husband Cyclos William Dunsmoore, perished in a 1978 plane crash and then-current spouse Bren died of a brain tumor the following year.

Shouldering on, Trevor returned to the silver screen for the romantic comedy "Kiss Me Goodbye" (1982), which turned out to be her last motion picture. She also guest starred on "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986) and "Murder, She Wrote" (CBS, 1984-1996), and made her final appearance in the made-for-TV drama "Breaking Home Ties" (ABC, 1987). In her retirement, Trevor devoted much time to the University of California, Irvine's School of the Arts, where she acted as a mentor for students and was an advocate of the school's goals. Trevor died as a result of respiratory failure on April 8, 2000, a month after her 90th birthday. In the wake of her passing, Trevor's stepson Donald Bren and his brother made a $10 million donation to UCI, which renamed its arts school the Claire Trevor School of the Arts in recognition. In 2011, the school inaugurated its own Walk of Fame, with Trevor as the first to be honored. The actress also donated her Academy Award and Emmy statuettes to the school, which were put on display in the facility.

By John Charles

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Norman Rockwell's Breaking Home Ties (1987)
Grace Porter
Kiss Me Goodbye (1982)
Charlotte Banning
How To Murder Your Wife (1965)
Edna
The Stripper (1963)
Helen Baird
Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)
Clara
Marjorie Morningstar (1958)
Rose Morgenstern
The Mountain (1956)
Marie
Man Without a Star (1955)
Idonee
Lucy Gallant (1955)
Lady "Mac" MacBeth
The High and the Mighty (1954)
May Holst
Stop, You're Killing Me (1953)
Nora Marko
The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953)
Josie Sullivan
My Man and I (1952)
Mrs. Ansel [Elena] Ames
Hoodlum Empire (1952)
Connie Williams
Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951)
Milly Farley
Best of the Badmen (1951)
Lily [Fowler]
Borderline (1950)
Madeleine Haley, also known as Gladys La Rue
The Lucky Stiff (1949)
Marguerite "Maggie" Seaton
The Babe Ruth Story (1948)
Claire [Hodgson] Ruth
Raw Deal (1948)
Pat Regan
The Velvet Touch (1948)
Marian Webster
Key Largo (1948)
Gaye Dawn
Born to Kill (1947)
Helen [Brent]
The Bachelor's Daughters (1946)
Cynthia
Crack-Up (1946)
Terry [Cordell]
Johnny Angel (1945)
Lilah Gustafson
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
Mrs. Helen Grayle previously known as Velma Valento
The Desperadoes (1943)
The Countess [Maletta]
Good Luck, Mr. Yates (1943)
Ruth Jones
The Woman of the Town (1943)
Dora Hand
The Adventures of Martin Eden (1942)
"Connie" Dawson
Street of Chance (1942)
Ruth Dillon
Crossroads (1942)
Michele Allaine
Texas (1941)
"Mike" King
Honky Tonk (1941)
"Gold Dust" Nelson
Dark Command (1940)
Mary McCloud
I Stole a Million (1939)
Laura Benson
Allegheny Uprising (1939)
Janie MacDougall
Stagecoach (1939)
Dallas
Valley of the Giants (1938)
Lee Roberts
The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse (1938)
Jo Keller
Walking Down Broadway (1938)
Joan Bradley
Five of a Kind (1938)
Christine Nelson
Dead End (1937)
Francey
One Mile from Heaven (1937)
Lucy "Tex" Warren
Big Town Girl (1937)
Fay Loring
Time Out for Romance (1937)
Barbara Blanchard
King of Gamblers (1937)
Dixie [Moore]
Second Honeymoon (1937)
Marcia
15 Maiden Lane (1936)
Jane Martin
Career Woman (1936)
Carroll Aiken
Star for a Night (1936)
Nina Lind
Human Cargo (1936)
Bonnie Brewster
My Marriage (1936)
Carol Barton
Song and Dance Man (1936)
Julie Carroll
To Mary--With Love (1936)
Kitty Brant
Dante's Inferno (1935)
Betty McWade
Spring Tonic (1935)
Betty Ingals
Black Sheep (1935)
Janette Foster
Navy Wife (1935)
Vicky Blake
Hold That Girl (1934)
Tony Bellamy
Wild Gold (1934)
Jerry Jordan
Elinor Norton (1934)
Elinor Norton
Baby Take a Bow (1934)
Kay Ellison
Life in the Raw (1933)
Judy [Halloway]
Jimmy and Sally (1933)
Sally [Johnson]
The Mad Game (1933)
Jane Lee
The Last Trail (1933)
Patricia Carter

Cast (Special)

The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998)
Performer
Edward G. Robinson: Little Big Man (1996)
Interviewee
Wolf Trap Salutes Victor Borge: An 80th Birthday Celebration (1990)

Cast (Short)

Sunkist Stars at Palm Springs (1936)
Herself

Life Events

1931

Acted on Broadway in "Whistling in the Dark"

1933

Appeared opposite Spencer Tracy in "The Mad Game"

1933

Feature film debut, "Life in the Raw"

1934

Cast as Shirley Temple's mother in "Baby Takes a Bow"

1937

Breakthough film role, an Oscar-nominated supporting turn as Humphrey Bogart's girlfriend in "Dead End"

1937

Co-starred with Edward G Robinson in the radio drama "Big Town"

1938

Reteamed with Bogart on "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse"

1939

Was top-billed as a hard-bitten woman of questionable virtue in "Stagecoach"; first of four films with John Wayne John Wayne

1943

Co-starred in "The Desperados"

1944

Appeared with Dick Powell (as private eye Philip Marlowe) in "Murder, My Sweet", adapted from Raymond Chandler's "Farewell My Lovely"

1947

Appeared on Broadway in "The Big Two"; show closed after 21 performances

1948

Offered Oscar-winning turn as Edward G Robinson's alcoholic moll in the crime drama "Key Largo"

1954

Received Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her spunky turn as a passenger on a troubled airplane in "The High and the Mighty"

1956

Starred opposite Fredric March in TV version of "Dodsworth"; earned Emmy Award

1958

Co-starred in "Marjorie Morningstar"

1962

Played Robinson's shrewish wife in "Two Weeks in Another Town"

1963

Cast as Joanne Woodward's mother in "The Stripper"

1967

Last film for 15 years, "The Cape Town Affair"

1982

Final film, playing Sally Field's mother in "Kiss Me Goodbye"

1987

Final acting role, in the ABC TV-movie "Norman Rockwell's Breaking Home Ties"

1998

Last TV appearance on the Academy Awards telecast, as part of a salute to previous award winners

Photo Collections

Key Largo - Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos taken to help publicize Warner Bros' Key Largo (1948), starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, and Claire Trevor. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Crack-Up - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from RKO's Crack-Up (1946), starring Pat O'Brien and Claire Trevor. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Born to Kill - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from RKO's Born to Kill (1947), starring Claire Trevor and Lawrence Tierney. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Murder, My Sweet - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills taken for Murder, My Sweet (1944), starring Dick Powell and Claire Trevor. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Murder, My Sweet - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters for Murder, My Sweet (1944), starring Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe.
Key Largo - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several behind-the-scenes photos taken during the shooting of Key Largo (1948), directed by John Huston.
The Stranger Wore a Gun - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953), starring Randolph Scott in 3-D. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Claire Trevor - Publicity Sheet
This is a Warner Bros. studio publicity sheet on the actress Claire Trevor. These write-ups were often performed by the Warner Bros. Studio Publicity or Marketing departments (sometimes the studio would use an outside PR agency) and were intended to provide media outlets (mostly magazines and newspapers) with background information and entertainment copy to help editors create their stories on film stars and celebrities. These often included a mixture of some fact and plenty of fiction.
The High and the Mighty - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The High and the Mighty (1954). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Claire Trevor - Publicity Stills
These are some publicity stills for the actress Claire Trevor

Videos

Movie Clip

Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, The (1938) - The Guy's A Ghost Edward G. Robinson (title character, dabbling in jewel thievery to satisfy his scientific curiosity) has bluffed his way in to meet fence Jo Keller (Claire Trevor), surprised to find out she’s a girl, Maxie Rosenbloom her goon, Humphrey Bogart her cohort “Rocks,” in The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, 1938.
Babe Ruth Story, The (1948) - Western Union Boy In a Boston bar with a reporter pal (Sam Levene), Babe (William Bendix) laments his pitching slump and meets (wholly fictional!) Claire (Claire Trevor), in The Babe Ruth Story, 1948.
Crack-Up (1946) - Nothing Wrong With Your Mind Returning home after apparently losing his mind at the museum, military vet and art critic Steele (Pat O'Brien) with girl-friend Terry (Claire Trevor) and new Brit pal Traybin (Herbert Marshall), in Crack-Up, 1946.
Johnny Angel (1946) - Married To A Steamship Line Furthering his investigation into the killing of his fellow New Orleans ships’ captain father, Angel (George Raft) gets past a headwaiter (Jack Overman) to interrogate Lilah (Claire Trevor), fickle wife of his boss, and night club owner Jewell (Lowell Gilmore), in Johnny Angel, 1946.
Stranger Wore A Gun, The (1953) - William Clarke Quantrill The narrated opening, James Millican as the notorious semi-Confederate raider William Clarke Quantrill, we meet top-billed Randolph Scott as his not-overly conscientious spy Jeff Travis, and director Andre De Toth provides action for the original 3-D production, in The Stranger Wore A Gun, 1953.
Stranger Wore A Gun, The (1953) - You Ride A Careless Horse Seeking refuge in Prescott, Arizona, after facilitating a massacre with Quantrill’s Raiders in Kansas, Travis (Randolph Scott) meets goons (including Lee Marvin, and Ernest Borgnine in his first movie!) who report to slippery Mourret (George Macready) in The Stranger Wore A Gun, 1953.
Stranger Wore A Gun, The (1953) - Thieves, Cutthroats And Murderers Fleeing on a riverboat after unintentionally abetting William Clarke Quantrill’s historic Lawrence (Kansas) Massacre, Travis (Randolph Scott) plays cards with Josie (Claire Trevor, her first scene) and it becomes clear he’s been tracked down, Andre De Toth directing, in the originally 3-D The Stranger Wore A Gun, 1953.
Johnny Angel (1946) - I Didn't Come Here For Regrets Ashore in New Orleans, Captain Angel (George Raft), looking to find out how his father, who worked for the same shipping line, was killed, visits the main office, where we meet doyenne Miss Drumm (Margaret Wycherly), boss “Gusty” (Marvin Miller) and his wife Lilah (Claire Trevor), in Johnny Angel, 1946.
Dead End (1937) - Why Didn't You Starve First? Most of the performance of Claire Trevor, as Francey, girlfriend from the old neighborhood, finally found by “Baby Face,” (Humphrey Bogart), the most-wanted gangster, who’s had his face changed and come home, William Wyler directing from Sidney Kingsley’s play, in the Samuel Goldwyn production Dead End, 1937.
Murder, My Sweet (1944) - Are You Familiar With Jade? Raymond Chandler's famous P-I Marlowe (Dick Powell) narrating, as Anne (Anne Shirley) introduces him to her father Grayle (Miles Mander) and his wife Helen (Claire Trevor) for a talk about stolen jade, in Murder, My Sweet, directed by Edward Dmytryk.
Key Largo (1948) - He Wants More Ensemble scene from Key Largo 1948, in which moll Gaye (Claire Trevor) trembles, Temple (Lionel Barrymore) fumes, and Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) dares McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) to shoot, John Huston directing from Maxwell Anderson's play.
Key Largo (1948) - You Won't Kill Me McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) isn't bothered when Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) threatens to use Toots (Harry Lewis) as a method of persuasion, shortly after the hurricane in John Huston's Key Largo, 1948.

Trailer

Dead End - (Original Trailer) A killer (Humphrey Bogart) returns to the mean streets that made him in William Wyler's Dead End (1937) co-starring Sylvia Sidney and Joel McCrea.
Crossroads (1942) - (Original Trailer) A French diplomat (William Powell) who's recovered from amnesia is blackmailed over crimes he can't remember.
Crack-Up - (Original Trailer) An art critic (Pat O'Brien) risks his reputation and his life to track down a forgery racket.
Two Weeks in Another Town - (Original Trailer) A recovering alcoholic film director tries for a comeback in Rome in Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) starring Kirk Douglas & Edward G. Robinson.
Allegheny Uprising - (Re-issue Trailer) It's John Wayne versus the Redcoats as a rebel in Colonial America in Allegheny Uprising (1939) co-starring Claire Trevor and George Sanders.
Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, The - (Original Trailer) A doctor (Edward G. Robinson) plots crimes so he can study criminal psychology in The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse (1938), directed by Anatole Litvak.
High and the Mighty, The -- (Original Trailer) The passengers and crew of an imperiled airliner reflect on their lives in William Wellman's The High and the Mighty (1954), Starring John Wayne.
Valley of the Giants- (TextlessTrailer) Wayne Morris takes on a land baron who wants to clear cut the redwood forest in Valley Of The Giants (1938) shot in Technicolor.
Mountain, The - (Black-and-white trailer) Brother mountain climbers clash over how to deal with the survivor of a plane crash in The Mountain (1956).
Murder, My Sweet - (Original Trailer) Dick Powell plays detective Phillip Marlowe in Murder, My Sweet (1944) based on the Raymond Chandler novel Farewell, My Lovely.
Stranger Wore a Gun, The - (Original Trailer) A gold robber tries to reform in the middle of a big heist in The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953) starring Randolph Scott.
Honky Tonk - (Re-issue Trailer) Con man Clark Gable and a crooked judge try to take over a town but trouble starts when Gable marries the judge's daughter, Lana Turner in Honky Tonk (1941).

Family

Noel Wemlinger
Father
Clothier. French; born in Paris; lost his business during the Depression.
Betty Wemlinger
Mother
Irish; born in Belfast.
Charles Cyclos Dunsmoore
Son
Born in 1944; died in a 1978 airline crash; father, Cyclos Dunsmoore.
Donald L Bren
Step-Son
Developer. Chairman of Irvine Company; reportedly a billionaire; survived her.
Peter Bren
Step-Son
Discotheque owner, real estate developer. Survived her.

Companions

Clark Andrews
Husband
Writer, radio director. Married in 1938; divorced in 1942; had directed segments of "Big Town".
Cyclos William Dunsmoore
Husband
Navy lieutenant. Married in 1943; divorced in 1947.
Milton Bren
Husband
Producer. Married from 1948 until his death from a brain tumor in 1979.

Bibliography

Notes

Some sources list 1910 as the year of Ms. Trevor's birth.

"I don't think female movie stars have particularly happy lives. I rather doubt that Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn had happy lives. . . . But I am sure about myself: I had a happy life; 90% of my thoughts were not directed to career." --Claire Trevor in a 1982 interview with Los Angeles Times

In 1999, Trevor donated $500,000 to the University of California at Irvine's School of the Arts. A theater was named in her honor.