Glenda Farrell


Actor
Glenda Farrell

About

Birth Place
Enid, Oklahoma, USA
Born
June 30, 1904
Died
May 01, 1971
Cause of Death
Lung Cancer

Biography

One of the hardest-working and best-liked stars at Warner Bros. during the 1930s, Glenda Farrell embodied the brassy blonde character of the early talkies. Like her good friend and frequent costar Joan Blondell, Farrell was a hard-boiled, wise-cracking type who usually played chorines, gold-diggers or working girls. Farrell made her mark in the movies opposite Edward G. Robinson in Lit...

Family & Companions

Thomas Richards
Husband
Married in 1920; divorced in 1929.
Henry Ross
Husband
Doctor. Second husband; married from 1941 until her death.

Biography

One of the hardest-working and best-liked stars at Warner Bros. during the 1930s, Glenda Farrell embodied the brassy blonde character of the early talkies. Like her good friend and frequent costar Joan Blondell, Farrell was a hard-boiled, wise-cracking type who usually played chorines, gold-diggers or working girls. Farrell made her mark in the movies opposite Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), Paul Muni in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) and Lionel Atwill in Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933). She starred with Blondell and Dick Powell in Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936), which was nominated for an Oscar® for Busby Berkeley's dance direction.

Farrell (1904-1971) was born in Enid, Okla., and began acting onstage at the age of seven. She continued her education while acting with various theater companies and on Broadway before signing a contract with First National Pictures (which had merged with Warner Bros.) in 1930. Among her other successes at Warners was a series of films in which she played "girl reporter" Torchy Blane, beginning with Smart Blonde (1937). After her Warners contract ended in 1939, Farrell returned to stage work but also continued as a character actress in such films as The Talk of the Town (1942). She remained active in movies and television through 1970.

By Roger Fristoe

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Tiger by the Tail (1970)
Sarah Harvey
Kissin' Cousins (1964)
Ma Tatum
The Disorderly Orderly (1964)
Dr. Jean Howard
Middle of the Night (1959)
Her mother [Mrs. Mueller]
The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)
Mrs. Nesbit
Susan Slept Here (1954)
Maude Snodgrass
Secret of the Incas (1954)
Mrs. Winston
Girls in the Night (1953)
Alice Haynes
Apache War Smoke (1952)
Fanny Webson
Heading for Heaven (1948)
Nora Elkins
Mary Lou (1948)
Winnie Winford
Lulu Belle (1948)
Molly Benson
I Love Trouble (1948)
Hazel Bixby
Ever Since Venus (1944)
Babs Cartwright
City Without Men (1943)
Billie LaRue
A Night for Crime (1943)
Susan [Cooper]
Klondike Kate (1943)
Molly
Johnny Eager (1942)
Mae Blythe
Twin Beds (1942)
Sonya [Cherupin]
The Talk of the Town (1942)
Regina Bush
Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1939)
Torchy Blane
Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939)
Torchy Blane
Hollywood Hotel (1938)
Jonesy
Prison Break (1938)
Jean [Fenderson]
Torchy Gets Her Man (1938)
Torchy Blane
Blondes at Work (1938)
Torchy Blane
Exposed (1938)
[Claire] Click Stewart
The Road to Reno (1938)
Sylvia Shane
Smart Blonde (1937)
Torchy Blane
Torchy Blane, the Adventurous Blonde (1937)
Torchy Blane
Fly Away Baby (1937)
Torchy Blane
Breakfast for Two (1937)
Carol Wallace
Dance Charlie Dance (1937)
Fanny Morgan
You Live And Learn (1937)
Here Comes Carter (1936)
Verna Kennedy
Nobody's Fool (1936)
Ruby Miller
The Law in Her Hands (1936)
Dorothy Davis
High Tension (1936)
Edith McNeil
Snowed Under (1936)
Daisy Lowell
Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936)
Genevieve Larkin
Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)
Betty Hawes
In Caliente (1935)
Clara
Little Big Shot (1935)
Jean
We're in the Money (1935)
Dixie Tilton
Miss Pacific Fleet (1935)
Mae O' Brien
Traveling Saleslady (1935)
Claudette [Ruggles]
Go into Your Dance (1935)
Molly Howard
Heat Lightning (1934)
Mrs. Tifton ["Feathers"]
Kansas City Princess (1934)
Marie [Callahan]
Hi Nellie! (1934)
Gerry [Krale]
Merry Wives of Reno (1934)
Bunny [Fitch]
The Personality Kid (1934)
Joan [McCarty]
Dark Hazard (1934)
Valerie [Wilson]
The Secret Bride (1934)
Hazel Normandie
I've Got Your Number (1934)
Bonnie
The Big Shakedown (1934)
Lil [Lily Duran]
Central Airport (1933)
Woman in wreck
Havana Widows (1933)
Sadie Appleby
Girl Missing (1933)
Kay Curtis
Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)
Florence Dempsey
Bureau of Missing Persons (1933)
Belle [Saunders]
Mary Stevens, M.D. (1933)
Glenda
The Keyhole (1933)
Dot
Man's Castle (1933)
Fay La Rue
Gambling Ship (1933)
Jeanne Sands
Lady for a Day (1933)
Missouri Martin
Grand Slam (1933)
Blondie
Scandal for Sale (1932)
Stella
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
Marie [Woods]
The Match King (1932)
Babe
Life Begins (1932)
Florette
Three on a Match (1932)
Mrs. Black
Little Caesar (1931)
Olga Strassoff

Cast (Special)

The Marriage Broker (1957)
Mae Swasey

Cast (Short)

Sunday Night at the Trocadero (1937)
Herself
Things You Never See on the Screen (1935)
Herself
Position & Back Swing (1933)

Life Events

1928

Made Broadway debut, replacing the leading lady in "Skidding"

1929

Film acting debut (bit) in "Lucky Boy"

1930

First major film role in "Little Caesar"

1969

Starred on Broadway as the mother in "Forty Carats"

Videos

Movie Clip

Lady For A Day (1933) - Open, Apples Opening credits and first scene featuring Annie (May Robson) and a cop (Ward Bond) from Frank Capra's Lady For A Day, 1933, from a Damon Runyon story, also starring Warren William.
Lady For A Day (1933) - In Your Own Vernacular We’ve just met Guy Kibbee as “Judge” Blake, engaged in a pool hustle (Irving Bacon the dupe) when Shakespeare (Nat Pendleton) arrives, representing Dave the Dude (Warren William), to recruit him as a stand-in husband for dolled-up Apple Annie (May Robson), with Ned Sparks as Happy and Glenda Farrell as Missouri, in Frank Capra’s Lady For A Day, 1933, from a Damon Runyon story.
Hi, Nellie! (1934) - They've Found Bigger Hearts In Fleas! Delineating relations between reluctant “lonely hearts” columnist Gerry (Glenda Farrell), billed as “Nellie,” and editor “Brad” Bradshaw (Paul Muni), Mervyn LeRoy directing in extra punchy Warner Bros. style, from an original script by Abem Finkel, Sidney Sutherland and Roy Chanslor, early in Hi, Nellie!, 1934.
Hi, Nellie! (1934) - Polish Children's Picnic Yarn First scene for Paul Muni in his first comedy, as big city news editor “Brad” Bradshaw, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, with George Chandler, Donald Meek, Douglas Dumbrille (as “Dawes”), and Paul Kaye in support, the picnic story having nothing to do with the Bob Dylan song, written about a similar (but not fictional) event almost 30-years later, in Hi, Nellie!, 1934.
Hi, Nellie! (1934) - I Wanted A Story With Teeth Editor “Brad” (Paul Muni) called before his annoyed but befuddled publisher (Berton Churchill) who thinks he blew a big city corruption story, pointing out he can’t be fired, but nonetheless sharing the news with disgruntled advice columnist Gerry (Glenda Farrell, pen name “Nellie”), knowing she’ll be thrilled Hi, Nellie!, 1934.
Gold Diggers Of 1937 (1936) - The Boston Bluntingtons Joan Blondell as jobless showgirl Norma is sitting out her friends’ hunt for generous men-folk on the train from Atlantic City but winds up having to flee a hoarde of hungry insurance salesmen, taking refuge in a sleeper where she meets aspiring musician and for-now salesman Rosmer (Dick Powell, Blondell’s new husband at the time!), early in Gold Diggers Of 1937, 1936.
Gold Diggers Of 1937 (1936) - All's Fair In Love And War Busby Berkeley’s dance direction at last with some scale in the finalè number, Dick Powell and Lee Dixon, with Joan Blondell and Rosalind Marquis, in a Harry Warren/Al Dubin original composition for Warner Bros., in what was technically the 5th film in the series (counting the lost silents), in Gold Diggers Of 1937, 1936.
Gold Diggers Of 1937 (1936) - The Broker Ripped His Pants From the opening at an Atlantic City insurance salesman’s convention, to the train station where chorus girls Genevieve and Norma (Glenda Farrell, Joan Blondell) lament the collapse of their musical, with Irene Ware as “Irene” and Rosalind Marquis as Sally, and Iris Adrian as snooty Verna, the first appearance for all, in Warner Bros.’ Gold Diggers Of 1937, 1936.
In Caliente (1935) - Get Me Some Gay And Frisky Zippy opening, screenplay by Jerry Wald and Julius Epstein, story Ralph Block and Warren Duff, Pat O’Brien and Edward Everett Horton as partners in a New York entertainment rag, chewing through staff (Florence Fair, James Donlan etc.) and evading probably treacherous Glenda Farrell as Clara, in In Caliente, 1935, starring Dolores Del Rio.
Gold Diggers Of 1935 (1935) - Our Brief Summer Season A dazzling though delicate opening by Busby Berkeley, to an untitled tune by Harry Warren, no vocals and no stars but remarkable design, shooting and editing, leading to Grant Mitchell addressing his hotel staff, in Gold Diggers Of 1935, 1935, starring Dick Powell and Gloria Stuart.
Gold Diggers Of 1935 (1935) - Name The First One After Me At the “Wentworth Plaza,” various staffs discussing tipping, Ray Cooke with bellhops, George Beranger with waiters, Nora Cecil with maids and Arthur Aylesworth with bartenders, then manager Grant Mitchell with Dorothy Dare and Dick Powell as couple Dick and Arline, early in Warner Bros.’ Gold Diggers Of 1935, 1935.
Traveling Saleslady (1935) - Try Suspenders Or Shoelaces Now working for the rival toothpaste manufacturer “Schmidt’s” because her father won’t hire her, Joan Blondell as Angela Twitchell discovers that the boss for the retailer Ruggles is her frequent Warner Bros.’ co-star Glenda Farrell, and her dad’s top salesman Pat (William Gargan), whom she hasn’t met, has her business, in Traveling Saleslady, 1935.

Trailer

Susan Slept Here - (Original Trailer) A Hollywood screenwriter (Dick Powell) takes in a runaway girl (Debbie Reynolds) who's more woman than he can handle. Directed by Frank Tashlin and narrated by an Oscar statuette.
Smart Blonde - (Original Trailer) In Smart Blonde (1936), the first of the Torchy Blane series, Torchy talks her policeman boyfriend into letting her help with a murder case.
Grand Slam - (Original Trailer) A Russian waiter (Paul Lukas) rides the craze for contract bridge to fame and fortune in the satire Grand Slam (1933).
Go Into Your Dance - (Original Trailer) Real-life husband and wife Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler star in the musical melodrama Go Into Your Dance (1935).
Mary Stevens, M.D. - (Original Trailer) Kay Francis shocked pre-code audiences playing an doctor who is also an unwed mother in Mary Stevens, M.D. (1933).
Fly Away Baby - (Original Trailer) Reporter Torchy Blane (Glenda Farrell) takes to the skies to track down a band of killers in Fly Away Baby (1937).
Three on a Match - (Original Trailer) A woman's childhood friends try to rescue her from gangsters in Three on a Match (1932) starring Bette Davis and Joan Blondell.
Dark Hazard - (Original Trailer) Edward G. Robinson plays a compulsive gambler who loses everything in Dark Hazard (1934).
Dance, Charlie, Dance - (Original Trailer) A gullible "angel" sinks money into a doomed play in Dance, Charlie, Dance (1937).
Bureau of Missing Persons - (Original Trailer) A police chief (Pat O'Brien) helps a young bride (Bette Davis) find her missing husband...or at least his corpse at the Bureau Of Missing Persons (1933).
Blondes at Work - (Original Trailer) In the fourth Torchy Blane movie, Torchy (Glenda Farrell) investigates the murder of a department store owner.
Big Shakedown, The - (Original Trailer) A racketeer (Ricardo Cortez) breaks into black-market medicine. Bette Davis co-stars in The Big Shakedown (1934).

Family

Charles Farrell
Father
Irish.
Wilhelmina Farrell
Mother
Of French-German ancestry.
Tommy Farrell
Son
Actor. Born in October 7, 1921; father, Thomas Richards; officially changed surname to Farrell in 1932; survived her.

Companions

Thomas Richards
Husband
Married in 1920; divorced in 1929.
Henry Ross
Husband
Doctor. Second husband; married from 1941 until her death.

Bibliography