The very beautiful and talented actress Linda Darnell was born 90 years ago today in Texas.
Linda Darnell, originally named Monetta, became a star as a teenager; she was just 15 when she appeared as Tyrone Power's leading lady in DAY-TIME WIFE (1939).
A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949), for example, are those with Darnell and Paul Douglas, with whom she was teamed in two additional films, EVERYBODY DOES IT (1949) and THE GUY WHO CAME BACK (1951).
favorite actresses. A quick glance at Darnell's film credits shows that she had a rather remarkable career, working with some of moviedom's greatest directors while appearing in a long string of high-quality films, ranging from the classic swashbuckler THE MARK OF ZORRO (1945) to the superb film noir FALLEN ANGEL (1945) to John Ford's masterpiece MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946).
Rene Clair's comedic fantasy IT HAPPENED TOMORROW (1944), costarring Dick Powell, is a particular favorite.
One of Darnell's most rarely seen films, the Jerome Kern musical CENTENNIAL SUMMER (1946), is currently available on YouTube.
Linda Darnell died all too young, perishing in a house fire in April 1965. She was 41.
There's an excellent biography of Darnell, HOLLYWOOD BEAUTY: LINDA DARNELL AND THE AMERICAN DREAM by Ronald L. Davis. It can be a sad read as many things went wrong in Linda's short life, but the author did an excellent job, filling his book with a great deal of primary source research.
Stay tuned to the ClassicFlix Community, where I'll have a longer article on Darnell posted at some point in the months to come. (Update: Here is my article on Linda Darnell for the ClassicFlix site.)
Reviews of Linda Darnell films posted here to date: DAY-TIME WIFE (1939), BRIGHAM YOUNG (1940), IT HAPPENED TOMORROW (1944), HANGOVER SQUARE (1945), FALLEN ANGEL (1945), MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946), UNFAITHFULLY YOURS (1948), A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949), SECOND CHANCE (1953), and ZERO HOUR! (1957).
2015 Update: Here are additional reviews of THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940) -- plus a ZORRO photo gallery -- and DAKOTA INCIDENT (1956).