independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Former Hollywood star Durbin dies

Singer and film actress Deanna Durbin in 1937

Deanna Durbin, the teenage sensation whose soprano voice and girl-next-door looks made her one of the biggest stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, has died aged 91.

Family friend Bob Koster, whose father directed six of Durbin's films, said that she died in a village outside Paris in April.

The Canadian-born Durbin made her first feature film Three Smart Girls at age 13 and would go on to appear in 20 more.

At the height of her career she was among the world's highest paid actresses, won an honorary Oscar, and counted Anne Frank and Winston Churchill among her fans.

She retired at just 28 and moved to France, remaining out of the public view.

Press Association

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