Irene Dunne

“I took my work seriously. Everything I did had a purpose. It wasn’t just a superficial acting job for the moment. It was tremendously important to me…” ~ Irene Dunn

Irene Dunne

Irene Dunne (December 20, 1898 – September 4, 1990) was an American film actress and singer of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. Dunne has been described as the best actress never to win an Academy Award. She was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her performances in “Cimarron” (1931-RKO), “Theodora Goes Wild” (1936-Columbia), “The Awful Truth” (1937-Columbia), “Love Affair” (1939-RKO) and “I Remember Mama” (1948-RKO). She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1958. In 1985, she was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors, Lifetime Achievement for a career that spanned three decades and a range of musical theater, the silver screen, Broadway, radio and television. Other honors include the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University in 1949, the Bellarmine Medal from Bellarmine College in 1965 and Colorado’s Women of Achievement in 1968. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6440 Hollywood Blvd. and displays in the Warner Bros. Museum and Center for Motion Picture Study.
Irene Dunne died peacefully at her Holmby Hills home in Los Angeles, California in 1990, and is entombed in the Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles, California. Her personal papers are housed at the University of Southern California.


The following are stills from her five Academy Award nominations.


Irene Dunne and Richard Dix in "Cimarron" (1931)


Irene Dunne and Melvyn Douglas in "Theodora Goes Wild" (1936)


Irene Dunne and Cary Grant in "The Awful Truth" (1937)


Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer in "Love Affair" (1939)


Irene Dunne in "I Remember Mamma" (1948)

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