Gossip Rocks.com

Welcome to Gossip Rocks!
 

Dorothy Lamour

Real name: Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton
Birthdate: December 10, 1914
Status: Married
Partner: William Ross Howard III

Image Gallery
   
       

Biography

Later, however, she did go to a secretarial school that did not require her to have a high school diploma. She regarded herself as an excellent typist and usually typed her own letters, even after she became quite wealthy.

After she won the 1931 Miss New Orleans beauty contest, she and her mother moved to Chicago, where Lamour earned $17 a week as an elevator operator for the Marshall Field department store on State Street. She had no training as a singer but was persuaded by a friend to try out for a female vocalist's spot with Herbie Kay, a band leader who had a national radio show called "The Yeast Foamers", apparently because it was sponsored by Fleischmann's Yeast.

She left Kay's group and moved to Manhattan, where Rudy Vallee, then a popular singer, helped her get a singing job at a popular night club, El Morocco. She later worked at 1 Fifth Avenue, a cabaret where she met Louis B. Mayer, the Hollywood studio chief. It was Mayer who eventually arranged for her to have a screen test, which led to her Paramount contract in 1935.

In 1935, she had her own fifteen-minute weekly musical program on NBC Radio. She also sang on the popular Rudy Vallee radio show.

When she was at her zenith as a star, her fans suggested that an agent had adopted her last name from the French word for "love" as a box-office ploy. In fact, the name was close to one in the family; Lamour adapted it herself from Lambour, which was the last name of her stepfather, Clarence.

In 1936, she moved to Hollywood and began appearing regularly in films for Paramount Pictures. The role that made her a star was Ulah (a sort of female Tarzan) in The Jungle Princess (1936). She wore a sarong, which would become associated with her, and captivated many viewers with her sensuous exotic attractive appearance. While she first achieved stardom as a sex symbol, Lamour also showed talent as both a comic and dramatic actress. She was among the most popular actresses in motion pictures from 1936 to 1952.

As she entered her late seventies, in 1990, she made only a handful of professional appearances but she remained a popular interview subject for publications and TV talk and news programs. In 1995 the musical Swinging on a Star, a revue of songs written by Johnny Burke opened on Broadway and ran for three months; Lamour was credited as a "special advisor" in the credits. Burke wrote many of the most famous "Road to..." movie songs and well as the score to Lamour's And the Angels Sing. The musical only ran three months but was nominated for the Best Musical Tony Award and the actress playing "Dorothy Lamour" in the Road movie segment, Kathy Fitzgerald was also nominated.

Lamour died at her home in North Hollywood, California at the age of 81 from a heart attack. She was interred in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California, after a Catholic funeral service.



 


© 2007 Gossip Rocks : This site best viewed in Firefox.