Fredric March and Evelyn Venable in Death Takes a Holiday
|Born||October 18, 1913|
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||November 15, 1993 (aged 80)|
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Original voice of The Blue Fairy in Disney's Pinocchio (1940)|
|Spouse(s)||Hal Mohr (1934–1974, his death)|
Evelyn Venable (October 18, 1913 – November 15, 1993) was an American actress. In addition to starring in several films in the 1930s and 1940s, she was also the voice and model for the Blue Fairy in Walt Disney's Pinocchio (1940). She was the original model for the personification of Columbia in the Columbia Pictures logo.
Life and career
Evelyn Venable was born on Saturday, October 18, 1913, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the only child of Emerson and Dolores Venable. She graduated from Walnut Hills High School (class of 1930), where her father and grandfather William Henry Venable taught English. She performed in several plays at Walnut Hills, such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, the Dream Child in Dear Brutus and Rosalind in As You Like It. She attended Vassar College for a short time before returning to the University of Cincinnati. She performed in Walter Hampden's touring productions, including Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac and Ophelia in Hamlet.
During a performance in Los Angeles, she was recognized and offered several film contracts. After initially turning down the offers, she signed a contract with Paramount in 1932. Her contract was unique in that she would not have to cut her hair, pose for leg art, or perform in bit parts. A long-believed apocryphal story sprang up that she was forbidden by her father to engage in any kissing scenes in her films, and although this eventually proved to be false, e.g. in Streamline Express (1935), she indeed does not have any kissing scenes in her most memorable films, not even in Death Takes a Holiday (1934), in which she falls in love with Fredric March, or The Little Colonel (1935), in which she plays Shirley Temple's mother. She played the lead or second lead in a series of films in the 1930s, and claims to be the original model for the Columbia Pictures logo, though the studio has never confirmed it.
She met cinematographer Hal Mohr on the set of the Will Rogers film David Harum (1934). They argued over her make-up the first day on set, apologized to each other the next, and Mohr proposed by the end of the week. Venable had fallen for him but insisted they wait a year to marry because she feared a doomed Hollywood marriage and divorce. They married on December 7, 1934, and had two daughters, Dolores and Rosalia. They were vegetarians.
In 1943, Evelyn Venable retired from acting so that she could spend more time with her family. She resumed her studies at UCLA and became a faculty member there, teaching ancient Greek and Latin and organizing the production of Greek plays within the Classics department.
- Cradle Song (1933) as Teresa
- David Harum (1934) as Ann Madison
- Death Takes a Holiday (1934) as Grazia
- Double Door (1934) as Anne Darrow
- Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934) as Lucy Olcott
- The County Chairman (1935) as Lucy Rigby
- The Little Colonel (1935) as Elizabeth
- Vagabond Lady (1935) as Miss Josephine 'Jo' Spiggins
- Alice Adams (1935) as Mildred Palmer
- Harmony Lane (1935) as Susan Pentland
- Streamline Express (1935) as Patricia Wallace
- Star for a Night (1936) as Anna Lind
- North of Nome (1936) as Camilla Bridle
- Happy Go Lucky (1936) as Mary Gorham
- Racketeers in Exile (1937) as Myrtle Thornton
- My Old Kentucky Home (1938) as Lisbeth Calvert
- Hollywood Stadium Mystery (1938) as Pauline Ward
- Female Fugitive (1938) as Peggy Mallory, aka Ann Williams
- The Headleys at Home (1939) as Pamela Headley
- The Frontiersmen (1938) as June Lake
- Heritage of the Desert (1939) as Miriam Naab
- Pinocchio (1940) as The Blue Fairy (voice, uncredited)
- Lucky Cisco Kid (1940) as Emily Lawrence
- He Hired the Boss (1943) as Emily Conway
- Get It (1943)
- Uncivil War Birds (1946) as Beverly (uncredited)
- Fright Night (1947) as Julia Seds (uncredited)
- Hey, wait for me! (1950)
- Spooks! (1953)
- Spies and Guys (1954)
- Pals and Gals (1954)
- Fling in the Ring (1955)
- Pies and Guys (1957)
- "Evelyn Venable, 80, Film Actress in 30's". The New York Times. November 30, 1993. p. B11.
- "Evelyn Venable". Hollywood Walk of Fame Directory. Archived from the original on October 19, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
- Rolfes, Steven (October 29, 2012). Cincinnati Landmarks. Arcadia Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 978-0738593951. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- Chierichetti, David. "Evelyn Venable - An Earlier, Gentler Time". Films of the Golden Age. Archived from the original on July 11, 2001. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
- "Evelyn Venable". moviefone. Retrieved December 1, 2007.[dead link]
- Erickson, Hal. "Evelyn Venable". All Movie. Archived from the original on November 30, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- "Hollywood actress/alumna goes from screen to classroom". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- "Elyria Chronicle Telegram Archives, Oct 5, 1939, p. 18". NewspaperArchive.com. October 5, 1939. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- "Evelyn Venable's New Baby Likely to Be Vegetarian". April 3, 1937. pp. A1. Retrieved October 20, 2020.