Virginia Anna Adeleid Weidler
March 21, 1927
|Died||July 1, 1968 (aged 41)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Early life and career
Weidler was born on March 21, 1927, in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles County, California, she was the sixth and final child born to Alfred Weidler, an architect, and Margaret Weidler (born Margarete Therese Louise Radon; 1890–1987), a former opera singer. She was the second Weidler child born in the United States after the family emigrated from Germany in 1923.
She made her first film appearance in 1931. Her first credited role was as Europena in Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934) a role she won at age seven after having been seen in the play Autumn Crocus. Virginia made a big impression on audiences as the little girl who would "hold my breath 'til I am black in the face" to get her way.
For the next several years, she would appear in many memorable films from George Stevens' Laddie (1935) to a pivotal supporting role in Souls at Sea (1938) starring Gary Cooper and George Raft. Despite being under contract to Paramount, just as many of her roles of the period took place while on loan to RKO-Radio Pictures.
When Paramount did not extend her contract, she was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. Her first film for MGM was with their leading male star Mickey Rooney in Love Is a Headache (1938). The film was a success and Weidler was later cast in larger roles. She was one of the all-female cast of the 1939 film The Women, as the daughter of Norma Shearer's character.
Her next major success was The Philadelphia Story (1940) in which she played Dinah Lord, the witty younger sister of Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn). Her film career ended with the 1943 film Best Foot Forward.
At her retirement from the screen at age 16, she had appeared in more than forty films, and had acted with some of the biggest stars of the day, including Clark Gable and Myrna Loy in Too Hot to Handle, Bette Davis in All This and Heaven Too, and Judy Garland in Babes on Broadway.
In addition to her parents, Virginia had three brothers and two sisters. Her brothers Warner (born Werner), Walter (born Wolfgang), and George were successful musicians after some child acting work, eventually owning their own recording studio. Her brother George was married to singer-actress Doris Day from 1946–49 (his first marriage, her second). Her sisters, Sylvia (born Waltraud) and Renee (born Verena), also were involved in show business prior to their marriages.
On March 27, 1947, aged 20, Weidler married Lionel Krisel. They had two sons, Ron and Gary.
After her retirement, Weidler gave no interviews for the remainder of her life. She was married to Krisel until her death at age 41 in Los Angeles on July 1, 1968. Weidler suffered from a heart ailment for many years and died of a heart attack.
While not the box office draw of Fox's Shirley Temple or Jane Withers, Virginia Weidler still has a loyal following to this day. In 2012, the Virginia Weidler Remembrance Society was created to honor her life and career.
- Surrender (1931) - Little Girl (uncredited)
- After Tonight (1933) - Olga, Carla's Niece (uncredited)
- Long Lost Father (1934) - Girl at Pier (uncredited)
- Stamboul Quest (1934) - Child (uncredited)
- Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934) - Europena Wiggs
- Laddie (1935) - 'Little Sister' Stanton
- The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935) - Little Girl in Hospital
- Freckles (1935) - Laurie Lou Duncan
- Peter Ibbetson (1935) - Mimsey - Mary Age 6
- Timothy's Quest (1936) - Samantha Tarbox
- Trouble for Two (1936) - Miss Vandeleur as a Child (scenes deleted)
- Girl of the Ozarks (1936) - Edie Moseley
- The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936) - Flower Girl
- Maid of Salem (1937) - Nabby - Their Daughter
- The Outcasts of Poker Flat (1937) - 'Luck'
- Souls at Sea (1937) - Tina
- Love Is a Headache (1938) - Jake O'Toole
- Scandal Street (1938) - Wilma 'Willie' Murphy
- Men with Wings (1938) - Peggy Ranson at Age 8
- Mother Carey's Chickens (1938) - Lally Joy Popham
- Too Hot to Handle (1938) - Hulda Harding
- Out West with the Hardys (1938) - 'Jake' Harding
- The Great Man Votes (1939) - Joan
- The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939) - Patricia
- Fixer Dugan (1939) - Ethel Myrtle 'Terry' O'Connell
- The Rookie Cop (1939) - Nicey
- Outside These Walls (1939) - Ellen Sparling
- The Spellbinder (1939) - Girl (uncredited)
- The Under-Pup (1939) - Janet Cooper
- The Women (1939) - Little Mary
- Bad Little Angel (1939) - Patricia Victoria 'Patsy' Sanderson
- Henry Goes Arizona (1939) - Molly Cullison
- Young Tom Edison (1940) - Tannie Edison
- All This and Heaven Too (1940) - Louise de Praslin
- Gold Rush Maisie (1940) - Jubie Davis
- The Philadelphia Story (1940) - Dinah Lord
- Keeping Company (1940) - Harriet Thomas
- Barnacle Bill (1941) - Virginia Johansen
- I'll Wait for You (1941) - Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Miller
- Babes on Broadway (1941) - Barbara Jo
- Born to Sing (1942) - Patsy Eastman
- This Time for Keeps (1942, aka Over the Waves) - Harriett Bryant
- The Affairs of Martha (1942) - Miranda Sommerfield
- The Youngest Profession (1943) - Joan Lyons
- Best Foot Forward (1943) - Helen Schlesinger
|1939||The Gulf Screen Guild Theater||Never In This World with Leslie Howard and Kay Francis, Episode 012|
|1941||The Chase and Sanborn Program with Bergen and McCarthy||Guest Star with Abbott and Costello, Ray Noble and his Orchestra |
|1942||The Kraft Music Hall with Bing Crosby||Guest Star with Carole Landis |
|1942||Victory Theater||The Philadelphia Story with Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Lt. James Stewart and Ruth Hussey |
|1943||Screen Guild Theater||The Youngest Profession with Edward Arnold and Jean Porter |
|1944||Dupont's Cavalcade of America||Junior Nurse with Jane Darwell |
|1945||Dupont's Cavalcade of America||Weapon 4-H with Skip Homeier |
|1946||Reader's Digest-Radio Edition||Do You Remember?|
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- "Virginia Weidler Remembrance Society: The Virginia Weidler Remembrance Society!". Virginiaweidler.net. January 25, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- Carroll County Times, January 22, 2017. Accessed on February 17, 2017.
- "Encore - [Chase and Sanborn program. 1941-09-28] [sound recording]". Laurel.lso.missouri.edu:2083. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
- "Copyright 2016, J. David Goldin".
- "Victory Theater – The Philadelphia Story". Jimmy Stewart On the Air. Archived from the original on 2017-02-18. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
- Classic Images Magazine 2003
- American University, John R. Hickman Collection
- "Virginia Weidler Stars In "Radio Digest" Play Thurs. 10 P.M., WHP". Harrisburg Telegraph. December 7, 1946. p. 19. Retrieved September 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Best, Marc. Those Endearing Young Charms: Child Performers of the Screen. South Brunswick and New York: Barnes & Co., 1971, pp. 260–264.
- Parish, James Robert. Great Child Stars. New York: Ace Books, 1976.
- Willson, Dixie. Little Hollywood Stars. Akron, OH, e New York: Saalfield Pub. Co., 1935.
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