May 01, 2013 09:14:55 GMT
The 'Ave Maria' singer's fan club, announces in a Deanna Durbin Society newsletter that the actress died 'a few days ago.'
The former child star of the 1930s, Deanna Durbin, has passed away at the age of 91, her fan club announced. In a newsletter, the Deanna Durbin Society said the actress died "a few days ago." No other details were given, but Durbin's son, Peter H. David, thanked his mother's fans for respecting her privacy.
Durbin was born to English parents on December 4, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She moved to Los Angeles when she was two years old because of her father's health. When attending Bret Harte Junior High, she was discovered and later nurtured by producer Joe Pasternak.
Durbin was one of the biggest box-office stars by the end of 1930. Her first hit film was "Three Smart Girls". The film was Oscar-nominated for Best Picture. Her films even saved Universal Pictures from bankruptcy. Durbin's other films such as "One Hundred Men and a Girl", "That Certain Age" and "Mad About Music" were also big hits.
Durbin was so popular and she was favorited by many people. Winston Churchill reportedly named her his favorite movie star, and the British Prime Minister was granted the opportunity to see her films before they were released to the general public in Great Britain.
In 1946, Durbin was the second-highest-paid woman in America, with salary of $323,477, just $5,000 behind Bette Davis. In 1949, Durbin quit the movie business and moved to France. She lived outside of Paris with her third husband, Charles David, who directed her 1945 film, "Lady on a Train."