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Joan Davis ACTOR


Joan Davis was born June 29th, 1907 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She was the daughter of a Minnesota-based train dispatcher.  Her birth name was Madonna Josephine Davis and ever since a young child, she was involved in performing arts.  At local summer camps beginning at age three, she loved to perform in front of an audience, dancing, singing and clowning around. 

Davis married Si Willis in 1931 and together with her husband they would perform in vaudeville.  The couple moved to Los Angeles and Joan tried to get involved in the film industry.  She soon had the chance to work with director, Mack Sennett on the film, "Way up Thar" (1935) which was an educational two-reeler.  This role was followed by her first feature, "Millions in the Air" (1935).  Davis was getting the reputation as a tall slender actress with a flat speaking voice.  She was one of the few female physical clowns of her time.  

Joan and her husband then decided to go back to doing vaudeville for a while until 20th Century Fox approached Davis and asked her to do some film work for them.  She was cast in the following films, "Thin Ice" (1937), "Kentucky Moonshine" (1938) and "Tail Spin" (1929).  Joan Davis is probably best known for her co star role in, "Hold That Ghost" (1941). 

Davis went on to do some film work with Eddie Cantor in, "Show Business" (1944) and "If You Knew Susie" (1948). 

Davis also did some radio work, becoming a regular on Rudy Vallee's radio program.  When he left to join the Coast Guard in 1943, Davis became the host of his show.  She was promoted to star of her own top-rated radio series for Sealtest dairy products.  She did one more film with Columbia, "Harem Girl" (1952) before starting her own production company producing the popular television sitcom, "I Married Joan" (1952-1955) on NBC.  Davis played the manic wife of community judge played by Jim Backus

Sadly, right after Joan Davis completed a pilot film for a new television series, she died suddenly of an unexpected heart attack on May 22nd, 1961 in Palm Springs, California.  Davis was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery mausoleum in Culver City, California.  Two years later on October 24th, 1963, Davis's mother, daughter and grandchildren were all killed in a house fire in Palm Springs, California.     

Joan Davis was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the Motion Picture Industry. Between 1981 and 1982, the CBN cable network began re running episodes of "I Married Joan" which again gained decent popularity.      

1935  Way Up Thar 
1935  Millions in the Air 
1936  Bunker Bean
1937  The Holy Terror 
1937  On the Avenue
1937  Time Out for Romance 
1937  The Great Hospital Mystery 
1937  Angel's Holiday 
1937  Sing and Be Happy 
1937  You Can't Have Everything
1937  Wake Up and Live 
1937  Thin Ice
1937  Life Begins in College 
1937  Love and Hisses 
1938  Sally, Irene and Mary
1938  Josette 
1938  My Lucky Star 
1938  Hold That Co-ed 
1938  Just Around the Corner
1939  Tail Spin
1939  Skinny the Moocher 
1939  Too Busy to Work 
1939  Day-Time Wife 
1940  Free, Blonde and 21 
1940  Sailor's Lady
1940  Manhattan Heartbeat 
1941  For Beauty's Sake 
1941  Hold That Ghost
1941  Sun Valley Serenade
1941  Two Latins from Manhattan 
1942  Yokel Boy 
1942  Sweetheart of the Fleet 
1943  He's My Guy 
1943  Two Señoritas from Chicago 
1943  Around the World 
1944  Beautiful But Broke 
1944  Show Business 
1944  Kansas City Kitty 
1944  She Gets Her Man 
1944  George White's Scandals 
1946  She Wrote the Book 
1948  If You Knew Susie 
1950  The Traveling Saleswoman 
1950  Love That Brute
1951  The Groom Wore Spurs 
1952  Harem Girl 
1952–1955 I Married Joan

Matinee Classics - I Married Joan starring Joan Davis and Jim Backus
Matinee Classics - I Married Joan starring Joan Davis and Jim Backus
Matinee Classics - Joan Davis
Matinee Classics - Sailor's Lady starring Nancy Kelly, Jon Hall, Joan Davis, Dana Andrews, Mary Nash, Larry 'Buster' Crabbe, Kay Aldridge, Harry Shannon, Wally Vernon, Bruce Hampton, Charles D. Brown, Selmer Jackson, Edgar Dearing, Edmund MacDonald and William B. Davidson

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