Claire Trevor

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Claire Bren (Wemlinger)

Birthplace: New York, Kings County, New York, United States
Death: April 08, 2000 (90)
Newport Beach, CA, United States (Natural Causes/Respiratory failure)
Place of Burial: Atlantic Ocean
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Benjamin Noel Wemlinger and Bea Edith Wemlinger
Wife of Cylos William Dunsmore and Milton Harold Bren
Ex-wife of Clark Andrews
Mother of Charles Dunsmore

Occupation: Actress
Managed by: Randy Schoenberg
Last Updated:

About Claire Trevor

Claire Trevor (born Claire Wemlinger; March 8, 1910[1][2][3][4][5] – April 8, 2000) was an American actress.

She appeared in over 60 films, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Key Largo, and earning nominations for her roles in The High and the Mighty and Dead End. She also received top-billing in Stagecoach.

Contents [show] Early life[edit] Trevor was born in the Bensonhurst area of Brooklyn, New York, the only child of Noel Wemlinger, a Fifth Avenue merchant tailor, and his wife, Benjamina ("Betty"). She grew up in Larchmont, New York. For many years, her year of birth was misreported as 1909, a rare instance of an actress actually being younger than her given age, which is why her age at death was initially given as 91 and not 90.[6] She was of German, Irish and French descent.


With Fred MacMurray (r.) in Borderline (1950) According to her biography on the website of Claire Trevor School of the Arts, "Trevor's acting career spanned more than seven decades and included successes in stage, radio, television and film. . . . [S]he often played the hard-boiled blonde, and every conceivable type of 'bad girl' role."[7]

After completing high school, Trevor began her career with six months of art classes at Columbia University and six months at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, performing in stock in the late 1920s . By 1932 she was starring on Broadway; that same year she began appearing in Brooklyn-filmed Vitaphone shorts. Her first credited film role was in the 1933 film Life in the Raw, with her feature film debut coming that same year in Jimmy and Sally (1933) as "Sally Johnson".

From 1933–38, Trevor starred in 29 films, often having either the lead role or the role of heroine. In 1937, she was the second lead actress (after top-billed Sylvia Sydney) in Dead End, playing opposite Humphrey Bogart, which led to her nomination for Best Supporting Actress. From 1937–40, she appeared with Edward G. Robinson in the popular radio series Big Town, while continuing to make movies. In the early 1940s, she also was a regular on The Old Gold Don Ameche Show on the NBC Red radio network, starring with Ameche in presentations of plays by Mark Hellinger.[8]

By 1939, she was well established as a solid "leading lady". Some of her most memorable performances during this period were opposite John Wayne, including the classic 1939 western Stagecoach, which was Wayne's breakthrough role. She starred opposite Wayne again in Allegheny Uprising that same year, and yet again in 1940 in Dark Command. Over a decade later, she would again costar with Wayne, gaining her final Oscar nomination for The High and the Mighty.

In The High and the Mighty (1954), which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress Two of Trevor's most memorable roles were opposite Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet and with Lawrence Tierney in Born to Kill, in the latter playing a divorcee who gets more than she bargained for by falling in love with a bad boy who impulsively commits a murder. Key Largo, the following year, gave Trevor the role of Gaye Dawn, the washed-up nightclub singer and gangster's moll, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1957 she won an Emmy for her role in the Producers' Showcase episode entitled Dodsworth.[9] Trevor moved into supporting roles in the 1950s, with her appearances becoming increasingly rare after the mid-1960s. She returned for one final theatrical film, as Charlotte in Kiss Me Goodbye (1982). Her last film was the 1987 television movie Norman Rockwell's Breaking Home Ties. Trevor made a guest appearance at the 70th Academy Awards in 1998.

Personal life[edit] Trevor married Clark Andrews, director of her radio show, in 1938, but they divorced four years later. Her second marriage, in 1943, to Navy lieutenant Cylos William Dunsmore, produced her only child, son Charles.[10] The marriage ended in divorce in 1947. The next year, Trevor married Milton Bren, a film producer with two sons from a previous marriage, and moved to Newport Beach, California.

In 1978, Trevor's son Charles died in the crash of PSA Flight 182, followed by the death of her husband Milton from a brain tumor in 1979. Devastated by these losses, she returned to Manhattan for some years, living in a Fifth Avenue apartment and taking a few acting roles amid a busy social life. She eventually returned to California, where she remained for the rest of her life, becoming a generous supporter of the arts.[6]

Death[edit] Trevor died of respiratory failure in Newport Beach, California on April 8, 2000 at the age of 90. She was survived by her two stepsons and extended family.[6] For her contribution to the motion picture industry, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6933 Hollywood Blvd.

Legacy[edit] The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine was named in Trevor's honor. Her Oscar and Emmy statuettes are on display in the Arts Plaza there, next to the Claire Trevor Theatre.

On March 8, 2016, Turner Classic Movies honored Trevor on the 106th anniversary of her birth by showing several of her films.

Filmography[edit] Film Year Film Role Notes 1933 Jimmy and Sally Sally Johnson The Mad Game Jane Lee The Last Trail Patricia Carter Life in the Raw Judy Halloway 1934 Elinor Norton Elinor Norton Baby Take a Bow Kay Ellison Wild Gold Jerry Jordan Hold That Girl Tonie Bellamy 1935 Spring Tonic Betty Ingals Black Sheep Jeanette Foster My Marriage Carol Barton Navy Wife Vicky Blake Dante's Inferno Betty McWade 1936 Career Woman Carroll Aiken Star for a Night Nina Lind To Mary - with Love Kitty Brant Human Cargo Bonnie Brewster Song and Dance Man Julia Carroll 15 Maiden Lane Jane Martin 1937 Big Town Girl Fay Loring Second Honeymoon Marcia One Mile from Heaven Lucy 'Tex' Warren King of Gamblers Dixie Moore Time Out for Romance Barbara Blanchard Dead End Francey Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress 1938 Five of a Kind Christine Nelson Valley of the Giants Lee Roberts Walking Down Broadway Joan Bradley The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse Jo Keller 1939 Stagecoach Dallas I Stole a Million Laura Benson Allegheny Uprising Janie MacDougall 1940 Dark Command Miss Mary Cloud 1941 Texas 'Mike' King Honky Tonk 'Gold Dust' Nelson 1942 The Adventures of Martin Eden Connie Dawson Crossroads Michelle Allaine Street of Chance Ruth Dillon 1943 The Woman of the Town Dora Hand Good Luck, Mr. Yates Ruth Jones The Desperadoes Countess Maletta 1944 Murder, My Sweet Mrs. Helen Grayle 1945 Johnny Angel Lilah 'Lily' Gustafson 1946 The Bachelor's Daughters Cynthia Crack-Up Terry Cordell 1947 Born to Kill Helen Trent 1948 Raw Deal Pat Cameron The Velvet Touch Marian Webster The Babe Ruth Story Claire (Hodgson) Ruth Key Largo Gaye Dawn Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress 1949 The Lucky Stiff Marguerite Seaton 1950 Borderline Madeleine Haley, aka Gladys LaRue 1951 Best of the Badmen Lily Hard, Fast and Beautiful Millie Farley 1952 Stop, You're Killing Me Nora Marko My Man and I Mrs. Ansel Ames Hoodlum Empire Connie Williams 1953 The Stranger Wore a Gun Josie Sullivan 1954 The High and the Mighty May Holst Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress 1955 Man Without a Star Idonee Lucy Gallant Lady MacBeth 1956 The Mountain Marie 1958 Marjorie Morningstar Rose Morgenstern 1962 Two Weeks in Another Town Clara Kruger 1963 The Stripper Helen Baird 1965 How to Murder Your Wife Edna 1967 The Cape Town Affair Sam Williams 1982 Kiss Me Goodbye Charlotte Banning Television Year Title Role Notes 1954 The Ford Television Theatre Felicia Crandell episode: The Summer Memory Lux Video Theatre Ellen Creed episode: Ladies in Retirement Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Single Performance General Electric Theater Cora Leslie episode: Foggy Night 1955 Lux Video Theatre Mary Scott episode: No Bad Songs for Me 1956 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Mary Hunter episode: Fool Proof Producers' Showcase Fran Dodsworth episode: Dodsworth Primetime Emmy Award for Best Single Performance by an Actress Alfred Hitchcock Presents Mary Prescott episode: Safe Conduct 1957 Playhouse 90 Elizabeth Owen episode: If You Knew Elizabeth 1959 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Savannah Brown episode: Happy Hill Wagon Train C.L. Harding episode: The C.L. Harding Story The Untouchables Kate Clark 'Ma' Barker episode: Ma Barker and Her Boys 1961 The Investigators Kitty Harper episode: New Sound for the Blues Alfred Hitchcock Presents Mrs. Meade episode: A Crime for Mothers 1962 Dr. Kildare Veronica Johnson episode: The Bed I've Made 1983 The Love Boat Nancy Fairchild episode: The Misunderstanding/Love Below Decks/The End is Near 1987 Murder, She Wrote Judith Harlan episode: Witness for the Defense Breaking Home Times Grace Porter (TV film) Radio appearances[edit] Year Program Episode/source 1946 Reader's Digest -- Radio Edition Two for a Penny[11] 1952 Hollywood Star Playhouse Father's Day[12] References[edit] Jump up ^ Drew, William M. (1999). At the Center of the Frame: Leading Ladies of the Twenties and Thirties. Vestal Press. p. 319. ISBN 1-879511-42-8. Jump up ^ Hagen, Ray; Laura Wagner (2004). Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames. McFarland. p. 222. ISBN 0-7864-1883-4. Jump up ^ Clara Wenlinger [sic], daughter of Noel and Benjamina, age 2 mos, is in the April 1910 Census of Brooklyn Ward 30, District 1054. This places her birth unambiguously in 1910. Jump up ^ "Oscar Winner Claire Trevor Dies". 2000-04-08. Retrieved 2009-02-20. Jump up ^ "Claire Trevor profile at". Retrieved 2009-02-20. ^ Jump up to: a b c "Claire Trevor, 91, Versatile Actress, Dies". New York Times. 2000-04-10. Retrieved 2009-02-20. Jump up ^ "About Claire Trevor," Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine Jump up ^ "Friday's Highlights" (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror 14 (3): 52. July 1940. Retrieved 6 March 2015. Jump up ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1413. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. Jump up ^ Jump up ^ "'Digest' Star". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 26, 1946. p. 21. Retrieved September 29, 2015 – via open access publication - free to read Jump up ^ Kirby, Walter (March 2, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved May 28, 2015 – via open access publication - free to read

Claire Trevor (March 8, 1910 – April 8, 2000) was an American film actress. She was nicknamed the "Queen of Film Noir" because of her many appearances in "bad girl" roles in film noir and other black-and-white thrillers. She appeared in over 60 films. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the hopelessly alcoholic gangster moll in Key Largo and was nominated for her roles in The High and the Mighty and Dead End.


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Claire Trevor's Timeline

March 8, 1910
New York, Kings County, New York, United States
April 8, 2000
Age 90
Newport Beach, CA, United States
Atlantic Ocean