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Virginia Bruce's Geni Profile

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Helen Virginia Briggs

Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Death: February 24, 1982 (71)
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Earll Briggs and Unknown Briggs
Wife of J. Walter Ruben
Ex-wife of John Gilbert and Ali Ipar
Mother of <private> Gilbert and <private> Ruben
Sister of Stanley Briggs

Managed by: Laura Elizabeth McLean
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Virginia Bruce

Virginia Bruce (September 29, 1910 – February 24, 1982) was an American actress and singer.


Born Helen Virginia Briggs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she went with her family to Los Angeles intending to enroll in the University of California when a friendly wager sent her seeking film work. She got it as an extra in Why Bring That Up?. She was also in the Ziegfeld Follies. In 1930 she appeared on Broadway in the musical Smiles, followed by America's Sweetheart in 1931.

Bruce returned to Hollywood in 1932, where she married John Gilbert, her co-star in the film Downstairs. She retired briefly after the birth of their daughter Susan Ann Gilbert. The couple divorced in 1934, and Virginia returned to a hectic schedule of film appearances. Gilbert died in 1936. That same year, Bruce introduced the Cole Porter standard "I've Got You Under My Skin" in the film Born to Dance and costarred in the MGM musical The Great Ziegfeld. One of her final film appearances was in the 1960s Strangers When We Meet. Her final film appearance was in Madame Wang's in 1981.

Personal life and death

Bruce married film director J. Walter Ruben in 1937, making the Wallace Beery western The Bad Man of Brimstone together that year, and they had a son named Christopher, but she was widowed in 1942. In 1946 she married Ali Ipar. They divorced in 1951 in order for him to receive a commission in the Turkish Military (which forbade promotions of men married to foreigners), but remarried in 1952.

Virginia Bruce died of cancer on February 24, 1982 in Woodland Hills, California.

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Virginia Bruce's Timeline

September 29, 1910
Minneapolis, MN, USA
February 24, 1982
Age 71
Los Angeles, CA, USA