• 29 December 1908
  •  Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Claire Dodd


She was born Dorothy Anne Dodd on December 29, 1908, in Des Moines, Iowa while her mother was on a trip. This did not appeal to her Southern pride so she said she was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she was actually raised. Her father was a doctor who abandoned her and her mother before she was ten years old. Her mother suffered from tuberculosis and Dorothy was forced to support her. She went to New York at the age of fifteen, lied about her age, and joined the Ziegfeld Follies where she was eventually discovered by Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck. Zanuck brought her to Hollywood and shepherded her throughout most of her career. She worked for Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Universal. She typically played the conniving "other" woman and could not be cast as a "dumb blonde" because of her cerebral nature and demeanor. Good friends with Bette Davis with whom she worked in Ex-Lady (1933), she worked with everyone from Humphrey Bogart and Errol Flynn to Barbara Stanwyck, and James Cagney. She played Girl Friday Della Street in a couple of the "Perry Mason" mystery film thrillers of the 1930s starring Warren William and in one (The Case of the Velvet Claws (1936)), she married Mason, the only Della Street to do so. She played the female lead in In the Navy (1941) opposite Dick Powell but received lesser billing, which she claimed was a standard procedure practiced on her in recompense for her aloofness and refusal to go along with the Hollywood system. In fact, one reporter she rebuffed nicknamed her "Ice Bucket" and the reputation stuck. Claire worked in almost sixty films in twelve years from 1930 to 1942. She quit films and married second husband H. Brand Cooper to whom she gave and raised four children. She undertook and completed this phase of her life after she was forty years old, giving birth to her last child at the age of forty-seven. She was, to say the least, a remarkable woman. She died in the family home from cancer on November 23, 1973.


Movie Name Release Date
Η παρέλαση του γυμνού – Footlight Parade (1933) October 21, 1933