Ann Dvorak

Ann Dvorak


Ann Dvorak
Film: North side of the 6300 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Anna McKim on Aug. 2, 1912 in New York, NY
Died Dec. 10, 1979 in Honolulu, HI

Ann Dvorak was an actress remembered both for her screen roles and for her highly publicized battles with film studio executives.

Dvorak was born Anna McKim in New York on Aug. 2, 1912. Her father, Edwin McKim, was a film director, and her mother, Anna Lehr, was an actress.

Dvorak's own acting career began when she was a young child. She appeared as the young title character in "Ramona" (1916), credited as "Baby Anna Lehr," when she was just 4.

After being cast as Cesca, the sister to Paul Muni's gangster character in the 1932 production of "Scarface," Dvorak next was signed by Howard Hughes.

Throughout the 1930s, she appeared in such Warner Bros. pictures as "Three on a Match," "G-Man," "We Who Are About to Die" and "Dr. Socrates."

But she generated more publicity over a 1935-36 legal tiff with the brothers Warner than she did in most of her screen appearances.

In an era when studios dictated not only salaries but the number of films each of their contract players would make a year, Dvorak's was one of the few voices raised over the quality of her screen parts.

She sued the Warners for canceling her contract after she allegedly had been ill with the flu, but her friends said at the time her real intent was to publicize the fact that she had no freedom in selecting roles.

And although she lost her legal battle to be reinstated, she was awarded $7,000 in back pay, one of the few adverse decisions for the studios in those days.

After the war, she appeared in "Flame of Barbary Coast," "The Private Affairs of Bel Ami" and "I Was an American Spy" before appearing in her final film, "The Secret of Convict Lake," in 1951.

She spent the last 20 years of her life living in Hawaii, and her death on Dec. 10, 1979, initially went unnoticed because she had checked into the hospital where she died under the name Ann Wade. (Television producer Nicholas H. Wade was one of her four husbands.) In Honolulu, she was also known as Ann McKim.

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