Evelyn Venable

Evelyn Venable
Eugeen Robert Richee / Paramount Pictures


Evelyn Venable
Film: East side of the 1500 block of Vine Street
Born Oct. 18, 1913 in Cincinnati, Ohio
Died Nov. 16, 1993 of cancer in Post Falls, ID

Evelyn Venable, a Shakespearean actress and later a professor of classics, played ingenue film roles in the 1930s and was believed to be the model for Columbia Pictures' statuesque movie logo.

Abandoning her acting career in the early 1940s to raise her daughters, Dolores and Rosalia, Venable returned to college when her children enrolled and in 1957 began a long second career at UCLA lecturing in the classics.

In her first university go-round, Venable abandoned college after one year at Vassar and a few months at the University of Cincinnati to tour with Walter Hampden's troupe, performing in "Cyrano de Bergerac," "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

She was playing Ophelia at Los Angeles' Biltmore Theater when a Paramount talent scout signed her to a film contract.

Venable made her screen debut in 1933 in "Cradle Song" and was perhaps best remembered for her roles opposite Fredric March in "Death Takes a Holiday," with Will Rogers in "David Harum" and as the voice of the Blue Fairy in Walt Disney's "Pinocchio."

Her other films included "Double Door," "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch," "Alice Adams," "The Little Colonel," "North of Nome," "My Old Kentucky Home" and "The Frontiersman."

Cinematographer Stanley Cortez, a family friend who worked with Venable's husband, Hal Mohr, said that Venable was chosen as the original model for the statue in the Columbia film logo because of her wholesome, all-American good looks. Her image appeared for many years but was subsequently replaced with more contemporary models.

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