June Haver

June Haver


June Haver
Film: West side of the 1700 block of Vine Street
Born June Stovenour on June 10, 1926 in Rock Island, IL
Died July 4, 2005 of respiratory failure in Brentwood, Calif.

June Haver was a singer and actress once groomed by 20th Century Fox to be the next Betty Grable but left acting to join a convent and later married actor Fred MacMurray.

Beginning in 1943, she appeared in 15 films in 10 years, including "Irish Eyes Are Smiling" (1944) and "The Girl Next Door" (1953), her last film, which was considered one of her best.

The blond, blue-eyed Haver was called the "pocket Grable" after she was paired with the screen legend in "The Dolly Sisters" (1945). The movie featured "sassy hokum" and "two lovely stars," according to "Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide."

The 19-year-old actress met MacMurray, 37, on the set of "Where Do We Go From Here?" (1945), the only movie they would make together.

She married him on screen but off-screen nuptials would have to wait: MacMurray was a happily married family man.

Haver's first marriage, in 1947 to Jimmy Zito, a trumpeter she met when she sang as a teenager with a big band orchestra, lasted less than a year.

In 1949, she was engaged for a second time to dentist John Duzik. He died in her arms after what was supposed to be routine surgery.

Several years later, Haver broke her $3,500-a-week contract with 20th Century Fox and spent eight months as a novice nun in the Sisters of Charity convent in Xavier, Kan.

When she left, she said she "did not have the physical strength to withstand the strain of religious life," according to the "Encyclopedia of Popular Music."

She soon met up again with MacMurray — whose first wife, Lillian Lamont, had died in 1953 after 17 years of marriage — at a 1953 New Year's Eve party. They were married June 28, 1954, at the Ojai Valley Inn.

By December 1956, they had expanded their family, which included MacMurray's two children from his first marriage, by adopting twin girls.

Haver would not make another film.

"I'm a mother now," she said. "I'm needed at home."

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