Joan Blondell, Warner Brothers Publicity Photo, 1932.
Joan Blondell (1906-1979), American stage and film actress, active c.1910-1979. Born into a touring vaudeville family, Blondell joined a stock company as a teenager, reaching Broadway in the mid-1920s. She appeared with James Cagney on stage in the hit play "Penny Arcade" in 1929 after which both were signed to film contracts by Warner Brothers. They would appear in six films together for the WB, including "The Public Enemy" (1931), "Blonde Crazy" (1931) and "The Crowd Roars" (1932). Blondell was a true "triple threat," a capable singer and dancer as well as an outstanding comedic and dramatic actress. She was nominated for an Academy Award for "The Blue Veil" (1952), Golden Globes for "Opening Night" (1977) and "The Cincinnati Kid" (1965) for which she was named best supporting actress by the National Board of Review. She appeared in over 90 feature films from "Sinners' Holiday" (1930, the adaptation of "Penny Arcade") to "Grease" (1978). She played leading roles in the classic 1930s musicals, "Gold Diggers of 1933" and "Footlight Parade" (1933) with Cagney. She also worked in television in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and was nominated for an Emmy twice (1969, 1970) for best actress in a lead role in "Here Come the Brides."