Here’s another pin-up collected by Marine Sgt. Norman Plemons when he was stationed in Korea in the early 1950s.
Gloria DeHaven, who autographed the picture to Norm, was already a major player at MGM. She had starred opposite such titans as Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Van Johnson and June Allyson.
Little known is that fact that Frank Sinatra failed initially to make his mark as a musical comedy star in 1944’s Step Lively with George Murphy and Gloria DeHaven. That’s because the picture, in the delicate words of MGM queen Esther Williams, was not a “huge success.” (Gloria was praised however.)
To say that she came from a show biz family is a considerable understatement.
Gloria is the daughter of Carter DeHaven and Flora Parker. Both were entertainers — her father was a vaudeville star and silent movie personality, her mother was an actress. Gloria’s brother, Carter DeHaven Jr., was a film producer. Other members of the DeHaven clan are in show business to this day.
Gloria was a big band singer for a time before being picked up by MGM in the early 40’s. A string of screen musicals followed. Gloria even found herself playing her own mother in 1950’s Three Little Words.
She loved her time at the big studio — “Every hour at MGM was a joy,” she later said. She certainly made her share of lifelong friends there, including Johnson and Sinatra. (Her first husband was actor John Payne.) Like many vintage female stars, the preponderance of her later career comprised tv appearances; she made about 24 big screen movies.
Despite the modified spiciness of the above photo, DeHaven was never a sex symbol. She was a musical performer first and foremost, and kept up her tuneful skills until fairly recently. This year she celebrated her 90th birthday.