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EB Hesser and...Vivienne Osborne?
by Vlad for group historicalziegfeld Apr 8, 2011
"A professional dancer from the age of five, actress Vivienne Osborne was still in her ingénue stage when she made her first film in 1920. A handful of movies followed, whereupon Osborne headed for Broadway where she established herself as a versatile leading lady. Returning to films in 1931, she showed up in scores of early-talkie Warner Bros. productions, playing such supporting parts as "other women," femme fatales, and murder suspects. Her finest screen showing was in Paramount's "Supernatural" (1933), as the electrocuted murderess whose spirit possesses the body of innocent Carole Lombard. After busying herself with stage work for nearly five years, Vivienne Osborne made her final foray into filmmaking in 1945; her last screen appearance was as Johanna Van Ryn in 20th Century Fox's "Dragonwyck" (1946).
(c) Hal Erickson, Rovi
"In her final movie, "Dragonwyck" in 1946, Vivienne Osborne was doomed when evil husband Vincent Price gave her a deadly white oleander plant.
Leading lady Osborne worked steadily on stage and in films during a long career.
She was never typecast but was especially good at playing bad girls. She had a "chameleon-like" talent, an RKO studio press release once said.
Osborne was born in Des Moines, reportedly of parents who were not in show business. She apparently was 4 when her parents left Iowa for Spokane, Wash., and by age 5 she began her stage career, working in stock theater in Spokane for five years.
She made her Broadway debut in "The Whirlwind" in 1919 and was in 16 Broadway shows overall, including "Scaramouche" in 1923 and "Aloma of the South Seas" in 1925, of which she also appeared in the London version in 1926.
Back in New York in 1928, she starred in a musical version of "The Three Musketeers" as Lady de Wynter.
Osborne broke into films in 1920 with "In Walked Mary." She was especially busy in 1932, with seven movies, and in 1933, with six films, including "Luxury Liner" and "Sailor Be Good," and her most acclaimed, "Supernatural," also starring Carole Lombard.
The RKO press release from that period described how people could determine the mood of the actress by the way she chewed her gum on the set. If she chewed furiously, her maid called her "Miss Osborne." If she chewed normally, her maid relaxed and called her "Viv."
Osborne married Francis Worthington Hine and lived at 1321 Miller Drive in Hollywood. With about 40 movies to her credit, Osborne faded from the scene. She died at Malibu, Calif., and is buried at Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood, Calif."
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