June Travis Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 7 August 1914Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 14 April 2008Chicago, Illinois, USA  (complications from a stroke)
Birth NameDorothea Grabiner
Nickname The Queen of the B movies

Mini Bio (1)

Fetching secondary actress June Travis was signed by Warner Bros. in 1934 and made her film debut the following year, but would last only three years before leaving Hollywood forever and focusing on marriage. Born June Dorothea Grabiner on August 7, 1914, she was the daughter of Harry Grabiner who was team secretary and/or vice-president of both the Cleveland Indians and (later) Chicago White Sox. Harry would go on to be remembered for his famous diaries of his experiences.

The Chicago-born, green-eyed brunette beauty attended Parkside Grammar School and the Starrett School for Girls while growing up. Spotted by a talent agent while watching a White Sox spring training session, she moved to Los Angeles upon graduation where she studied drama at the University of California. It was not long before her sunny looks and eye-catching figure were noticed by talent scouts.

At age 20 she signed a Warner Bros. contract and paid her dues throughout 1935 apprenticing in decorative extra parts (hat check girl, cigarette girl, party guest, gun moll). She earned her first co-starring role the following year opposite Barton MacLane in the crime programmer Jailbreak (1936). Other actresses of her ilk would appear from time to time in smaller roles in "A" pictures for added exposure, but such would not be the case for June. Such Hollywood escorts around town included Howard Hughes and Ronald Reagan.

Gridlocked in the "B" category for the duration of her career, some of her modest highlights would include the Perry Mason whodunnit The Case of the Black Cat (1936) in which she essayed the role of secretary Della Street alongside Ricardo Cortez's noted crimesolver; Ceiling Zero (1936), a lesser Howard Hawks film about war pilots starring Pat O'Brien and James Cagney; two slapstick movies as the love interest to comedian Joe E. Brown -- Earthworm Tractors (1936) and The Gladiator (1938); the mystery Love Is on the Air (1937) opposite Ronald Reagan, who was making his feature film bow here; two comic features capitalizing on radio personality Joe Penner -- Go Chase Yourself (1938) and Mr. Doodle Kicks Off (1938); and a comic strip film version of Little Orphan Annie (1938) Although June was top-billed in Circus Girl (1937) and Over the Goal (1937), the films came and went with little impression made. All in all, she was usually called upon to divert the proceedings and blandly back up the rugged "B" tough guys at Warners -- a roster which then included Paul Kelly, Dick Purcell, Dick Foran and Wayne Morris. After co-starring in Federal Man-Hunt (1938), she handed Hollywood her walking papers at age 24.

By 1939 she had returned to Chicago and never looked back. In January of 1940 June married Chicago businessman Fred Friedlob and the couple eventually had two daughters, Cathy and June Jr., and settled in the Lincoln Park area. June Sr. filmed only twice more, playing a featured role in the Bette Davis vehicle The Star (1952), and, for reasons completely unknown, agreed to play a role in the bogus horror opus Monster a-Go Go (1965). The middle-aged June became a vibrant member of the social and theater community there. In 1968, she helped inaugurate the Joseph Jefferson Awards to honor Chicago's best in theater. She also appeared in summer stock on the East Coast, and played everything from Goneril opposite Morris Carnovsky in "King Lear" at Chicago's Goodman Theatre to an expectant middle-aged mother alongside Forrest Tucker in "Never Too Late." Other plays included "A View from the Bridge", "Life With Father" (also with Tucker); "The Pleasure of His Company" with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; "The Philadelphia Story" with Jackie O's sister Lee Radziwill and "I Found April" starring Jeanne Crain.

Long retired, June's husband died in May 1979 after nearly 40 years of marriage. She, who has two children, Kathy and June (Jr.), never remarried but was the companion of Erwin Gruen, a master metalworker in later years. He died in 2006. June herself passed away on April 14, 2008, in a Chicago hospital of complications from a stroke she suffered weeks earlier. She was 93.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Fred Friedlob (3 January 1940 - 1979) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (8)

Daughter of Harry M. Grabiner who was vice president of the Cleveland Indians and a former vice president of the Chicago White Sox.
According to Laura Wagner, author of a full-length article on June in "Films of the Golden Age", June developed a huge crush on James Cagney while filming her best film Ceiling Zero (1936) but he never knew that. The movie also remained her favorite.
Nominated for the Sarah Siddons Award for her stage performance in "Life with Father", she later co-chaired the Sarah Siddons Award gala in 2002, the year Chita Rivera was honored for her performance in "The Visit" and has been active in theater fundraisers.
June Travis passed away on April 14, 2008, four months away from what would have been her 94th birthday on August 7.
Following her death, she was interred at Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.
Attended the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Chicago.
Retired from acting in 1965 after 30 years in the motion picture business.
Had two daughters with her husband Fred Friedlob: Cathy and June Friedlob.

Personal Quotes (1)

I don't remember that it [Hollywood] was such a ball.

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