Delightful child/juvenile actress Virginia Weidler (her friends called her "Ginny") had that knowing gleam in her eye that usually spelled trouble in one form or another for anyone at arm's reach. Born in Eagle Rock, California in 1926, she was one of six children born to Alfred Weidler, an architect, and Margaret Theres Louisa, a former Wagnerian opera singer. Virginia nearly made her acting debut at age 3 in John Barrymore's Moby Dick (1930), but was summarily replaced. A year later she scored her first small movie bit in Warner Baxter's Surrender (1931) and was on her way.
A very plain-looking child, RKO picked up young Virginia after it was learned that she could speak a bit of French. As a youngster Virginia was ably cast as rural tomboy types in Laddie (1935) and Freckles (1935), the latter film allowing her to do a dead-on parody of Shirley Temple. She earned her first lead in Girl of the Ozarks (1936) and showed she could easily hold her own. After a rather unimpressive stint with Paramount where they tried to groom her as a rival to Fox's bratty Jane Withers, Virginia was finally picked up by MGM and her film career blossomed. Co-starring with Mickey Rooney in Love Is a Headache (1938), she proved a natural young comedienne and precocious scene-stealer in such films as Out West with the Hardys (1938), again with Rooney, and Too Hot to Handle (1938). She could also shine in dramatic outings as she did with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939) and Bad Little Angel (1939), but she was never a good choice for sappy roles, as demonstrated when she played Norma Shearer's whiny simp of a daughter in The Women (1939). Virginia's forte was providing comedy relief and she reached her young peak with two classic MGM films -- Young Tom Edison (1940) as Rooney's creative sister, and The Philadelphia Story (1940), as Katharine Hepburn's smart-alecky younger sis. Her tongue-in-cheek rendition of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" at the piano is just one of many memorable highlights from this vintage classic.
Virginia's career started to slip away from her when the teenage Shirley Temple signed with MGM, with "Plain-Jane" Virginia abruptly bumped back to secondary status. After rather disappointing receptions to Born to Sing (1942), The Youngest Profession (1943) and Best Foot Forward (1943), the awkward teen had to face the music. And she did. Virginia left films and turned to vaudeville as a song-and-dance comedy performer, utilizing her full-scale talents as a mimic. She made her legit stage debut in "The Rich Full Life" at the John Golden Theatre in 1945, but the show closed within a month. Soon after, Virginia retired from show business, married, and had two children. She was not heard of much until her untimely passing from a heart ailment at the age of 42. After her death it was learned she had suffered from rheumatic fever as a child.
|Lionel Krisel||(27 March 1947 - 1 July 1968) (her death) 2 children|
Had a heart condition for many years, which ultimately led to her early death at the age of only 41.
Husband Lionel Krisel was a naval officer. Their two sons were named Ronnie Krisel and Gary Krisel.
Her mother died shortly after she did in 1968.
Longtime friend of actress Jean Porter, who kept in close proximity to Virginia up to the time of her death.
Graduated from Hollywood Professional School in June, 1944.
For a short time, she was the sister-in-law of Doris Day.
When asked about her career in her later years, her husband Lionel Krisel said that Virginia "would always change the subject as quickly as possible without being rude. She never watched her old movies or replied to requests for interviews. Although she was never one to criticize, I think our boys got the impression that their mother didn't think very much of the motion picture industry".
The showstopper of Virginia's headlining stage act was a dead on impression of deadpan singer Virginia O'Brien's "Rock-A-Bye Baby".
Virginia was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea.
Friend of Benny Goodman/Teddy Powell trumpet soloist, Dick Mains.
I almost got fired the first day [from Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934). They said I had to wink and I didn't know how to wink.
[on her stage act and Judy Garland] No, I'm not nervous on the stage. Well, I was one day, but that was because Judy Garland was in the audience. You could hear my knees shaking. Judy is a friend of mine, and I hope some day to arrive not where she is, but well, somewhere near that.
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