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Irene Manning Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (5)  | Trivia (8)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Died in San Carlos, California, USA  (congestive heart failure)
Birth NameInez Harvout

Mini Bio (1)

The youngest of five children born to a real estate broker, glamorous actress/singer Irene Manning began this world in Cincinatti, Ohio, as Inez Harvuot in 1912. Classically trained at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, she showed great potential for the grand opera scene but an even stronger flair for acting that led her to combine both of her talents and attempt musical theater and film.

Appearing on stage billed as Hope Manning in such late 30s productions as "The Great Waltz," "H.M.S. Pinafore," and "The Gypsy Baron," sagebrush icon Gene Autry offered her a kiss in her very first screen role a year later in The Old Corral (1936) over at Republic Studios. Warner Bros. saw potential in the petite blonde beauty and decided to pick up her option. Amid such standard WWII fare as Spy Ship (1942), she more than made the grade as the colorful soprano opposite Dennis Morgan in Sigmund Romberg's The Desert Song (1943) (which she had done on stage a few years earlier), and is probably best remembered today in the secondary role of diva Fay Templeton in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) opposite the Oscar-winning James Cagney. The early 1940s were fruitful years for Irene appearing romantically opposite Humphrey Bogart in the drama The Big Shot (1942) and Dennis Morgan (again) in Shine on Harvest Moon (1944), in addition to offering added glamour in The Doughgirls (1944) with Ann Sheridan and Alexis Smith and Escape in the Desert (1945) featuring Philip Dorn.

The musical stage took priority in the second half of the decade. Making her Broadway debut with the short-lived musical "Susannah, Don't You Cry" in 1939, she also appeared in the operetta "The Chocolate Soldier" and again on Broadway in Lerner and Loewe's "The Day Before Spring." Irene graced the stage in "DuBarry" and "Serenade" while in London and settled in England for a long spell. She also filmed two movies while there, A Yank in London (1945) [A Yank in London] and Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948), retiring completely from the screen by decade's end. She appeared on her own BBC TV show "An American in England," before returning to the States in 1951 for TV and nightclub work. She subsequently retired altogether and concentrated on teaching acting and voice. She was also an excellent abstract painter.

It was her longtime agent who persuaded Irene to come out of retirement and reappear on the musical stage. Such showcases included "Pal Joey," "Mame," and "The King and I," to mention a few. Ms. Manning died in 2004 of congestive heart failure and was survived by her five stepchildren from her fourth (and final) marriage to space engineer and Lockheed executive Maxwell Hunter II, who died in 2001.

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

Spouse (5)

Maxwell W. Hunter II (1964 - 10 November 2001) ( his death)
Clinton Green (1948 - 1951) ( divorced)
Jack T. Denney (1946 - 1947) ( divorced)
Keith Kolhoff (1944 - 1946) ( divorced)
Het Mannheim (1940 - 1944) ( divorced)

Trivia (8)

Recorded four songs in German, including "Begin the Beguine" and "All the Things You Are" for Glenn Miller's Orchestra just before he died in a plane crash in 1944 while crossing the English channel.
Toured with her own four-woman USO unit, performing for the Air Force and various hospital throughout England.
Came from a musical family. Her parents were singers. Irene sang, as well, and both she and a sister played piano. Her two brothers played the violin and another sister the cello and a clarinet.
Her first husband, Het Mannheim, was the Head of Publicity at Republic Studios in 1937 where she filmed her first picture with Gene Autry. He changed her stage name from Hope Manning to Irene Manning. They later married but their long distance relationship ended soon in divorce.
Penned a column while living in London entitled "Girl About Town".
She jokingly lamented that during filming of The Big Shot (1942) she never got to share romantic moments but not a filmed kiss with her co-star Humphrey Bogart, but that she had to take a bullet for him anyway during the final reel.
Toured with Bob Hope during WWII.
Teaching voice and acting. [1995]

Personal Quotes (3)

[on Gene Autry, with whom she worked in her first picture, The Old Corral (1936)] He was very nice; this was still pretty early in his career, but he'd made it big and fast, so what he wanted was the way it went. No song by me, for instance. There was no chemistry between us and I was never asked to do another film with him!
[on Lewis Seiler, who directed her in The Big Shot (1942)] . . . Mean and nasty, but Bogie [Humphrey Bogart] came to my rescue. He told me to completely ignore this man, to play the part the way I wanted to play it and everything would be fine--which it was.
[on Jane Wyman] I loved her husband, [Ronald Reagan], but Jane was so coarse and crude--with a foul mouth to boot. She'd get angry over something and say, "Get your ass over here". The divorce with Ronnie wasn't a surprise to me at all.

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