Fredrich March and Evelyn Venable in Death Takes a Holiday
|Born||October 18, 1913|
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||November 15, 1993 (aged 80)|
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Original voice of The Blue Fairy in Disney's Pinocchio (1940)|
|Hal Mohr (1934–1974, his death)|
Evelyn Venable (October 18, 1913 – November 15, 1993) was an American actress. In addition to starring in several films in the 1930s and 1940s, she was also the voice and model for the Blue Fairy in Walt Disney's Pinocchio (1940). She was the original model for the personification of Columbia in the Columbia Pictures logo.
Evelyn Venable was born on Saturday, October 18, 1913, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the only child of Emerson and Dolores Venable. She graduated from Walnut Hills High School (class of 1930), where her father and grandfather William Henry Venable taught English. She performed in several plays at Walnut Hills, such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, the Dream Child in Dear Brutus and Rosalind in As You Like It. She attended Vassar College for a short time before returning to the University of Cincinnati. She performed in Walter Hampden's touring productions, including Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac and Ophelia in Hamlet.
During a performance in Los Angeles, she was recognized and offered several film contracts. After initially turning down the offers, she signed a contract with Paramount in 1932. Her contract was unique in that she would not have to cut her hair, pose for leg art, or perform in bit parts. A long-believed apocryphal story sprang up that she was forbidden by her father to engage in any kissing scenes in her films, and although this eventually proved to be false, e.g. in Streamline Express (1935), she indeed does not have any kissing scenes in her most memorable films, not even in Death Takes a Holiday (1934), in which she falls in love with Fredric March, or The Little Colonel (1935), in which she plays Shirley Temple's mother. She played the lead or second lead in a series of films in the 1930s, and was the original model for the Columbia Pictures logo.
In 1943, Evelyn Venable retired from acting so that she could spend more time with her family. She resumed her studies at UCLA and became a faculty member there, teaching ancient Greek and Latin and organizing the production of Greek plays within the Classics department.