Blondell as Honeybee Gillis (The Life of Riley)
|Born||August 16, 1915|
|Died||March 25, 1986 (aged 70)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Relatives||Joan Blondell (sister)|
Gloria Blondell's parents, Edward Joan "Ed" Blondell and Catherine "Katie" Caine, and her siblings, Edward Jr. and Joan, were all entertainers. She once said, "[S]ome member of my family has been in the theater ever since the time of Richard the Lionhearted." Her father, Levi Blustine (or Bluestein), a vaudeville comedian known as Edward Joan Blondell, was born in Poland to a Jewish family circa 1865 and died in Glendale, California on March 27, 1943. He toured for many years starring in the Blondell/Fennessy stage version of The Katzenjammer Kids. Blondell's mother, Catherine (also known as Kathryn or Katie) Caine, was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, on April 13, 1884, of Irish descent. She died on October 5, 1952 in Glendale, California.
Gloria Blondell said that she first went on stage when she was 9 months old, and she was described as "a trouper at three [years of age]." Her family comprised a vaudeville troupe, the "Bouncing Blondells", whose members were her parents, her sister and her brother. In 1935, she appeared in the Broadway production of Three Men on a Horse at the Playhouse in New York City.
Gloria Blondell was a popular featured actress during the Golden Age of Radio. Blondell had the role of secretary Jerry Booker on I Love a Mystery. Her appearances on radio include Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, Lux Radio Theatre, Arch Oboler's Plays, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Screen Directors Playhouse, and The Great Gildersleeve.
She may be best remembered for her role as Honeybee Gillis in the 1950s sitcom starring William Bendix, The Life of Riley. She was cast opposite Tom D'Andrea as her husband, Jim Gillis. She appeared as enviably curvaceous Grace Foster in the I Love Lucy episode, "The Anniversary Present" (1952).
She portrayed an aging prostitute who rescues a town from a trio of criminals in "The Looters", an episode of Wanted Dead or Alive. For Daisy Duck's second appearance as a Disney cartoon character, she took over, marking the debut of Daisy's "normal" voice. Blondell would voice Daisy for six of her nine speaking appearances during the classic shorts era.
She married film producer Albert Broccoli on July 26, 1940; they divorced August 7, 1945. On September 14, 1946, she married Victor Hunter in Monterey, California. They remained married until his death in 1980, just weeks after her sister's death.
Gloria and Victor had one premature daughter, who died at birth. Gloria also nearly died from blood loss, and her life was only saved by an emergency hysterectomy.
She died at age 70 in 1986 in Santa Monica, California from cancer. Despite erroneous reports to the contrary, she was not interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California, but, rather, cremated.
|1938||Daredevil Drivers||Lucy McAuliffe aka Lucy Mack|
|1938||Accidents Will Happen||Patricia Carmody|
|1938||Four's a Crowd||Lansford's 1st Secretary|
|1938||Juvenile Court||Gary's Secretary||Uncredited|
|1938||The Spider's Web||Chase's Secretary||Serial, Uncredited|
|1938||The Lady Objects||Grace||Uncredited|
|1952||Don't Bother to Knock||Janie - Cafe Photographer||Uncredited|
|1953||White Lightning||Ann Garfield|
|1953||The Twonky||Lady Bill Collector|
|1957||God Is My Partner||Tree Critic / Wife||Uncredited|
The Katzenjammer Kids will be presented in Franklin this evening, the company having passed through here this morning on the way to that place. "Eddie Blondell's true name is Levi Bluestein, and he was a resident of Columbus many years ago, living with his father at the foot of Washington Street
No allowance was made for alimony, but Mrs. Blondell seemed to be satisfied. The Blondells, who in private life were Mr. and Mrs. Levi Bluestein, have been annoyed by a case of incompatibility of temper for a long time. They were formerly a member of Katzenjammer Kids' company...
Rowland & Clifford, a western producing firm, have also a production in preparation under the title of 'The Katzenjammer Kids', securing the rights from Blondell & Fennessy. Both shows are scheduled to play over the International, with the Hill production to be ready by Jan. 1.