Linda Darnell

1923 - 1965

Linda Darnell, one of five children of a postal clerk, grew up fast. At 11, she was modeling clothes, giving her age as 16. At 13, she was appearing on the stage with little theater groups. Her mother encouraged her to audition when Hollywood talent scouts came to Dallas. She went to California and when the studio found out how young she really was, she was sent home and told to come back when she was 15. Her fourth film, Star Dust (1940), was based on this real life experience. It was Star Dust (1940) that Darnell was watching the night of April 9, 1965, at the home of her former secretary, located in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The house caught on fire in the early hours of the next morning and Darnell died that afternoon in Cook County Hospital. The character she played in one of her best known roles, Forever Amber (1947) survived the London fire, the plague and the perils of being the mistress of the English king, Charles II.

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