Virginia Grey

Actress

1917-2004

The daughter of a film director father and a movie editor mother, 10-year-old Virginia Grey inaugurated her acting career as Little Eva in Universal's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927). Talkies reduced her to bit parts, but at the time she was more interested in completing her education than appearing in films. She reemerged as an MGM contract player in 1936, alternating between leads in B-pictures and supporting roles in A's. She was cast opposite the Marx Brothers in The Big Store (1941) and Red Skelton in Whistling in the Dark (1942), essayed a surprising characterization in Another Thin Man (1939), and was one of traveling entertainer Clark Gable's chorus girl entourage in Idiot's Delight (1939); reportedly, she was also romantically involved with Gable after the death of his third wife, Carole Lombard. Usually cast in demure roles at MGM, Grey enjoyed a wider variety of parts when she began freelancing in 1942, often playing self-made business executives, icy socialites, hard-shelled "other women," and errant wives. From the late '50s to the mid-'60s, Virginia Grey was something of a regular in the glossy, star-studded soap operas of producer Ross Hunter.

Filmography