Valentina Cortese (born January 1, 1925) is an Italian actress.
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in La Nuit américaine. She also appeared in the Franco Zeffirelli miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (movie).
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She retired from public life in 1950, after her marriage to Charles David, who had directed her in Lady On A Train. By the late 1940s Durbin had tried to assume a more sophisticated film persona in such films as the whodunnit Lady On A Train (1945), but the public preferred her as the sweet and wholesome adolescent she had come to represent. Her second marriage, to Felix Jackson, a writer, in 1945, produced her only child, Jessica Jackson, and ended in divorce in 1949. She married an actor, Vaughn Paul, in 1941 and they were divorced in 1943.
In 1939 she received a special Academy Juvenile Award, along with Mickey Rooney. Durbin was quickly signed to a contract with Universal Studios and the huge success of her films were reported to have saved the studio from bankruptcy. Hollywood legend has recorded that he instructed his staff to "drop the fat one" and that they had dismissed Durbin, misunderstanding that Mayer had in fact intended to terminate the contract of Garland. Mayer felt he did not need two young female singers under contract.
Durbin was released from her contract shortly thereafter as studio executive Louis B. She made her first film Three Smart Girls in 1936. Changing her name to Deanna Durbin at the commencement of her career, Durbin signed a contract with MGM Studios in 1936 and made her first film appearance in a screen test with another contractee, Judy Garland. Deanna Durbin (born Edna Mae Durbin on December 4, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) was a popular singer and actress in Hollywood films.