Gloria DeHaven, MGM Musical Star of the 1940s, Dies at 91

Actress’ first film was Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”

gloria dehaven
Gloria DeHaven in the 1950s

Gloria DeHaven, star of countless classic MGM musicals of the 1940s and ’50s,  died Saturday at age 91, TheWrap has learned.

According to her daughter, Faith Fincher-Finkelstein, DeHaven suffered a stroke about three months ago and passed on Saturday while in hospice care in Las Vegas, surrounded by family.

DeHaven was one of the few stars remaining from Hollywood’s Golden Age of film, when no problem couldn’t by solved be tap dancing through it and every broken heart could be healed with a song.

Through DeHaven’s six-decade career as a singer-dancer-actress, she performed alongside Hollywood legends like Charlie Chaplin (“Modern Times,” 1936), Joan Crawford (“Susan and God,” 1940), Lucille Ball (“Best Foot Forward,” 1943), Frank Sinatra (“Step Lively,” 1944), Mickey Rooney (“Summer Holiday,” 1948), Gene Kelly and Judy Garland (“Summer Stock,” 1950) and Fred Astaire (“Three Little Words,” 1950).

In the latter, she played her own real-life mother, vaudeville star Flora Parker. Her last film appearance was in the 1997 Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau comedy aboard a cruise ship, “Out to Sea.”

Although her past was filled with song-and-dance films, DeHaven made an easy transition into television.

She guest starred on series ranging from westerns (“The Rifleman,” “Wagon Train,” “Gunsmoke”) to family fun (“Flipper,” “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat”) to dramas (“Hart to Hart,” “Touched by an Angel”) to soap operas (“Falcons Crest,” “Ryan’s Hope”).

And, in 1976, she joined the cast of the Norman Lear comedy “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” playing a bisexual CB radio enthusiast.