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Claire Dodd


Hollywood’s leading female who made an appearance in almost sixty movies the ’30s and ’40s, dealing with everyone from Humphrey Bogart to Errol Flynn. She found Hollywood to function in the Ziegfeld Follies, which she became a member of when she was 15, laying about her age group to enter. She held her personal and open public lives split, unlike the majority of her fellow starlets, and was known as a female of secret. She was created in Baxter, Iowa, the little girl of Walter W. Dodd, a farmer and veterinarian. She was a good friend of Bette Davis, co-starring with her on 1933’s Ex-Lady.

Quick Facts

Full Name Claire Dodd
Date Of Birth December 29, 1911
Died November 23, 1973, Beverly Hills, California, United States
Place Of Birth Iowa
Profession Movie Actress
Nationality American
Spouse H. Brand Cooper, Jack Milton Strauss
Children Brand Cooper, Jon Michael Strauss, Austene Cooper, Peter Cooper, John Cooper
Parents Walter W. Dodd, Ethel V. Dodd
Movies Footlight Parade, The Case of the Curious Bride, Roberta, The Case of the Velvet Claws, Gambling Lady, The Glass Key, Charlie Chan in Honolulu, Ex-Lady, Parachute Jumper, The Match King, The Payoff, The Black Cat, Smarty, The Mad Doctor of Market Street, Slightly Honorable, Hard to Handle, Secret of the Chateau, Journal of a Crime, Ann Carver's Profession, Lawyer Man, Mariners of the Sky, Fast Company, Man Wanted, Don't Bet on Blondes, Elmer, the Great, Guilty as Hell, Under Eighteen, Babbitt, Girls About Town, The Singing Kid, Three Loves Has Nancy, The Personality Kid, The Goose and the Gander, Crooner, Romance in the Dark, Blondie Johnson, Working Girls, If I Had My Way, My Woman, Massacre, The Broken Wing, Alias the Doctor, The Pay-Off, I Sell Anything, Murder by an Aristocrat, The Women Men Marry, The Secret Call, Woman Doctor
Star Sign Capricorn

  • Facts
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  • Quotes
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1First signed by Paramount in 1931, she appeared mainly in unbilled bits. She moved to Warner Bros in 1933 and appeared in featured and second lead "bad girl" "B" roles as conniving, predatory "other women" and husband stealers. From 1936 to her retirement in 1942 she freelanced with major and "Poverty Row" studios.
2Battled cancer for two years before she died. Funeral services were held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills and burial was in Glendale.
3Married second husband, H. Brand Cooper, an automobile distributor, in 1940. They had four children: Daughter Austene and sons Brand and John (twins) and Peter.
4Was of Dutch descent.
5She and her second husband purchased Rock Candy Farm, where they built a red New England style farm house on 400 acres. In the opening credits of "The Andy Griffith Show," where Opie throws a rock into a lake -- that sequence was filmed in a neighboring yard.
6Darryl F. Zanuck became her mentor throughout her little more than a decade film career. She did not play the "casting couch" came and he respected her and her talent for it.
7Made her Broadway debut in the 1930 musical "Smiles" starring Marilyn Miller.
8Before her acting career got off the ground, she was a model in Burlingame, California. Spotted by a talent agent, she was brought to Hollywood for a screen test and was given the name "Claire Dodd" and cast as a "Goldwyn Girl" in the Eddie Cantor musical Whoopee! (1930).
9The only child of a Little Rock, Arkansas couple -- Walter W. Dodd, a veterinarian, and Ethel (ne Cool) Dodd, the daughter of a postmaster. Ethel bore Claire while on a trip to Des Moines, Iowa. Her father abandoned the family when she was about 10 years old and her mother later developed tuberculosis. Dorothy quit school to help support her and her mother.
10Upon her death, her remains were interred at Brand Family Cemetery in Glendale, Los Angeles, California.
11Was a former showgirl in the "Ziegfeld Follies" revues on Broadway.
12Sister-in-Law of famed big game hunter, author and marksman, John Dean "Jeff" Cooper, founder of Gunsite.
13Her first husband, John Milton Strauss, was a New York real estate developer. They had one son, Jon Michael (b. 1936).



The Song of a Nation1936ShortMary Key
Murder by an Aristocrat1936Janice Thatcher
Navy Born1936Bernice Farrington
The Singing Kid1936Dana Lawrence
The Payoff1935Maxine
The Goose and the Gander1935Connie
Don't Bet on Blondes1935Marilyn Youngblood
The Glass Key1935Janet Henry
The Case of the Curious Bride1935Della
Roberta1935Sophie Teale
Babbitt1934Tanis Judique
Secret of the Chateau1934Julie Verlaine
I Sell Anything1934Millicent
The Personality Kid1934Patricia Merrill
Journal of a Crime1934Odette
Gambling Lady1934Sheila Aiken
My Woman1933Muriel Bennett
Footlight Parade1933Vivian
Ann Carver's Profession1933Carole Rodgers
Ex-Lady1933Iris Van Hugh
Elmer, the Great1933Evelyn
Blondie Johnson1933Gladys LaMann
Hard to Handle1933Marlene Reeves
Parachute Jumper1933Mrs. Newberry
The Match King1932Ilse Wagner
Lawyer Man1932Virginia St. Johns
Crooner1932Mrs. Constance Brown
Guilty as Hell1932Ruth Tindal
Man Wanted1932Ann Le Maire
This Is the Night1932Chou-Chou (uncredited)
The Broken Wing1932Cecelia Cross
Dancers in the Dark1932Girl at Bar (uncredited)
Alias the Doctor1932Mrs. Beverly (uncredited)
Two Kinds of Women1932Sheila Lavery (uncredited)
Under 181931Babsy
Working Girls1931Jane
Girls About Town1931Dot - Party Girl (uncredited)
The Road to Reno1931Party Girl (uncredited)
An American Tragedy1931Gaile Warren (uncredited)
The Secret Call1931Maisie
Confessions of a Co-Ed1931Co-Ed in Chapel (uncredited)
The Lawyer's Secret1931Party Guest (uncredited)
Up Pops the Devil1931Minor Role (uncredited)
Whoopee!1930Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
Our Blushing Brides1930A Mannequin
The Daring Young Man1942Marlene
Mississippi Gambler1942Gladys La Verne
The Mad Doctor of Market Street1942Patricia Wentworth
Don Winslow of the Navy1942Mercedes Colby
In the Navy1941Dorothy Roberts
The Black Cat1941Margaret Gordon
If I Had My Way1940Brenda Johnson
Slightly Honorable1939Alma Brehmer
Woman Doctor1939Gail Patterson
Charlie Chan in Honolulu1938Mrs. Carol Wayne
Three Loves Has Nancy1938Vivian Herford
Fast Company1938Julia Thorne
Romance in the Dark1938Countess Monica Foldesay
The Women Men Marry1937Claire Raeburn
The Case of the Velvet Claws1936Della Street
Two Against the World1936Cora Latimer



The Song of a Nation1936Short performer: "It Was Not So Long Ago"
Ann Carver's Profession1933performer: "Sweet Georgia Brown" - uncredited



Breakdowns of 19371937ShortHerself
Breakdowns of 19361936ShortHerself
The 42nd. Street Special1933Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)

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1I did almost nothing much for a year. Publicity [photographs, greeting exhibitor's parties, dancing group scenes, odds and ends . . . Any extra could have done what I was assigned, and yet I was receiving a very decent salary check regularly. -- CD, describing her early film career with Paramount Pictures

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