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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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1 First 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.
2 Battled 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.
3 Married second husband, H. Brand Cooper, an automobile distributor, in 1940. They had four children: Daughter Austene and sons Brand and John (twins) and Peter.
4 Was of Dutch descent.
5 She 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.
6 Darryl 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.
7 Made her Broadway debut in the 1930 musical "Smiles" starring Marilyn Miller.
8 Before 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).
9 The 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.
10 Upon her death, her remains were interred at Brand Family Cemetery in Glendale, Los Angeles, California.
11 Was a former showgirl in the "Ziegfeld Follies" revues on Broadway.
12 Sister-in-Law of famed big game hunter, author and marksman, John Dean "Jeff" Cooper, founder of Gunsite.
13 Her first husband, John Milton Strauss, was a New York real estate developer. They had one son, Jon Michael (b. 1936).



The Song of a Nation 1936 Short Mary Key
Murder by an Aristocrat 1936 Janice Thatcher
Navy Born 1936 Bernice Farrington
The Singing Kid 1936 Dana Lawrence
The Payoff 1935 Maxine
The Goose and the Gander 1935 Connie
Don't Bet on Blondes 1935 Marilyn Youngblood
The Glass Key 1935 Janet Henry
The Case of the Curious Bride 1935 Della
Roberta 1935 Sophie Teale
Babbitt 1934 Tanis Judique
Secret of the Chateau 1934 Julie Verlaine
I Sell Anything 1934 Millicent
The Personality Kid 1934 Patricia Merrill
Smarty 1934 Anita
Journal of a Crime 1934 Odette
Gambling Lady 1934 Sheila Aiken
Massacre 1934 Norma
My Woman 1933 Muriel Bennett
Footlight Parade 1933 Vivian
Ann Carver's Profession 1933 Carole Rodgers
Ex-Lady 1933 Iris Van Hugh
Elmer, the Great 1933 Evelyn
Blondie Johnson 1933 Gladys LaMann
Hard to Handle 1933 Marlene Reeves
Parachute Jumper 1933 Mrs. Newberry
The Match King 1932 Ilse Wagner
Lawyer Man 1932 Virginia St. Johns
Crooner 1932 Mrs. Constance Brown
Guilty as Hell 1932 Ruth Tindal
Man Wanted 1932 Ann Le Maire
This Is the Night 1932 Chou-Chou (uncredited)
The Broken Wing 1932 Cecelia Cross
Dancers in the Dark 1932 Girl at Bar (uncredited)
Alias the Doctor 1932 Mrs. Beverly (uncredited)
Two Kinds of Women 1932 Sheila Lavery (uncredited)
Under 18 1931 Babsy
Working Girls 1931 Jane
Girls About Town 1931 Dot - Party Girl (uncredited)
The Road to Reno 1931 Party Girl (uncredited)
An American Tragedy 1931 Gaile Warren (uncredited)
The Secret Call 1931 Maisie
Confessions of a Co-Ed 1931 Co-Ed in Chapel (uncredited)
The Lawyer's Secret 1931 Party Guest (uncredited)
Up Pops the Devil 1931 Minor Role (uncredited)
Whoopee! 1930 Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
Our Blushing Brides 1930 A Mannequin
The Daring Young Man 1942 Marlene
Mississippi Gambler 1942 Gladys La Verne
The Mad Doctor of Market Street 1942 Patricia Wentworth
Don Winslow of the Navy 1942 Mercedes Colby
In the Navy 1941 Dorothy Roberts
The Black Cat 1941 Margaret Gordon
If I Had My Way 1940 Brenda Johnson
Slightly Honorable 1939 Alma Brehmer
Woman Doctor 1939 Gail Patterson
Charlie Chan in Honolulu 1938 Mrs. Carol Wayne
Three Loves Has Nancy 1938 Vivian Herford
Fast Company 1938 Julia Thorne
Romance in the Dark 1938 Countess Monica Foldesay
The Women Men Marry 1937 Claire Raeburn
The Case of the Velvet Claws 1936 Della Street
Two Against the World 1936 Cora Latimer



The Song of a Nation 1936 Short performer: "It Was Not So Long Ago"
Ann Carver's Profession 1933 performer: "Sweet Georgia Brown" - uncredited



Breakdowns of 1937 1937 Short Herself
Breakdowns of 1936 1936 Short Herself
The 42nd. Street Special 1933 Documentary short Herself (uncredited)

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1 I 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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