Powell, Dick (1904-1963)

views updated

Powell, Dick (1904-1963)

A pop singer and bandleader, Dick Powell became famous as the perennial youthful star of backstage musical films during the 1930s. He appeared as the juvenile lead opposite dancer Ruby Keeler in a string of films which included 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, and Gold Diggers of 1933 (all 1933). Other films included Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935), Thanks a Million (1935), Gold Diggers of 1937 (1937), On the Avenue (1937), Varsity Show (1937), and Star Spangled Rhythm (1942). Powell later eschewed his clean-cut image and began to aspire to non-singing dramatic roles in films such as Murder, My Sweet (1944) and The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). He also directed several films, but it is as the energetic, wide-eyed dancer of the 1930s that Powell is best remembered. He married fellow singing actor June Allyson in 1945.

—William A. Everett

Further Reading:

Carpozi, George. The Magnificent Entertainers. New York, Manor Books, 1978.

Thomas, Tony. The Dick Powell Story. Burbank, Riverwood Press, 1993.

About this article

Powell, Dick (1904-1963)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article