Haver, June (1926—)
Haver, June (1926—)
American film actress of post-World War II musicals. Born June Stovenour in Rock Island, Illinois, on June 10, 1926; middle of three daughters of Fred and Marie Stovenour; attended high school in Hollywood, California; married Jimmy Zito (a musician), in March 1947 (divorced 1949); married Fred MacMurray (an actor), on June 28, 1954; children: (with MacMurray) adopted twin girls, Katie and Laurie, in 1956.
Swing's the Thing (short, 1942); Trumpet Serenade (short, 1942); The Gang's All Here (1943); Home in Indiana (1944); Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1944); Where Do We Go from Here? (1945); The Dolly Sisters (1945); Three Little Girls in Blue (1946); Wake Up and Dream (1946); I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now? (1947); Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay! (1948); Oh, You Beautiful Doll! (1949); Look for the Silver Lining (1949); The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady (1950); I'll Get By (1950); Love Nest (1951); The Girl Next Door (1953).
In a career that lasted only a decade, June Haver made her mark in the Technicolor musicals of the 1940s, before she was waylaid in her career, first by a religious calling and then by marriage.
Haver was a musically gifted child who, at age eight, won the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music's Post Music Contest and played the piano as one-time guest artist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. As a teenager, she sang with several bands and made two musical film shorts before signing a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox. In 1943, she debuted with another newcomer, Jeanne Crain , in The Gang's All Here, a Technicolor musical starring Alice Faye and Carmen Miranda . Haver later became a protégé of staff producer George Jessel, who jump-started her career by casting her with Betty Grable in The Dolly Sisters (1945), a film about the turn-of-the-century show-business sisters, Jenny and Rosie Dolly . Although Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck tapped Haver as an eventual replacement for Grable, it never came to pass.
Haver went on to top billing in Three Little Girls in Blue (1946), with Vivian Blaine and Vera-Ellen . The story of three sisters hunting for rich husbands in 1902 Atlantic City was a remake of Three Blind Mice (1938) and Moon Over Miami (1941). It would reappear yet again in 1953 as How to Marry a Millionaire. Haver then sang her way through a series of musicals that caught the fancy of the public but never impressed the critics. Notable were Oh, You Beautiful Doll! (1949), a salute to turn-of-the-century composer Fred Fisher, and Look for the Silver Lining (1949), in which she played Ziegfeld star Marilyn Miller .
Around 1950, Haver began to lose interest in her movie career and, in February 1952, announced that she planned to become a nun. "I know what I want to do," she told the press. "But what I want must also be what God wants. May His will be done." She entered the Sisters of Charity convent in Leavenworth, Kansas, but left after a few months, reportedly due to ill health. Her first public performance after her confinement was in a "Lux Radio Theatre" adaptation of Trouble Along the Way in 1954. Soon after, she abandoned her career again to marry actor Fred MacMurray, a widower. (Haver had been married briefly to trumpeter Jimmy Zito.) The couple adopted twin girls in 1956, and a year later Haver told an interviewer. "I had ten good years in the movies. I'm here now. I do the marketing and worry about the laundry…. I'm a mother. I'm needed."
Parish, James Robert. The Fox Girls. NY: Arlington House, 1974.
——, and Michael R. Pitts. Hollywood Songsters. Garland, 1991.
Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts