Deanna Durbin Dies, Former Child Star Was 91

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Deanna Durbin, an actress who rose to fame as a child in the 1930s and 1940s, has passed away. She was 91.

Deanna pic

Durbin's son, Peter David, revealed the sad news in a fan club newsletter published yesterday, simply saying his mom died a "few days ago" and asking for privacy. He did not provide any further details.

Durbin was born in Winnipeg and raised in Southern California. She was discovered in junior high school, and nabbed her first role in a one-reel short, Every Sunday, opposite Judy Garland.

In 1938, Durbin earned a miniature Academy Award for her "significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth."

About a decade later, though, after appearing in 21 films, Durbin retired for good, saying she "hated being in a goldfish bowl."

She penned a letter to The New York Times in 1958 that explained "I was never happy making pictures. I've gained weight. I do my own shopping, bring up my two children and sing an hour every day."

In addition to son Peter David, the actress is survived by daughter Jessica from her second marriage.