Bonita Granville was an American actress who portrays Nancy Drew in the 1930s Nancy Drew film series.

Overview

Granville was born on February 2, 1923, in New York City. Her parents, Bernard "Bunny" and Ronina (Timponi) Granville, were in vaudeville. Bonita made her film debut at nine years old in the film Westward Passage (1933). That same year, Granville played a minor role in the Academy Award-winning film Cavalcade.

Granville made her breakthrough when she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film These Three (1936). From there, she was put on a contract with Warner Bros., and appeared in several minor roles. In 1938, she was cast as Nancy Drew to lead a series of B-films similar to Warners' popular Torchy Blane series. She appeared in four Nancy Drew films, before Warner Bros. made the decision to stop producing B-film series. At this point, Granville left Warner Bros. for MGM.

At MGM, Granville was once again cast in supporting roles in more prestigious films such as Now, Voyager (1942). In a loan out to RKO, Granville was the lead in anti-Nazism film Hitler's Children (1943), which was that studio's most profitable film of the year. She was then cast alongside Mickey Rooney in two Andy Hardy films: Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (1944) and Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946). The ladder flopped at the box office, and by the mid-1940s, her career began to fade.

On February 5, 1947, Granville married businesswoman Jack Wrather at the Bel-Air hotel; he had produced her film The Guilty, which had reunited her with her Nancy Drew co-star John Litel. At this point, Granville gradually retired from the screen, and began working alongside her husband for his company, the Wrather Corporation. Granville had two children, Molly and Christopher, while Wrather had another two children, Jack and Molly, from a previous marriage.

The Wrather Corporation was not only responsible for providing funding for the Disneyland hotel (which the Wrathers also owned), but also for turning out two iconic early television series: Lassie and The Lone Ranger. Granville produced these series with her husband, and appeared in minor roles for both screen adaptions of The Lone Ranger. Upon Wrather's death in 1984, Granville continued to carry The Wrather Corporation until her own death. Following her death, The Wrather Corporation was sold to the Walt Disney Company under the guise of CEO Michael Eisner, to whom the Wrathers had refused to sell their interest in the hotel to.

Granville died on October 11, 1988, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. She was sixty-five years old, and the cause of death was established as lung cancer. She was buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California, next to her husband.

Nancy Drew roles

Role Project
Nancy Drew Nancy Drew: Detective
Nancy Drew: Report
Nancy Drew: Trouble Shooter
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939)

External links

References

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