March 1, 2011

Dick Van Dyke Show Star on Durbin's Influential Clothing Style

In Hold the Roses, the autobiography of Rose Marie (who is probably best known for her role as Sally on "The Dick Van Dyke Show"), the star gives this brief account of Deanna Durbin's influence on her own early career as a child performer.

" Kids in those days [late 1930s] had a rough time going from twelve to sixteen years old. There were no 'in-between' clothes or shoes like kids have today. It was Mary Jane flats, Red Cross shoes or high heels. The dresses were either too young-looking or too old-looking. . . .

I couldn't find the right clothes for the stage that would be appropriate for me at my age. Thank God for Deanna Durbin. She was fifteen or sixteen and in the movies. The studio made some beautiful, youthful evening gowns for her. Lord and Taylor in New York had copies of those dresses. I opened a charge account there and got three of them.... So I was able to get clothes that were right for me."

A fairly recent equivalent in making 'tween clothing stylish again might be the Olsen twins' line of apparel. It is doubtful, though, that Ms. Durbin received any revenue for the clothes that she made popular.


Read more about Baby Rose Marie at Bit Part Bloggers:

Classic Television Showbiz: More photos and interview with Rose Marie


  1. Interesting. I've seen a photo of a Deanna Durbin doll before. Even younger children could look up to her.

  2. Hello !

    I'm a local history blogger from Winnipeg, MB, birthplace of Deanna Durbin ! Great to see a blog dedicated just to her !!

    I am working on a series of posts for her 90th anniversary. The intro one has been posted here:

    It links your site for more information. More posts will follow later in March.

    One thing I am trying to get going is a 'write in' campaign for TCM to have a Deanna Durbin Day near her birthday. The link is in my post.

    Feel free to join in the campaign and keep up the great work !

  3. Thanks for the link to your blog and for linking back! It's wonderful to know that Deanna is still remembered in her hometown and is being remembered on her 90th birthday. We'll post links back to your posts on Winnipig - can't wait to read them!