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Subject: Archive: March 6, 2004 ~ Frances Dee dies at 94

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Date Posted: Wednesday, March 06, 06:07:31am

Frances Dee, a dark-haired beauty who co-starred in the 1930s and 1940s with Maurice Chevalier, Gary Cooper, Ronald Colman and her husband, Joel McCrea, has died. She was 94.

Ms. Dee died March 6 at a hospital in Norwalk, Conn., said her son, Peter McCrea. She had suffered a stroke three weeks earlier after spending the winter with her son at his home in Connecticut.

Ms. Dee achieved stardom in 1930 opposite Chevalier in one of the first talkie musicals, " The Playboy of Paris. " Her beauty earned her leading roles in comedies and dramas, notably in the 1931 " An American Tragedy " as Sondra Finchley, the role played by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1951 remake " A Place in the Sun. "

Her credits also included " Souls at Sea " with Cooper and George Raft; " Little Women, " starring Katharine Hepburn; " If I Were King " with Colman; and " Of Human Bondage, " in which she played Leslie Howard ' s sweetheart.

In 1933, Ms. Dee appeared with McCrea in " The Silver Cord. " They married that year and co-starred again in " Wells Fargo " (1937) and " Four Faces West " (1948). She appeared in occasional movies in the 1940s and 1950s and retired after " Gypsy Colt " in 1954.

The McCreas bought a large ranch northwest of Los Angeles, and as the metropolitan area expanded, they became among the wealthiest landowners in California.

They had three sons: Peter, Joel Dee (who became an actor as Jody McCrea) and David.

Joel McCrea died in 1990. Ms. Dee rarely appeared in public in recent years, but in her 90s she was honored with retrospectives of her career at film festivals.

Frances Marion Dee was born Nov. 26, 1909, in Los Angeles, where her Army officer father was stationed. He was transferred to Chicago, where she grew up.

She studied at the University of Chicago, and as a lark while visiting relatives in Hollywood, worked as an extra in movies. That led to a contract with Paramount.

For part of the past two years, Ms. Dee had lived in New Mexico near her sons Joel and David.

Her survivors also include six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


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Subject Author Date
Son Jody McCrea died in 2009 at 74. He appeared in several "Beach Party" movies, usually playing characters named 'Deadhead" or "Lunk" (NT).Wednesday, March 06, 11:21:57am
The man they called The Magus, John Dee......died in 1609 at age 81!Saturday, March 09, 04:37:30am

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