Biography

Delightful child/juvenile actress Virginia Weidler (her friends called her "Ginny") had that knowing gleam in her eye that usually spelled trouble in one form or another for anyone at arm's reach. Born in Eagle Rock, California in 1926, she was one of six children born to Alfred Weidler, an architect, and Margaret Theres Louisa, a former Wagnerian opera singer. Virginia nearly made her acting debut at age 3 in John Barrymore's Moby Dick (1930), but was summarily replaced. A year later she scored her first small movie bit in Warner Baxter's Surrender (1931) and was on her way.

A very plain-looking child, RKO picked up young Virginia after it was learned that she could speak a bit of French. As a youngster Virginia was ably cast as rural tomboy types in Laddie (1935) and Freckles (1935), the latter film allowing her to do a dead-on parody of Shirley Temple. She earned her first lead in Girl of the Ozarks (1936) and showed she could easily hold her own. After a rather unimpressive stint with Paramount where they tried to groom her as a rival to Fox's bratty Jane Withers, Virginia was finally picked up by MGM and her film career blossomed. Co-starring with Mickey Rooney in Love Is a Headache (1938), she proved a natural young comedienne and precocious scene-stealer in such films as Out West with the Hardys (1938), again with Rooney, and Too Hot to Handle (1938). She could also shine in dramatic outings as she did with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939) and Bad Little Angel (1939), but she was never a good choice for sappy roles, as demonstrated when she played Norma Shearer's whiny simp of a daughter in The Women (1939). Virginia's forte was providing comedy relief and she reached her young peak with two classic MGM films -- Young Tom Edison (1940) as Rooney's creative sister, and The Philadelphia Story (1940), as Katharine Hepburn's smart-alecky younger sis. Her tongue-in-cheek rendition of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" at the piano is just one of many memorable highlights from this vintage classic.

Virginia's career started to slip away from her when the teenage Shirley Temple signed with MGM, with "Plain-Jane" Virginia abruptly bumped back to secondary status. After rather disappointing receptions to Born to Sing (1942), The Youngest Profession (1943) and Best Foot Forward (1943), the awkward teen had to face the music. And she did. Virginia left films and turned to vaudeville as a song-and-dance comedy performer, utilizing her full-scale talents as a mimic. She made her legit stage debut in "The Rich Full Life" at the John Golden Theatre in 1945, but the show closed within a month. Soon after, Virginia retired from show business, married, and had two children. She was not heard of much until her untimely passing from a heart ailment at the age of 42. After her death it was learned she had suffered from rheumatic fever as a child.

Delightful child/juvenile actress Virginia Weidler (her friends called her "Ginny") had that knowing gleam in her eye that usually spelled trouble in one form or another for anyone at arm's reach. Born in Eagle Rock, California in 1926, she was one of six children born to Alfred Weidler, an architect, and Margaret Theres Louisa, a former Wagnerian opera singer. Virginia nearly made her acting debut at age 3 in John Barrymore's Moby Dick (1930), but was summarily replaced. A year later she scored her first small movie bit in Warner Baxter's Surrender (1931) and was on her way.

A very plain-looking child, RKO picked up young Virginia after it was learned that she could speak a bit of French. As a youngster Virginia was ably cast as rural tomboy types in Laddie (1935) and Freckles (1935), the latter film allowing her to do a dead-on parody of Shirley Temple. She earned her first lead in Girl of the Ozarks (1936) and showed she could easily hold her own. After a rather unimpressive stint with Paramount where they tried to groom her as a rival to Fox's bratty Jane Withers, Virginia was finally picked up by MGM and her film career blossomed. Co-starring with Mickey Rooney in Love Is a Headache (1938), she proved a natural young comedienne and precocious scene-stealer in such films as Out West with the Hardys (1938), again with Rooney, and Too Hot to Handle (1938). She could also shine in dramatic outings as she did with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939) and Bad Little Angel (1939), but she was never a good choice for sappy roles, as demonstrated when she played Norma Shearer's whiny simp of a daughter in The Women (1939). Virginia's forte was providing comedy relief and she reached her young peak with two classic MGM films -- Young Tom Edison (1940) as Rooney's creative sister, and The Philadelphia Story (1940), as Katharine Hepburn's smart-alecky younger sis. Her tongue-in-cheek rendition of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" at the piano is just one of many memorable highlights from this vintage classic.

Virginia's career started to slip away from her when the teenage Shirley Temple signed with MGM, with "Plain-Jane" Virginia abruptly bumped back to secondary status. After rather disappointing receptions to Born to Sing (1942), The Youngest Profession (1943) and Best Foot Forward (1943), the awkward teen had to face the music. And she did. Virginia left films and turned to vaudeville as a song-and-dance comedy performer, utilizing her full-scale talents as a mimic. She made her legit stage debut in "The Rich Full Life" at the John Golden Theatre in 1945, but the show closed within a month. Soon after, Virginia retired from show business, married, and had two children. She was not heard of much until her untimely passing from a heart ailment at the age of 42. After her death it was learned she had suffered from rheumatic fever as a child.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 41

Birthday 1927-03-21

Day of Death 1968-07-01

Place of Birth Eagle Rock, California, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1943 Best Foot Forward as Helen Schlesinger
1943 The Youngest Profession as Joan Lyons
1942 The Affairs of Martha as Miranda Sommerfield
1942 This Time for Keeps as Harriett Bryant
1942 Born to Sing as Patsy Eastman
1941 Babes on Broadway as Jo Conway
1941 I'll Wait for You as Lizzie Miller
1941 Barnacle Bill as Virginia Johansen
1940 Keeping Company as Harriet Thomas
1940 The Philadelphia Story as Dinah Lord
1940 Gold Rush Maisie as Jubilee 'Jubie' Davis
1940 All This, and Heaven Too as Louise
1940 Young Tom Edison as Tannie Edison
1939 Henry Goes Arizona as Molly Cullison
1939 Bad Little Angel as Patricia Victoria Sanderson
1939 The Under-Pup as Janet Cooper
1939 The Spellbinder as Girl
1939 Outside These Walls as Ellen Sparling
1939 The Rookie Cop as Nicey
1939 Fixer Dugan as Ethel Myrtle 'Terry' O'Connell
1939 The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt as Patricia Lanyard
1939 The Great Man Votes as Joan
1939 The Women as Little Mary
1938 Out West with the Hardys as 'Jake' Holt
1938 Too Hot to Handle as Hulda Harding
1938 Mother Carey's Chickens as Lally Joy Popham
1938 Men with Wings as Young Peggy Ranson
1938 Scandal Street as Wilma 'Willie' Murphy
1938 Love Is a Headache as Jake O'Toole
1937 Souls at Sea as Tina
1937 The Outcasts of Poker Flat as Luck
1937 Maid of Salem as Nabby - Their Daughter
1936 The Big Broadcast of 1937 as Flowergirl
1936 Girl of the Ozarks as Edie Moseley
1935 Peter Ibbetson as Mimsey / Mary, age 6
1935 The Big Broadcast of 1936 as Little Girl in Hospital
1935 Freckles as Laurie Lou Duncan
1935 Laddie as Little Sister
1934 Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch as Europena Wiggs
1934 Long Lost Father as Girl at Pier
1931 Surrender as Little Girl (uncredited)

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