Biography

Blonde, vivacious and obviously talented, Shirley Ross had the promisings of a big musical film star, but her career remained strictly second-string throughout her fairly short career. She is best remembered through her pairing with an entertainment legend: Shirley was afforded the opportunity of duetting with Bob Hope on the song "Thanks for the Memory" in the splashy musical The Big Broadcast of 1938. The song, of course, became Bob's beloved signature tune.

Shirley was born Bernice Gaunt in Omaha, Nebraska in 1913. Her family moved west and she attended Hollywood High School, later studying at UCLA. Blessed with a gorgeous musical instrument, and an adept piano player as well, Shirley went on to sing with Gus Arnheim's band on the west coast, appearing at all the swanky clubs of the day, including the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, while making a decent name for herself on radio. She also appeared in a west coast production of "Anything Goes".

MGM initially scooped her up, making her unbilled debut in the Jean Harlow starrer Blonde Bombshell (1933). She continued on just as obscurely in the films Hollywood Party (1934), Manhattan Melodrama (1934), The Girl from Missouri (1934), The Merry Widow (1934), and Age of Indiscretion (1935), but was finally promoted to a minor featured role in the classic earthquake epic San Francisco (1936) with Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald, in which Shirley sang "Happy New Year".

In 1936, she found more visible work over at Paramount and spent the next few years there paired up vocally and romantically with either Bing Crosby or Bob Hope in their popular vehicles - The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936), Waikiki Wedding (1937), Thanks for the Memory (1938), Paris Honeymoon (1939), and Some Like It Hot (1939). Though most were trifling, insignificant time fillers, she was a diverting beauty and quite serviceable in them. She was even given the chance to topline a few of her own movies such as Prison Farm (1938), Sailors on Leave (1941), and A Song for Miss Julie (1945), which was her swan song.

After leaving pictures, Shirley Ross was little heard or seen. Married first to agent John Kenneth 'Ken' Dolan, then to Everett S. 'Eddie' Blum, she had three children - two sons and a daughter. She died in Menlo Park, California of cancer in 1975.

Blonde, vivacious and obviously talented, Shirley Ross had the promisings of a big musical film star, but her career remained strictly second-string throughout her fairly short career. She is best remembered through her pairing with an entertainment legend: Shirley was afforded the opportunity of duetting with Bob Hope on the song "Thanks for the Memory" in the splashy musical The Big Broadcast of 1938. The song, of course, became Bob's beloved signature tune.

Shirley was born Bernice Gaunt in Omaha, Nebraska in 1913. Her family moved west and she attended Hollywood High School, later studying at UCLA. Blessed with a gorgeous musical instrument, and an adept piano player as well, Shirley went on to sing with Gus Arnheim's band on the west coast, appearing at all the swanky clubs of the day, including the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, while making a decent name for herself on radio. She also appeared in a west coast production of "Anything Goes".

MGM initially scooped her up, making her unbilled debut in the Jean Harlow starrer Blonde Bombshell (1933). She continued on just as obscurely in the films Hollywood Party (1934), Manhattan Melodrama (1934), The Girl from Missouri (1934), The Merry Widow (1934), and Age of Indiscretion (1935), but was finally promoted to a minor featured role in the classic earthquake epic San Francisco (1936) with Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald, in which Shirley sang "Happy New Year".

In 1936, she found more visible work over at Paramount and spent the next few years there paired up vocally and romantically with either Bing Crosby or Bob Hope in their popular vehicles - The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936), Waikiki Wedding (1937), Thanks for the Memory (1938), Paris Honeymoon (1939), and Some Like It Hot (1939). Though most were trifling, insignificant time fillers, she was a diverting beauty and quite serviceable in them. She was even given the chance to topline a few of her own movies such as Prison Farm (1938), Sailors on Leave (1941), and A Song for Miss Julie (1945), which was her swan song.

After leaving pictures, Shirley Ross was little heard or seen. Married first to agent John Kenneth 'Ken' Dolan, then to Everett S. 'Eddie' Blum, she had three children - two sons and a daughter. She died in Menlo Park, California of cancer in 1975.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 26

Birthday 1913-01-07

Day of Death 1975-03-09

Place of Birth Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Bernice Maude Gaunt
  • Bernice Dolan Blum

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1955 Matinee Theater (1 episode)
1945 A Song for Miss Julie as Valerie Kimbro
1941 Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 2
1941 Sailors on Leave as Linda Hall
1941 Kisses for Breakfast as Juliet Marsden
1939 Unexpected Father as Dianna Donovan
1939 Some Like It Hot as Lily Racquel
1939 Cafe Society as Bells Browne
1939 Paris Honeymoon as Barbara Wayne
1938 Thanks for the Memory as Anne Merrick
1938 Prison Farm as Jean Forest
1938 Dangerous to Know as Herself / Singer on Recording (voice)
1938 The Big Broadcast of 1938 as Cleo Fielding
1937 Blossoms On Broadway as Sally Shea
1937 Waikiki Wedding as Georgia Smith
1936 Hideaway Girl as Toni Ainsworth
1936 The Big Broadcast of 1937 as Gwen Holmes
1936 San Francisco as Trixie
1936 Devil's Squadron as Eunice
1935 It's in the Air as Cigar Stand Clerk (uncredited)
1935 I Live My Life as Vi - Drunken Party Guest
1935 Calm Yourself as Ruth Rockwell
1935 Age of Indiscretion as Dotty
1935 Two Hearts in Wax Time as Mannequin Shirley (uncredited)
1935 Buried Loot as Girl in Apartment
1934 Manhattan Melodrama as Singer in Cotton Club

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