Bonita Granville

Active - 1932 - 1991  |   Born - Feb 2, 1923 in New York, New York, United States  |   Died - Oct 11, 1988   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Mystery

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Biography by Rovi

Born into a show-biz family, Bonita Granville first appeared onstage at the age of 3 and began making films at 9. As a child actress she was frequently cast as a mean, spiteful, naughty little girl; examples include These Three (1936), in which she played a mischievous girl spreading malicious lies about her teachers (and for which, at the age of 13, she received a "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar nomination), and Maid of Salem (1937), in which she lead a hysterical group of village girls as accusers in the Salem Witch Trials. As a teen she also played "nicer" girls, as in the title role in the series of four detective-reporter Nancy Drew movies, as well as a blond, blue-eyed Aryan Nazi "ideal youth" in the huge hit Hitler's Children (1943). She later gained standard leading lady roles before retiring from the screen in the '50s. Bonita Granville married a millionaire in 1947 and subsequently became a businesswoman as well as the producer of the TV series Lassie.

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  • Born in a family of artists, her parents were actors, her grandmother was a ballerina and her grandfather was an opera conductor.
  • Along with her husband, Jack Wrather, owned and operated the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California, until it was acquired by the Disney Corporation in 1988.
  • After her husband's passing, took over as chairman of the board at the Wrather Corporation.
  • From 1986 to 1988, served as chair of the American Film Institute.
  • Founder-member of the Los Angeles Music Center, former president of the Los Angeles Orphanage Guild and a member of The Amazing Blue Ribbon.