Irene Rich

Active - 1918 - 1948  |   Born - Oct 13, 1891   |   Died - Apr 22, 1988   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Reversing the usual procedure, Irene Rich was a successful real estate agent who became an actress. In 1918, she entered films as an extra, and soon was starring opposite the likes of Will Rogers, Wallace Beery, and John Barrymore. Already a mature woman when she began her film career, Ms. Rich specialized in playing languid ladies who'd "been there, done that." Surviving the talkie revolution, Rich worked in sound films as a character actress, reuniting with her silent-film colleague Will Rogers in such films as They Had to See Paris (1929) and Down to Earth (1932). Her career in brief doldrums in 1933, Rich turned to radio, hosting the anthology series Irene Rich Dramas from 1933 through 1944; this was an unusual project made up of serialized mini-dramas, some running for several months at time. After her radio comeback, Irene Rich continued accepting roles in Broadway productions and films until her retirement in 1948.

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