Suzanne Kaaren

Active - 1934 - 1944  |   Born - Mar 21, 1912   |   Genres - Drama, Musical, Comedy, Mystery, Crime

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Biography by Bruce Eder

Comely Suzanne Kaaren was attracting offers from producers and impressarios interested in featuring her in their work from her early teens. Born in New York and trained as a dancer, when she was 15 she came to the attention of Florenz Ziegfeld, who offered to put her into his Follies, and would have but for her parents' refusal to allow it. She entered films in 1934 at the age of 18, usually playing dancers or small speaking roles, and even managed to get a part in M-G-M's The Great Ziegfeld, although most of her work took place in less important films. One of Kaaren's most prominent appearances took place in the Three Stooges vehicle Disorder in the Court, in which she acted and had a superb dance number. She later recalled working with the Three Stooges very fondly, remembering that they were always trying out new gags and bits of physical comedy in front of her on and off the set, to see if they were funny or not. Kaaren did two more movies with the comic trio, Yes, We Have No Bonanza and What's the Matador, sandwiched in between appearances in small (often uncredited) roles in major films such as Idiot's Delight, in which she played one of the nurses that Clark Gable kisses in the hospital sequence. Her biggest role (and best-known movie) was as the heroine in the Bela Lugosi chiller The Devil Bat, a low-budget horror film which, thanks to its public domain status (in which it is often distributed under the name Killer Bats), is still widely shown more than six decade later. Kaaren later married actor Sidney Blackmer and retired from acting. In the 1980s, she made headlines again in New York when she was one of the successful plaintiffs in a lawsuit against real estate mogul Donald Trump, and she returned to acting briefly, in a small uncredited role in the movie The Cotton Club, playing the Duchess of Park Avenue.

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