On this day in 1979, Ann Dvorak passed away in Honolulu from stomach cancer at the age of 68. The last few years of her life had not been particularly easy, largely due to her finances being drained by her abusive third husband. She maintained a small group of friends and had a orange tabby to keep her company, and while expressing some regrets about how the promise of her long abandoned carrier had been squandered, seemed to have found some measure of peace at the end.
I was recently contacted by a fellow Dvorak devotee who asked if I had any additional images of Ann in her later years besides what I included in Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel. I do have one more photo, which I am posting here. This was taken in July 1979, and it’s hard to recognize the Ann we’re familiar with in this image, but those Dvorak eyes are still there.
As much as Ann didn’t like to look back, and I am not sure she would have liked me prying into her life like I did, I do think she would have enjoyed the increased appreciation her work has experienced the last decade or so. In honor of our fabulous gal, be sure to slow down and watch some Dvorak flicks during this hectic time.