Ann Dvorak’s First “Biographer”

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 361

I may be the first person to have written a full length biography on Ann Dvorak, but I am certainly not the only one who has tried to shine a light on Ann in the 60 plus years since she retired.

A few years back I did a post about the scant few who have devoted some time to Ann, and today I wanted to briefly revisit one of them. Doug McClelland was a film historian who authored numerous books relating to cinema including one called Susan Hayward: The Divine Bitch (now that’s a title!). In 1969, he wrote a cover feature on Ann Dvorak for the periodical “Film Fan Monthly.” If I am not mistaken, this was the first time anyone wrote at any length about Ann following her departure from entertainment. The facts may not have all been straight and the filmography incomplete, but I came across his piece very early on and it proved to be a great jumping off point for the research.

I never had the opportunity to meet McClelland, who passed away around the time I really started getting serious about the Dvorak research. I have heard nothing but good things about him and am very envious that he was able witness Ann on Broadway in the “Respectful Prostitute” in 1948. Even though he wrote the “Film Fan Monthly” article when Ann was still alive, he refrained from contacting her. I wonder how she would have responded if he did.

I am sorry Mr. McClelland is not around to see my full length biography, but I am grateful for his efforts to acknowledge her contribution to film long before anyone else did.

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