This Day in Ann Dvorak History – Reunited with Father

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 232

On August 20, 1934, Ann Dvorak stood on the platform of a Pasadena train station, anxiously awaiting the next arrival. She was wearing a dress from the movie Gentlemen Are Born which she had just finished filming three days before and had her husband, Leslie Fenton, by her side. Any moment now, the twenty three-year-old actress would be reunited with a man she had not seen in over ten years – her father.

Like Ann’s mother, Edwin McKim had been a theater and vaudeville performer before entering the burgeoning film industry around 1912. Despite his background as an actor, McKim’s film work consisted almost exclusively as a director and scenario writer. When the marriage to Anna Lehr started to unravel, he took work at the Lubin studios in his home state of Pennsylvania while his wife split her time between Los Angeles and New York. The couple divorced around 1920, which also ended McKim’s relationship with his only child.

Ann had wanted to renew ties with her father, but expense and know-how had prohibited her from looking. Once Ann became an actress of note, she used the newspaper press in December 1933 to make an appeal for her long-lost father to get in touch with her. There were many false leads, but the real Edwim McKim finally stood up.

Ann offered to pay for his transportation from Philadelphia, but McKim insisted on saving up the fare himself, which took six months. He finally pulled into Pasadena in August where his was greeted by his daughter, son-in-law – and some press photographers who were on hand to document this intimate moment.



  1. Scott August 20, 2013

    A wonderful photo set and story. That last photo is especially poignant.

    (It looks like it was either windy in Pasadena that day, or the trains in the station were blowing steam, by the way Ann was holding her hat on her head in most of the set.)

    I would say, of her parents, Ann bears more of a resemblance to her father. (Who, in photos one and three kind of looks a little like Rudy Vallee.)

  2. admin August 20, 2013

    Ann definitely had her father’s chin and smile, though there are some photos of Anna Lehr that look strikingly like Ann.

  3. Mike August 20, 2013

    Definite poignancy in first photo too; Ann staring into the camera (I love the pensive look on her face) as dad admires his long lost daughter. I, too, see a resemblance to an older Rudy Vallee.

    Thanks for sharing these lovely photos, and belated appreciations for the additional still from “OVO”. Ann’s awkward encounter with her daughter at the smoke-filled card party the 2nd best scene in the film, ranking slightly behind her earlier meeting with Jane Wyatt.

  4. admin August 20, 2013

    I agree about the top photo. I used the one with the three of them in the book, just because Leslie was such a dominant force in her life. However, as I was writing this post, I started to wish I had used that first one instead.

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