Ina Claire ~ The Lovely Stage Star

Ina Claire

Ina Claire was a popular Broadway star who was married to John Gilbert

She was born Ina Claire Fagan on October 15, 1893 in Washington, D.C, Tragically her father died a few months before she was born. To help her family earn money she dropped out of high school and began performing in vaudeville. Ina became known for doing impressions and created a popular act called "The Dainty Mimic." She made her Broadway debut in the 1910 musical Our Miss Gibbs. Then she starred in the hit show The Quaker Girl. In 1915 appeared in the silent films The Wild Goose Chase and The Puppet Crown. That same year she was a headliner in the Ziegfeld Follies. Ina married James Whittaker, a newspaper reporter, in 1919. During the 1920s she starred in numerous Broadway shows including Bluebeard's Eighth Wife, Grounds For Divorce, and The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney. The beautiful blonde got rave reviews for her comedic performances. Her marriage to James ended in 1925. She was signed by Pathe studios and made the 1929 talkie The Awful Truth.

Ina ClaireIna Claire

The movie was a flop and she left the studio soon after. On May 9, 1929 she impulsively married actor John Gilbert. They had only known each other for three weeks! Unfortunately he was an alcoholic and she divorced him two years later. Ina costarred with Joan Blondell in the 1932 film Three Broadway Girls. She also had a supporting role in the 1939 comedy Ninotchka. Ina married William Wallace, an attorney, in 1939. The couple moved to San Francisco and she took a break from acting. In 1946 she returned to the stage to star in The Fatal Weakness. Her final acting role was in the 1954 Broadway show The Confidential Clerk. Sadly her husband William died in 1976. She continued to live a quiet life away from the spotlight. On February 21, 1985 she died from a heart attack at the age of ninety-one. Ina was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ina Claire