Frances Langford

Frances Langford

Hernando, Citrus County, Florida, USA
Death 11 Jul 2005 (aged 92)
Jensen Beach, Martin County, Florida, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, Specifically: Off the coast of Jensen Beach, Florida
Memorial ID 11344273 · View Source
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Actress and Entertainer of the Stage, Screen and Radio. Frances Langford, the diminutive five foot one inch star, was in the forefront of the American entertainment scene for some thirty five years as a recording artist, radio star and an actress. Her roles in the movies were mostly of a minor nature and the fame came from radio shows and as a songstress. She appeared in some 30 movies most of the time portraying herself. In spite of marginal acting ability, she managed to introduce major hit songs in her musicals. Some notables include, "Every Night at Eight" her movie debut popularizing "I'm in the Mood for Love" "Broadway Melody of 1936" popularizing, "Broadway Rhythm" and "You Are My Lucky Star, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" popularizing "Over There," "Dixie Jamboree" "Radio Stars on Parade" "Deputy Marshal," a Western co-starring with her first husband, matinee idol Jon Hall, and her final "The Glenn Miller Story" playing herself then subsequently fading away from the Hollywood scene. She was born Julia Frances Langford in Lakeland, Florida, and began singing at an early age and could have conceivably had a career in opera, but her voice was affected by a throat operation. After some stage work, mostly in vaudeville, she established a reputation as a nightclub singer. Langford began singing on radio during the early 1930's and was heard by Rudy Vallee who invited her to become a regular on his radio show. After a brief stint in the Broadway musical "Here Goes the Bride" in 1931, she moved to Hollywood appearing on the Louella Parsons' radio show "'Hollywood Hotel' while starting a movie career. The actress became very famous in the 40's as the insufferable wife, Blanche, opposite Don Ameche on the radio comedy "The Bickersons." She was a singer on Bob Hope's "Pepsodent Show" when he held his first military entertainment program at March Field in Riverside, California in 1941. The show was so positive, he continued broadcasting from training bases around the country and asked Langford to join him. With the war raging in Europe and many American troops now stationed overseas, the variety show went over there. Langford wrote a daily newspaper column, "Purple Heart Diary" about her war experiences and later starred in a movie of the same name. The troupe entertained at military bases and hospitals in Great Britain, Italy, North Africa and the South Pacific and Langford was still there when a new generation of soldiers were entertained in Korea and Vietnam which was her last public concert in 1966. A guest on early television shows such as Perry Como and Jackie Gleason motivated her to venture into television with little success. She was the host of two self titled variety television programs, Frances Langford Presents (1959) and The Frances Langford Show (1960). Her post Hollywood life...She kept up her pastimes of boating and sport fishing. While nightclub singing, she met and married outboard motor heir Ralph Evinrude. The famous couple built a Polynesian-themed restaurant and marina on the Indian River called the Frances Langford Outrigger Resort where she sometimes did some singing. Locals and celebrities flocked to the site. In 1994, a widow, she married Harold Stuart, assistant secretary of the Air Force under Harry Truman and they spent the summers in Canada on Georgian Island. They journeyed to the Island from their home in Florida aboard their 110 foot yacht "The Chanticleer" which was a popular tourist attraction when moored at the Outrigger Resort. Health problems plagued her in the last years of her life with periodic hospital stays. Congestive heart failure claimed Frances at her residence in Jensen Beach, Florida at the age of 91. According to her wishes, she was cremated and the ashes strewn off the coast of Florida near her residence. Legacy...She was a great philanthropist and her generosity to the Florida Oceanographic Society located on Hutchinson Island, Stuart, Florida was well known. The site provides education and research of the ocean, reefs and environment in the Florida area. The visitors center bears her name and also houses some of her artifacts. Her collection of mounted tuna, marlin and other fish adorn the walls. Although her greatest successes were in radio, her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame acknowledges her contribution to Motion Pictures. In a bit of trivia, during a USO show in the Pacific theater she was invited to take a ride in a P-38 fighter plane. During the excursion, a Japanese ship was encountered and the joy ride was postponed until the pilot finished strafing the ship.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: AJM
  • Added: 12 Jul 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11344273
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Frances Langford (4 Apr 1913–11 Jul 2005), Find a Grave Memorial no. 11344273, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, who reports a Off the coast of Jensen Beach, Florida.