Actress. She starred in a succession of Hollywood features during the 1930s, usually as a gentle, soft-spoken, leading lady. Raised in Cincinnati, Venable graduated from Walnut Hills High School (where her father and grandfather both taught English), and was active in dramatics; she attended Vasser College for a year, then transferred to the University of Cincinnati. After graduation, she joined a touring theater group in which she portrayed Roxanne in "Cyrano de Bergerac" and Ophelia in "Hamlet"; during an engagement in California, she was spotted, and offered a number of movie contracts. Venable finally accepted an unusual offer from Paramount in 1932 that allowed her to avoid cutting her hair, posing for leg-art, and performing bit parts. Her silver screen debut came with the 1933 "Cradle Song," and was followed over the next ten years by "Death Takes a Holiday" (1934), "The Little Colonel" (1934), and 1935's "Alice Adams," among others. Venable met cinematographer Hal Mohr on the set of the 1933 Will Rogers movie "David Harum"; the couple married on December 7, 1934, and remained together until Mohr's death in 1974. Venable was the model for the original Columbia Pictures logo, and provided the voice of the Blue Fairy for the 1940 animated "Pinocchio". She left movies after the 1943 "He Hired the Boss" to concentrate on her family, and, in later years, was professor of Greek and Latin at UCLA. Venable, who has a star on the Walk of Fame, once said of her retirement: "I've seen so many Hollywood families come apart because of the mother's career. I never regretted leaving films."
Bio by: Bob Hufford
1894–1974 (m. 1934)