Singer, actress, television hostess. Fondly remembered for her long career on stage, screen, TV, and radio. Dinah Shore's 55 years in show business included more than 70 hit recordings..."Dear Hearts and Gentle People" "Buttons and Bows" "Blues in the Night" "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" "I'll Walk Alone" and "I Wish I didn't Love You So." She had a Peabody Award, 10 Emmy Awards with 3 stars on the Hollywood Walk. She was born Francis Rose in Winchester, Tennessee to Russian Jewish immigrants Solomon and Anna Shore, her father a successful businessman. Called "Fanny," she recovered from a bout with polio as a toddler but was left with an impaired leg which would be problematic during her entire life. She was a busy active teenager growing up in the Winchester area located a short distance from Nashville. "Fanny" attended Nashville's Hume-Fogg High School where she was a cheerleader and excelled in athletics. After graduation, she enrolled at Vanderbilt University becoming head of her sorority and active in golf and tennis. "Fanny" took voice and acting lessons from a tutor and often sang on radio station WSM Nashville. Even with a degree in hand from Vanderbilt, she was determined to have a career in show business. Believing her best chance lie in New York City, she immediately moved there after graduation. However, her goal of being a star was elusive and Francis Rose Shore encountered nothing but rejection. She became noticed after singing with a young amateur by the name of Frank Sinatra leading her into Xavier Cugat's Orchestra as a vocalist and finally to NBC as a staff singer on the network's radio programs. After signing a record contract with RCA, she gained national prominence and her singing career skyrocketed. The war years were productive as she recorded many hit records while becoming a mainstay on the Armed Forces Radio network and even had her own radio show She further helped the war effort going overseas to entertain American troops. She became Dinah Shore and added her own military trophy with marriage to George Montgomery only days before he left for an enlistment in the Army Air Force. In the postwar, Dinah's attempts at a movie career were mediocre but she had some success in musical films..."Belle of the Yukon" "Up in Arms" and "Till the Clouds Roll By." She appeared in and made many movies for television and was the musical voice in these Disney pictures..."Make Mine Music" and "Fun and Fancy Free." However, her savior in 1951 was the new medium called television. As host on "The Dinah Shore Show" she became the first woman to host her own variety show soon overlapping with a second show "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show." When the show closed in 1963, Dinah literally disappeared only to immerge on occasion for guest appearances on various shows. She arrived back on television in the early 70's hosting the popular NBC daytime talk and variety show, "Dinah's Place." Her final series was a weekly television show called "A conservation With Dinah" which ended in 1991 after she experienced stomach pains and was taken to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica where she was diagnosed with cancer. Her treatment was unsuccessful and she would pass away less then a year later at her Beverly Hills residence with her family at her bedside. She was cremated and after a final service at Hillside Memorial Park Chapel a portion of her divided ashes were placed in a wall crypt located in the Park. Another portion was interred at Forest Lawn, Cathedral City, located near her desert residence. Legacy...Dinah Shore helped the war effort during World War II making many appearances entertaining troops overseas. Closer to home she was frequent entertainer at the Betty Davis Hollywood Canteen for serviceman. She was honored and awarded the USO Medallion. Dinah Shore Drive is her namesake. The busy thoroughfare transverses the desert cities of Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City. A Dinah Shore Blvd is located in her home town, Winchester and takes you to the town square where her father had a store. She gave women's professional golf a major boost by establishing the LPGA tournament that bore the name "Colgate Dinah Shore Tournament." Nabisco after taking over sponsorship changed the name to "Nabisco Tournament" which is still played annually at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. However, the winner receives the Nabisco Dinah Shore Trophy. A delightful bronze life-size statue erected in her honor stands at the entrance of Mission Hills Country Club. The work depicts Dinah with her two children and was designed and created by none other then her ex-husband George Montgomery who not only was a successful actor but an excellent artist.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield
Forever in Our Hearts