June Haver

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June Haver bigraphy, stories - American actor

June Haver : biography

June 10, 1926 – July 4, 2005

June Haver (June 10, 1926 – July 4, 2005) was an American film actress. She is best remembered as a popular alternative to the musical film stars Betty Grable and Alice Faye in several musicals in the 1940s. Haver’s second husband was the actor Fred MacMurray, whom she married after she retired from show business.

Personal life

Haver insisted she had always been very close with her family. Her sisters followed her to Hollywood and served as her stand-ins, while her mother was Haver’s personal secretary.

On March 9, 1947, Haver married trumpet player James Zito. She met him at age 15, while touring with Ted Fio Rito’s orchestra.Abilene Reporter-News – October 6, 1946, Abilene, Texas. p.36 They initially lost contact after Haver moved from Illinois to Beverly Hills, but started dating when Haver made a short visit to her home town when she was already a film actress. Haver filed for divorce less than a year after eloping with Zito, winning interlocutory decree on March 25, 1948. She admitted to the press the marriage was a failure from the beginning, saying: "I want to forget as soon as possible. We hadn’t been married hours before I realized I had never really known Jimmy. He was a stranger. He was either down in the dumps or up high. I never knew from one moment to the next how he would be." Because of her devotion to religion, Haver tried to make the marriage work, turning to the church to forget her unhappiness.

After her divorce from Zito, Haver started dating Dr. John L. Duzik, whom she had dated before her marriage to Zito; they planned on marrying, but Duzik died on October 31, 1949 following surgery complications. While taking care of him in his final days, she started attending church more often. According to friends, it was in this period when she was inspired to become a nun. Following Duzik’s death, Haver reportedly became tired of Hollywood, and never was really in love with the men she dated afterwards. In February 1953, Haver became a postulant nun with the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, but she stayed there only until October, saying she left because of "poor health".

Around that time, Haver met Fred MacMurray, one of the wealthiest and most conservative men in Hollywood, again, and a romantic relationship developed. On June 28, 1954, they were married. She told the press: "When I married Fred, he was terribly set in his ways. He was a fuss-budget. He hadn’t quite progressed to being a lint picker, but he was already an ash-tray emptier, and that’s just about as set in his ways as a man can get."The Progress-Index – November 13, 1960, Petersburg, Virginia. p.36 Haver insisted on adopting a girl, but MacMurray, 18 years her senior, initially refused, explaining he already had been a father. Shortly after, he agreed on adopting a child, and with the help of a doctor, they were able to take in twin daughters.

Haver died from respiratory failure on July 4, 2005 at her home in Brentwood, California at the age of 79 and was buried with her husband at Holy Cross Cemetery, in Culver City. She left two stepchildren (by MacMurray’s first marriage), her adopted twin daughters, and seven grandchildren.

Early life

Born June Stovenour, Haver was born in Rock Island, Illinois. She later took the last name of her stepfather Bert Haver. After the family moved to Ohio, seven-year-old Haver entered and won a contest of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.Morning Democrat – October 15, 1955, Davenport, Iowa. p.96 At age 10, she moved back to Rock Island, where she began performing for Rudy Vallee. Her mother being an actress and her father being a musician, Haver often doubted who she – careerwise – wanted to follow. Film en Theater, Dutch magazine. Third volume, #13. July 1948. At age eight, she won a film test by imitating famous actresses including Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn and Helen Hayes. Haver’s mother, however, prohibited her daughter from becoming a child actress in the film industry, feeling she was too young.