Image of Bonita Granville

Bonita Granville

Daughter of Bernard 'Bunny' Granville and Rosina Timponi, Bonita Granville was born into an acting family on 2 Febuary 1923, in New York, New York. It's not surprising that she herself became a child actor, first on the stage and, at the age of 9, debuting in movies in Westward Passage (1932). She was regularly cast as a naughty little girl, as in These Three (1936) where she played Mary, an obnoxious girl spreading lies about her teachers. Her performance left an impression on the audience, and she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award. In 1938-39 came the movies she is now best remembered for -- playing the bright and feisty detective/reporter Nancy Drew in the Nancy Drew series. She also appeared with Mickey Rooney in a few Andy Hardy movies. She never really had a movie breakthrough, and after marrying oil millionaire and later producer Jack Wrather, she retired from acting in the middle of the 1950s, although she went on to produce the Lassie (1954) TV series. After her marriage to oil millionaire Jack Wrather in 1947, she appeared in only three more movies. She became an executive in the Wrather Corp., and first associate producer, then executive producer of the Lassie (1954) TV series. After Wrather's death in 1984, she took over as chairman of the board. She was also involved in many civic and cultural groups, and she was chair of American Film Institute, trustee of John F. Kennedy Center, as well as other well known organizations and charities. Walt Disney personally convinced the Wrathers to build the Disneyland Hotel when Disney could not raise the money to do so -- his credit was all tied up in building the theme park itself. After the phenomenal success of Disneyland, Disney attempted to buy the hotel; but the Wrathers steadfastly refused to sell. Long after Jack and Bonita Wrather's and Walt Disney's deaths, the Disney Company bought the Wrather Corporation. The Disney Company thus acquired the Disneyland Hotel, the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose attractions in Long Beach, California, the rights to The Lone Ranger (1949) TV series, as well as other properties. Bonita Granville Rather died of cancer on 11 October 1988, in Santa Monica, California. She and Wrather had four children (two from Wrather's first marriage).

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Feb 2, 1923 In New York City, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Westward Passage 1932-05-27
Latest Project:
Movie AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Barbara Stanwyck 1987-04-01
Known For
Poster of Suspense
Poster of Hard to Get
Poster of Call It a Day
Poster of Cradle Song
Movie AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Barbara Stanwyck Self 1987-04-01
Movie The Legend of the Lone Ranger Woman (uncredited) 1981-08-20
Series V.I.P. Schaukel Unknown 1971-05-09
Movie The Velvet Alley Mrs. Kirkley 1959-01-22
Movie The Lone Ranger Welcome Kilgore 1956-02-25
Series Lassie Unknown 1954-09-12
Series Climax! Unknown 1954-10-07
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Movie Guilty of Treason Stephanie Varna 1950-02-20
Series Lux Video Theatre Unknown 1950-10-02
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07
Movie Strike It Rich Julie Ann Brady 1948-12-01
Movie The Guilty Estelle Mitchell / Linda Mitchell 1947-03-22
Movie The Truth About Murder Christine Allen 1946-04-01
Movie Breakfast in Hollywood Dorothy Larson 1946-02-26
Movie Suspense Ronnie 1946-06-15
Movie Love Laughs at Andy Hardy Kay Wilson 1946-12-25
Movie The Beautiful Cheat Alice 1945-07-20
Movie Senorita from the West Jeannie Blake 1945-10-12
Movie Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble Kay Wilson 1944-05-04
Movie Youth Runs Wild Toddy Jones 1944-09-01
Movie Song of the Open Road Bonnie 1944-06-21
Movie Hitler's Children Anna Miller 1943-01-06
Movie The Glass Key Opal 'Snip' Madvig 1942-09-08
Movie Syncopation Kit Latimer 1942-05-22
Movie Now, Voyager June Vale 1942-10-22
Movie Seven Miles from Alcatraz Anne Porter 1942-11-18
Movie The Wild Man of Borneo Francine 'Frankie' Diamond 1941-01-24
Movie The People Vs. Dr. Kildare Frances Marlowe 1941-05-02
Movie Down in San Diego Betty Haines 1941-08-01
Movie H.M. Pulham, Esq. Mary Pulham 1941-12-04
Movie The Mortal Storm Elsa 1940-06-14
Movie Those Were the Days! Martha Scroggs 1940-07-14
Movie Forty Little Mothers Doris 1940-04-26
Movie Gallant Sons Kate Pendleton 1940-11-15
Movie Third Finger, Left Hand Vicky Sherwood 1940-10-11
Movie Escape Ursula 1940-11-01
Movie Nancy Drew... Reporter Nancy Drew 1939-02-18
Movie Nancy Drew... Trouble Shooter Nancy Drew 1939-06-17
Movie Angels Wash Their Faces Peggy Finnegan 1939-08-26
Movie Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Nancy Drew 1939-09-09
Movie Merrily We Live Marian Kilbourne 1938-03-04
Movie Breakdowns of 1938 Herself 1938-02-07
Movie The Beloved Brat Roberta Morgan 1938-04-30
Movie Hard to Get Connie Richards 1938-11-05
Movie Nancy Drew: Detective Nancy Drew 1938-11-19
Movie White Banners Sally Ward 1938-06-23
Movie My Bill Gwen Colbrook 1938-07-08
Movie Maid of Salem Ann 1937-02-12
Movie Quality Street Isabella 1937-03-26
Movie It's Love I'm After Gracie Kane 1937-10-08
Movie Call It a Day Ann Hilton 1937-04-17
Movie Song of the Saddle Jen as a Child 1936-02-28
Movie These Three Mary Tilford 1936-03-18
Movie The Garden of Allah Convent Girl (uncredited) 1936-10-14
Movie The Plough and the Stars Mollser Gogan 1936-12-26
Movie Ah, Wilderness! Mildred Miller 1935-12-25
Movie The Life of Vergie Winters Joan Shadwell as a Child (uncredited) 1934-06-14
Movie Cavalcade Young Fanny 1933-02-08
Movie Cradle Song Carmen (uncredited) 1933-11-19
Movie Little Women Amy's Classmate (uncredited) 1933-11-24
Movie Westward Passage Little Olivia Allen (age 9) 1932-05-27
Movie Silver Dollar Liddy (uncredited) 1932-12-22