Dinah Shore

TV host, Singer, Actor
Concealing a leg crippled by childhood polio but refusing to let Hollywood correct her distinctive Southern accent, Tennessee-born Dinah Shore symbolized small-town American sweetness during World War II, as a U. S.O ... Read more »
Born: 02/28/1917 in Winchester, Tennessee, USA

Filmography

Actor (57)

Jack Benny: Comedy in Bloom 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

A Celebration of Eddy Arnold 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Jim Thorpe Pro Sports Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Frank Sinatra: The Voice of Our Time 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

A Conversation With Dinah 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

A Special Conversation With Dinah 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Dinah Comes Home Again 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Tennessee Ernie Ford: 50 Golden Years 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 11th Annual ACE Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The America's Choice Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS News Special: Lucy 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Murder, She Wrote 1956 - 1962, 1988 - 1989 (Tv Show)

Actor

Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 75th Anniversary of Beverly Hills 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

America's Tribute to Bob Hope 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Candid Camera: The First 40 Years 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Entertaining the Troops 1987 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The 37th Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Alice 1976 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Night of 100 Stars II 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Christmas in Washington 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The All-Time American Songbook 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Dinah and Friends 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Oh, God! 1977 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Dinah and Her New Best Friends 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Lola 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Burt Reynolds' Late Show 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Dinah in Search of the Ideal Man 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Dinah's Place 1970 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Benny's Second Farewell Show 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

A Salute to Television's 25th Anniversary 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

How to Handle a Woman 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Lemmon -- Get Happy 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Benny's 20th Anniversary TV Special 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dinah Shore Special -- Like Hep 1968 - 1969 (TV Show)

Actor

The Bob Hope Show (09/29/65) 1965 - 1966 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dinah Shore Show 1956 - 1962 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Loretta Young Theater 1953 - 1962 (TV Show)

Actor

The Red Skelton Timex Special 1960 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dinah Shore Chevy Show 1951 - 1956 (TV Show)

Actor

Entertainment 1955 1954 - 1955 (TV Show)

Actor

Operation Entertainment 1954 - 1955 (TV Show)

Actor

Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Bob Hope Show (04/09/50) 1949 - 1950 (TV Show)

Actor

Fun and Fancy Free 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

Up in Arms 1943 (Movie)

(Actor)

Thank Your Lucky Stars 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

Belle of the Yukon (Movie)

Lettie Candless (Actor)

Death Car on the Freeway (TV Show)

Actor

Dinah! (TV Show)

Actor

Make Mine Music (Movie)

Vocalist ("Ballade Ballet") (Voice)

Till the Clouds Roll By (Movie)

Julie Sanderson (Actor)
Music (5)

Flags of Our Fathers 2006 (Movie)

("I'll Walk Alone") (Song Performer)

The Sleepy Time Gal 2002 (Movie)

("Sleepy Time Gal") (Song Performer)

Welcome to Woop Woop 1998 (Movie)

("Happy Christmas Little Friend") (Song Performer)

The Delinquents 1989 (Movie)

("Chantez Chantez") (Song Performer)

Fuzz 1972 (Movie)

("I'll Be Seeing You") (Song Performer)

Biography

Concealing a leg crippled by childhood polio but refusing to let Hollywood correct her distinctive Southern accent, Tennessee-born Dinah Shore symbolized small-town American sweetness during World War II, as a U. S.O. songbird for lonely servicemen stationed overseas. A discovery of Eddie Cantor, Shore made her film debut alongside the radio star in Warner Brothers' wartime morale-booster "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (1943), but it was as a recording artist that she achieved true fame. A chart-topper for RCA Victor, Columbia, and Capitol Records, Shore transitioned easily from radio to live television. Between 1951 and 1992, she was rarely off the air, hosting a variety of talk shows that emphasized her front porch folksiness while making it seem as if she were every Hollywood A-lister's next-door neighbor. Quietly divorcing two husbands, including actor George Montgomery, Shore settled for single life in her fifties - a solitude broken by an extended involvement with younger man and then-reigning box office star Burt Reynolds. Though she had never so much as knocked a golf ball into a Dixie cup, Shore loaned her name and prestige to an annual tournament sponsored by the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the long-running Dinah Shore-Colgate Invitational. Poised, approachable, and serene even through the diagnosis of ovarian cancer that claimed her life in 1994, Dinah Shore remained for her legion of fans a touchstone to a more genteel America and a symbol of downhome values uncorrupted by upward mobility.

Frances Rose Shore was born on Feb. 29, 1916, in Winchester, TN. The second and youngest child of Russian Jewish immigrants, Fannie Shore grew up in an atmosphere of Southern prejudice, where Ku Klux Klan members were regulars at her father's dry goods store. When she was 18 months old, Shore contracted poliomyelitis and was nursed by her parents through a long convalescence and six years of physical therapy that left her with a crippled foot and a noticeable limp. From her mother, a gifted amateur contralto, Shore developed an interest in singing, a talent she used to entertain customers at her father's department store in McMinnville, where the family relocated in 1924. Shortly after enrolling in Nashville's Hume-Fog High School, Shore lied about her age to work as a singer in a downtown nightclub. The 14-year-old made $10 for her first professional performance but her parents, who had found out about the deception, put a temporary end to her dreams of becoming a professional singer.

During her high school years, Shore auditioned as a singer in Nashville and made her radio debut at WSM, an AM station that broadcast the weekly Grand Olde Opry country music revue, the longest-running radio program in history. When she was 16, Shore's mother died suddenly, of a heart attack, a tragedy that fortified her resolved to follow her dream of singing professionally. Though she studied sociology at Vanderbilt University - where she was the school's only Jewish cheerleader - and earned a degree in 1938, Shore headed to New York City, where she worked odd jobs before making her national radio debut in 1939. The following year, Shore won a spot as a vocalist on WNEW in Manhattan. Singing the Harry Akst-Sam M. Lewis-Joe Young song "Dinah," Shore became known via one prominent disk jockey as Dinah Girl, which prompted Fannie Shore to adopt the professional name by which she would be known for the rest of her life.

Dinah Shore's popularity on the radio led to her signing a recording contract with RCA Victor in 1940. Gaining an advocate in radio and film star Eddie Cantor (a fellow Russian-Jew, who had changed his surname from Iskowitz), Shore became a regular on his weekly program, "Time to Smile." Buying the rights to "Yes My Darling Daughter," a Ukrainian folk song adapted and translated into English, Cantor encouraged Shore to record the single for RCA Victor's subsidiary label Bluebird; the record became a hit, selling more than 500,000 copies. Traveling to Europe with the U.S.O. during World War II, Shore was also popular with American troops, taking care to hide her warped leg under long skirts and dresses. In 1943, she hosted her own radio program, whose title would change due to the influence of various sponsors from "Birds Eye Open House" and "The Ford Show" to "Call to Music" and "The Dinah Shore-Harry James Show" before its cancelation in 1948. Shore made her feature film debut alongside a parade of film and radio stars in Warner Brothers' morale-boosting revue "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (1943).

Having transitioned from New York City to Hollywood, and enjoyed romances with drummer Gene Krupa and actor James Stewart, Shore eventually settled into a relationship with actor George Montgomery, whom she lured away from the exquisitely beautiful actress Hedy Lamarr and married in 1943. In 1944, Shore had her first No. 1 hit with Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn's "I'll Walk Alone." For producer Samuel Goldwyn, she played Danny Kaye's leading lady in the wartime comedy "Up in Arms" (1944). Shore was squeezed into dancehall duds and paired with cowboy actor Randolph Scott for "Belle of the Yukon" (1944), a Western drama with songs courtesy of Shore and co-star Gypsy Rose Lee. The same year she turned up in a guest appearance in MGM's Technicolor Jerome Kern biopic "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946) Shore signed with Columbia Records, for whom she had hits in "Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy" and "Buttons and Bows." A natural brunette, she made the professional choice at this time to dye her hair a honey gold, which helped put her across to fans as a bright ray of Tennessee sunshine - a look and an aspect she would maintain for life.

Focused on her recording career and in making inroads into live television, Shore stepped into a one-off leading role in Paramount's disposable hayseed musical comedy "Aaron Slick from Pumpkin Crick" (1952), playing a rural songbird exploited by big city mobsters and redeemed by the love of farm boy Alan Young. By 1950, Shore had returned to RCA, with whom she brokered an unusual business deal - agreeing to record 100 sides for $1,000,000. She enjoyed two popular duets with crooner Tony Martin in 1951 but after 1954, she would never again chart above No. 10. Shore remained with RCA until 1959 before switching to Capitol Records for several collaborations with composer Nelson Riddle. Beginning in November 1951, Shore hosted the 15-minute "The Dinah Shore Show" (NBC, 1951-56), branching out in the final season to headline the hour-long "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show" (NBC, 1956-1963), whose guests included Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews, Nat King Cole and Boris Karloff.

Despite aging into her middle years by the mid-Sixties, Shore retained a youthful aspect, a charming Southern softness - topped off by a singing voice rooted in a seductive lower register - and a broad-based appeal that made her a welcome guest star on the small screen. She played herself in two episodes of "Make Room for Daddy" (ABC/CBS, 1953-1965) and a 1971 episode of "Here's Lucy" (CBS, 1968-1974) while guesting on "The Danny Kaye Show" (CBS, 1963-67), "The Ed Sullivan Show" (NBC, 1948-1971) and "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (NBC, 1967-1973). In 1971, Shore hosted the daytime magazine-style "Dinah's Place" (NBC, 1971-74), on which she encouraged such Hollywood friends as Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, Jack Benny, and Vincent Price to share special talents or abilities with her viewing audience while also welcoming such sports figures as Billie Jean King and Wilt Chamberlain, as well as then-sitting Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. "Dinah's Place" was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive, with whom Shore would enjoy a long and lucrative association. Despite an Emmy win in 1974, NBC dropped the show from their morning line-up to make room for a game show.

Rebounding from her 1963 divorce from Montgomery, Shore wed Palm Springs building contractor Maurice F. Smith but the union was short-lived. She would never again remarry, but in 1972 began a high-profile romance with actor Burt Reynolds, 19 years her junior and a top-ranking box office star and sex symbol. In the ensuing years, Shore would host two more talk shows - the syndicated "Dinah!" (later, "Dinah and Friends") (1974-1980) and "A Conversation with Dinah" (1989-1992), which ran on The Nashville Network. Shore also headlined a number of hour-long network specials and the summer replacement series "Dinah and Her New Best Friends" (CBS, 1976). She contributed a fun cameo to "Peewee's Playhouse Christmas Special" (1988), on which her exhausting rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was a running gag.

Though she had never played golf in her life, Shore gave the loan of her name to the Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament known as the Colgate Dinah Shore Invitational (later the Kraft Nabisco Championship) and cracked the publishing world with a series of cookbooks. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Dinah Shore died on Feb. 24, 1994, less than a week before her 78th birthday. Recipient of three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - for her accomplishments in recording, films, and television - nine gold records, 10 Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award, Shore was also honored with streets named after her in Cathedral City, CA, and her birth place of Winchester, TN. A month after her death, Shore was also elected posthumously into the LPGA Hall of Fame.

by Richard Harland Smith.

Relationships

Anna Shore

Mother

Melissa Hime

Daughter
survived her father George Montgomery

Jennifer Hime

Granddaughter
mother Melissa Ann Hime survived her

Adam Hime

Grandson
mother Melissa Ann Hime survived her

Alexander Hime

Grandson
mother Melissa Ann Hime survived her

George Montgomery Actor

Husband
Married December 5, 1943 divorced 1962 was with Shore when she died

John Montgomery

Son
survived her father George Montgomery

Burt Reynolds Actor

Companion
Involved in much-publicized romance for six years; she was 20 years his senior Worked together on "How to Handle a Woman" (NBC, 1972), "Dinah in Search of the Ideal Man" (NBC, 1973), and "Burt Reynolds' Late Show" (NBC, 1973); reunited for "Dinah Shore: A Special Conversation with Burt Reynolds" (TNN, 1991)

S Shore

Father
was a partner in a department store

Maurice Smith

Husband
married May 26, 1963 divorced 1964

EDUCATION

Vanderbilt University

Nashville , Tennessee 1939

Milestones

1989

Appeared in footage in the feature documentary, "Entertaining the Troops"

1988

Appeared on the special, "Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special", to sing "The 12 Days of Christmas"

1977

Last film: a cameo appearance as herself in the feature, "Oh, God!"

1976

Hosted the CBS summer variety series, "Dinah and Her New Best Friends"

1973

Hosted the NBC comedy special, "Dinah in Search of the Ideal Man"

1972

Hosted the TV comedy special, "How to Handle a Woman"

1968

Hosted the TV special, "The Dinah Shore Special--Like Hep"

1965

Hosted the TV variety special, "The Dinah Shore Special", a salute to the Peace Corps

1961

Made TV dramatic debut in an adaptation of Noel Coward's "Brief Encounter" (previously filmed by David Lean)

1952

One-shot return to films in a lead role, "Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick"

1947

Supplied offscreen narration for the "Bongo" segment of the Disney cartoon anthology feature, "Fun and Fancy Free"; also sang several songs

1946

Last feature film appearances for six years, the all-star musical biopic of Jerome Kern, "Till the Clouds Roll By" and the Disney feature combining live action with animation, "Make Mine Music"

1943

First #1 song hit, "I'll Walk Alone"

1943

Busiest year in film; appeared in three films, and played most prominent feature film role, opposite Danny Kaye in "Up in Arms"

1942

Feature film debut, in the all-star musical revue, "Thank Your Lucky Stars"

1942

Began hosting her own radio program, sponsored by General Foods

1940

Guested regularly on Eddie Cantor's radio show, "Time to Smile"

1940

Performed regularly on the NBC radio program, "The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street"

1940

Signed record contract with RCA Victor; enjoyed first hits, "Yes, My Darling Daughter" and "The Breeze and I" (the latter sung with the Xavier Cugat orchestra)

1939

Performed at the Strand Theater in New York in a two-week gig singing with Leo Reisman's orchestra

1938

Began performing on NBC radio later that year

1938

Moved to New York; found a job singing on radio station WNEW

Hosted the TV talk show, "Dinah's Place"

Appeared regularly on radio in the late 1940s on the "Pabst Blue Ribbon Show", also starring Eddie Cantor

Made her radio debut on the Nashville station WSM on a 15-minute program while still in college

Contracted polio in her right leg when she was young; an exercise regimen of tennis and swimming enabled her to overcome it

Retired from TV for a number of years to spend more time raising her children; performed occasionally in live engagements, including many supper club appearances

Hosted TV's "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show", an expansion to one hour of her earlier 15-minute program

Hosted the TV talk show, "Dinah and Friends"

Hosted a weekly program on the Nashville Network, "A Conversation with Dinah"

Gave up on a film career; signed new recording contract with Columbia

Hosted the Nabisco Dinah Shore Classic golf tournament, held annually in Palm Springs FL (date approximate)

Hosted the TV talk show, "Dinah!"

Began on TV hosting and performing on the 15-minute musical program, "The Dinah Shore Show"

Bonus Trivia

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She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1992.

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Shore's eight Emmys make her the most honored female in the award's history.

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