Affectionately nicknamed "The Iron Maiden," lovely Irene Dunne hoped to have a career in opera, but her singing skills ultimately led instead to Broadway and movie stardom. On the basis of her early film credits, which were dominated by such dramas as "The Age of Innocence" (1934) and Magnificent Obsession" (1935) and musicals like "Show Boat" (1936), Dunne surprised some critics and audience members with her considerable comedic flair on view in such highly regarded pictures as "Theodora Goes Wild" (1936) and "The Awful Truth" (1937). She also continued to excel in dramatic parts, with her portrayals in "Penny Serenade" (1941) and "I Remember Mama" (1948) being of particular note. In spite of often excellent performances, Dunne never won an Academy Award and that led in later years for her to be called the finest American actress to have never received that honor. Regardless, Dunne was highly respected by her peers and her decision to retire comparatively early was viewed as a way to exit the business on a high note, while she still had some say in the roles being offered. Dunne's talent in the areas of drama, comedy, song and dance made her one of the most multi-facetted performers of the 1930s and '40s and the consistent quality of that work made her much beloved among fans of classic Hollywood cinema.