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Erin O'Brien Profile

Erin O'Brien
Erin O'Brien
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(Erin Joanne O'Brien)
17 January 34 is born in Los Angeles to Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien, nee Kane, the oldest of 14 children. Her father's a Long Beach milk delivery man. Her brothers and sisters are Sean, Denis, Tighe, Petrice, Mavourneen, Kevin, Eileen, Kathleen, Timarie, Vernon, Sheila, Tessy-Lou, and Michael.
? grows up in Long Beach, California
? starts singing at civic clubs, where she's discovered by a scout for a Los Angeles TV station
? has a five-day grind on Al Jarvis' Matinee Show and stays for three years
16 June 51 marries fellow singer Jimmy Fitzgerald in Paso Robles, California, and retires from singing. He’s 21; she’s 17.
19 November 51 her son James Patrick is born in Los Angeles
8 November 54 her son Gregory Paul is born in Los Angeles
September 55 wins on Arthur Godfrey's "Talent Scouts." There, one of Steve Allen's writers discovers her for the Allen stable.
c. 56 will be in Giant
October 56 is a frequent vocalist on "The Steve Allen Show," filmed in New York
Thirties' actress Erin O'Brien-Moore wants her to change her name
Thanksgiving 56 she and Fitzgerald are guests of Steve Allen, who watches her like a mother hen
December 56 says, "That's the only part about this business - I miss my children so. But they're in wonderful hands. My mother is taking care of them. By now, she does know a bit about raising children."
January 57 will be screen-tested by Warner Brothers for the lead in Marjorie Morningstar
? meets Gene Kelly, the male lead in Marjorie Morningstar, and he says: "Miss O'Brien, I feel you're too tall for the part." So she asks to be let out of it. But Warner signs her anyway for four westerns, two featured films, and 7 network TV shows.
February 57 gets Look's "most promising femme TV personality" award on Steve Allen's TV show
August 57 gets riding lessons at Warner Brothers. They plan to put her in a horse opera.
October 57 Warner Brothers wants to put her, dropped from Marjorie Morningstar, back into it
December 57 stars on "The Eddie Fisher Show." The other guests are Bob Hope and George Gobel.
denounces Actors Studio graduates for portraying American men as a pack of neurotics
January 58 she and Jayne Mansfield join Bob Hope on his Christmas USO tour to the Far East
her sister Sheila, an American Airlines stewardess, is flown to Los Angeles to serve Erin when she comes in to do "The Steve Allen Show." Erin helps Sheila serve passengers.
16 March 58 she and actor Barry Fitzgerald ride in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Southtown, Chicago, Illinois
March 58 the press notes she has lost that lovely dewy look she used to have on the old Steve Allen "Tonight" show - "her hair is too set, her complexion too make-uppy and her eyebrows too Hollywoodly - but she still is a very pretty girl beneath the Hollywood starlet mask."
she and Ann Sothern follow the trend and record their first rock 'n' roll songs
15 April 58 leaves for Spain for three to six months to film John Paul Jones. Though given permission to take her husband with her, she can't take her two children. So Fitzgerald stays home in Hollywood and minds the babies. Spain was chosen because it's cheaper and because parts of it resemble Virginia.
June 58 gets a wonderful reception by the Paris press after finishing John Paul Jones in Spain
on her return to the States from France, her plane makes an emergency stop at Shannon, Ireland, because she lost her vaccination certificate in Paris. Among the passengers are 20th Century-Fox production head Buddy Adler, Mitzi Gaynor, and Jack Bean. Erin, returning from her role in John Paul Jones, can't be more embarrassed by all the fuss over the lost certificate. She is re-vaccinated in Shannon; if she hadn’t been, all the passengers would have faced quarantine.
will return shortly to "The Steve Allen Show"
July 58 is back in New York for "The Steve Allen Show." She is no longer under contract to Warner Brothers, where her salary was $500 a week. Her option called for an increase of $200 more. She was borrowed for John Paul Jones, and Warner Brothers was paid $25,000 for her services. On that one deal they made her yearly salary plus $5,000. When they refused to pay the price her option called for, she was free, and so she goes to the Indiana State Fair for an appearance and also for one in Ohio.
August 58 sings at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio
November 58 her friends say her skin trouble is one of the big reasons for her separation from her husband. She thinks it will clear up once they're apart.
Mid-November 58 she and Fitzgerald agree on a trial separation. Fitzgerald moves out of the couple's Hollywood home upon her return from an entertainment tour.
December 58 becomes the "Schlitz Girl," representing the beer in national exploitation
February 59 her parting from Fitzgerald is no great surprise for her close friends, who predicted it long ago when she was just an occasional guest performer on Steve Allen's "Tonight." They were aware that she had consulted her parents and her spiritual advisor before trying a six-month separation. Now the separation has been extended indefinitely, if not permanently.
March 59 she and fellow singer-actress Molly Bee are heralded to guest on "The Liberace Show"
is among the first celebrity passengers flying Mountain Airlines, which now operates daily between Burbank and Reno, with stops in Ridgecrest, Lone Pine, Bishop, and Hawthorne. The airline is a division of Skymasters International.
April 59 she and her estranged husband are not reconciled despite the optimistic reports printed elsewhere. They separated six months ago, and there will be no divorce for the present because of the children and religious obstacles.
May 59 is on hand to kiss driver Rodger Ward after winning the 500-mile race at Indianapolis
has dinner date with her close friend TV comedy writer Jay Burton
June 59 is at the Harwyn celebrating grabbing the U.S. Steel TV lead on July 29
her dinner date at Spindltop is her good friend Jay Burton
visits the Fresh Meadows Golf Club with Marty Mills and walks in the men's room by mistake. "I was almost being a fresh woman at Fresh Meadows," she says later at the Harwyn.
Jay Burton presents her with a Chihuahua
July 59 friends were skeptical when she reconciled with her estranged husband, Fitzgerald, but she's expecting her next baby in a couple of months
? is in summer stock with Kiss Me Kate and Pal Joey
September 59 the luck of the Irish is with her in Miami, Florida. Weary from her Pal Joey chores, she falls asleep at the wheel. Her car jumps the dividing line on the freeway and is badly smashed, but she is uninjured.
October 59 columnist Hedda Hopper remembers that she and James Garner made their initial bows in "John Brown's Body" and "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial"
Fall 59 is sued by a trio of agents for walking out on a contract. She has to pay them 5 per cent of her earnings for the next four years. "The little people must have decided I'd had it," she says. "Which means I'll have to work twice as hard now because 5 per cent to them, 10 per cent to my now agents and what Uncle Sam gets leaves me not much."
4 November 60 her third son, Anthony, is born in Los Angeles
61 advertises for Smirnoff Vodka, "Even the Irish like orange this way."
25 January 61 sues for divorce from Fitzgerald, a Beverly Hills public relations man, in Los Angeles Superior Court. She charges cruelty and requests reasonable support for her and three sons, 10-year-old James, 7-year-old Gregory, and 14-month-old Anthony. Fitzgerald is 30; she's 27.
July 61 she and Fitzgerald separate
10 October 62 meets Kanan A. Awni, an U.S.C. graduate petroleum engineer. He's 31; she's 28.
17 January 63 divorces Fitzgerald in Los Angeles Superior Court charging, "He treated me as if I wasn't a wife, just as if I merely existed." She testifies her husband treated her like a housekeeper. He's 31; she's 27. Fitzgerald must pay $300 per month support for their three sons and $200 monthly alimony.
26 November 63 marries Kanan A. Awni in Los Angeles. He is 33; she is 30. Awni is a petroleum engineer and occasionally for fun does small character parts in movies and on TV.
February 64 columnist Louella Parsons tells: "Now hold on - Erin is marrying a real life sheik, Kanan Abdullah Awni Al-Zaidy, whose family rules a tribe of 100,000 near Baghdad. The young sheik is getting his master's degree in cinema arts at U.S.C. - and now and then he does a little acting on the side. Recently he played a sheik in Strange Bedfellows with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida at Universal."
12 April 65 her twin daughters, Sahira and Thuraia, are born in Los Angeles
February 66 divorces Awni in Los Angeles; the two will continue to work at solving their marital problems
22 March 67 remarries Awni in Los Angeles. He is 36; she is 33.
15 June 77 leaves with her husband and twin daughters to live in Saudi Arabia for 5 years
10 October 07 she and her husband celebrate their 45th anniversary at their home in Washington state
Sources:
Syracuse Herald-Journal, Burlington Daily Times-News, Indiana Evening Gazette, The Times Recorder, The Hammond Times, The Vidette-Messenger, Union-Bulletin, Nevada State Journal, Mansfield News-Journal, Southtown Economist, The Lima News, The Daily Intelligencer, The Coshocton Tribune, The Palladium-Times, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, The News, Who`s Who, Picture Show Annual 1960, Photoplay, www.Ancestry.com
Recommended Books:
Starlet by Kim Holston
Links:
Filmography