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Dani Crayne Profile

Dani Crayne
Dani Crayne
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(Darlyne Danielle Swanson)
25 December 34 is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
c. 40 her family moves to California when she's five
? is a freshman at The University of California in Berkeley
c. 51 marries Donalde Crayne, a Frenchman, at age 16
? her daughter, Debi, is born. She will become an actress.
c. 55 divorces Crayne
? is spotted by a Universal-International talent scout while she gives Mambo lessons at a Hollywood dance school
? Universal-International puts her under contract and shortens her name to Dani
5 September 55 as West Coasters sweltered in 100-degree-plus heat, movie starlets strolled through a shower of artificial snow that’s guaranteed not to melt—even on Hollywood’s sun-baked ground. But it doesn’t provide any relief from the heat as Dani Crayne, Mayra Hansen, Jane Howard, Gia Scala, Lili Kardell, Karen Kadler, and Leigh Snowden quickly learned; the gals are photographed walking through the “snow” in shorts.
November 55 is the date of fellow newcomer George Nader. Together they enjoy the tunes of Dave Kenner in the Bull Room at the Golden Bulls in the San Fernando Valley.
11 November 55 Walter Townsend, postmaster at Universal City, is bid Godspeed by four film lovelies as he heads for the postmasters’ convention. The four well-sacked beauties are Mara Corday, Gia Scala, Dani Crayne, and Jane Howard.
December 55 young actor George Nader dates her, but his heart really belongs to a Pasadena non-professional, whose name he keeps a well-guarded secret
defeats actor Jock Mahoney and become honorary fire chief of Universal City. Her running mates Julie Adams and Leigh Snowden are also swept into office.
January 56 columnist Louella Parsons heralds that Hollywood is talking about "George Nader's admission that he is deeply in love with Dani Crayne, and the bets that George will be the next eligible bachelor to turn in his freedom..."
March 56 explains why she and her number-one-boyfriend, George Nader, decided to date others occasionally. "All of a sudden, people started pressing us with questions about when we were going to get married. We really are not that serious. We both are very interested in our careers. If I got married, I'd probably give mine up. And I'm not ready to do that. As for George, he has been single for a long time. He's pretty set in his ways, and knows what he wants first."
April 56 her romance with Nader has gone bust. Nader's seen around with Mara Corday.
August 56 columnist Lee Mortimer reports from New York that Richard Gully, cousin of Anthony Eden, seems to prefer her to British politics
is Oleg Cassini's item of today
September 56 is seen at the Club Seville with Tony Vincent
January 57 is pictured wearing a swimsuit of nude cotton overlaid with white fishnet, complete with matching fringed poncho, designed by Nettie Rosenstein
September 58 playboy "Baby" Pignatari is reported back in action dating her, "the Arthur Murray dance teacher"
November 59 columnist Harrison Carroll reports her living in Chicago and dating wealthy Jim Kimberley. "She's the girl who looked so much like Lana Turner."
? meets singer Buddy Greco at a Chicago club that she visits with her father
November 60 columnist Walter Winchell reports that she and Greco plan a Rome wedding
April 63 drives the car while her husband, Greco, does much of his musical composing while traveling to and from engagements
October 63 Greco tells that before she came into his life he was lucky to earn $15,000 a year. Last year he made better than $250,000, and this year he is sure to top that.
September 68 in Hollywood she and Greco reveal that they have a trial separation. It broke a few days after the trial separation of their close friends David and Ellie Janssen. They say there's nobody else involved, and that they hope for reconciliation after Greco, now singing in San Francisco, returns from a tour of Australia.
72 re-meets David Janssen in Las Vegas, where Greco is appearing. Her marriage is already in trouble; David is free from his 10-year union with model Ellie Graham
May 72 attends columnist James Bacon's birthday party with David Janssen
January 73 at a party thrown by Harold Robbins, Janssen says about her: "If Dani plays her cards right, I may marry her."
Mid-January 73 is with Janssen in Israel for the filming of his Sabra
End January 73 attends a party thrown by the Georgia and Carroll Rosenbloom with David Janssen. Among the guests are Ethel Kennedy, Darren McGavin, the Vince Edwards, Tina Sinatra with Wes Farrell, Rosey Grier, Dionne Warwick, and the Art Linkletters.
March 73 she and Janssen attend the surprise party thrown by Marje Everett for her husband Webb at Chasen's
she and Janssen go to see Butley, Alan Bates' Hollywood stage premiere, at Shubert's
July 73 she and Janssen are at the Directors Room of the Hollywood Park Turf Club with MCA boss Lew Wasserman and his wife, Edie
October 73 accompanies Janssen to Canada where he's to film Pioneer Woman
January 74 says her divorce settlement with Greco is finalized and their attorneys will get together as soon as Buddy returns from Mexico
Early April 74 gets her divorce from Greco. At the Academy Awards ball she is seen handholding with David Janssen.
April 74 attends a business luncheon held by Bailey Howard at Chasen's with Janssen
May 74 she and Janssen are in the enthusiastic crowd at Ray Charles' Waldorf Empire Room opening
June 74 she and Janssen are guests at the party thrown by Vincente Minnelli and Lee Anderson at Minnelli's house for the Duke and Duchess de Segovia of Spain
January 75 she and Janssen attend a party given by Henny and Jim Backus with Dani's sister, who's in from New York
April 75 she and Janssen are at an Acapulco villa leased for a month's holiday with three Hollywood couples: Leslie and Tony Curtis, producer Bob Enders and his wife Estelle, and Stan Herman and his actress-fiancée Linda Evans.
July 75 she and Janssen bust up. The press wonders about the reasons. "Nobody's saying why, but it could be he doesn't like the way she reportedly crashed parties to which hostesses neglected to invite her..."
4 October 75 after four years of relationship, she marries Janssen at Lew Wasserman's home. He's 44; she's 40.
June 76 eight months later, she and Janssen are reported splitsville. "He is holed up in a Hollywood hotel; she has dug in their Beverly Hills home."
May 77 shows up with actor James Franciscus at Willy Rizzo's opening cocktail party at the Pacific Design Center. They are the surprise twosome of the evening.
June 77 columnist Jack O'Brian thinks she and Franciscus "mean those love scenes"
30 February 80 becomes the widow of Janssen, who dies at age 48 at their Malibu, California, home from a massive heart attack. She discovers his body. Janssen's friend and fellow actor, Stuart Whitman, is driving by when he sees the ambulance in front of the Janssen home. Paramedics take Janssen out of bed and try to revive the actor for half an hour before taking him to a hospital. Eventually Whitman and Dani follow the ambulance to Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center, where Janssen is pronounced dead on arrival shortly after 5 a.m.
July 80 the press notes her battle with her mother-in-law, Berniece Janssen, over Janssen's will even though no lawsuit has been served yet
29 June 81 after mourning for ten months, she marries stuntman-actor-writer-director Hal Needham in Los Angeles. He's 50; she's 45.
c. October 86 she and Needham separate
February 87 is among the guests of Texas heiress Francie Whittenburg Klein's holiday party at the Bistro Garden pavilion
June 87 her escort at publicist Jeffrey Lane's birthday soiree at his West Hollywood hacienda is Count Rico di Carimati
August 87 joins her friend Joan Collins in celebrating her divorce from husband number four with a jewelry shopping spree and a victory bash at a West Hollywood bistro
September 87 drives a racing green Rolls Royce Corniche, a gift from Janssen, and has an apricot toy poodle because it "matches the furniture." She's groomed immaculately from her cellophaned hair to her pedicured toes, eats at posh hangouts most days, and is a well-known Beverly Hills hostess who used to throw the top "A" list Oscar night party the years before "Swifty" Lazar's Spago bash.
Early February 88 hailed the "Queen of Cleavage City," she hosts a big birthday bash at her Century City penthouse
May 88 attends the grand black-tie birthday soiree thrown by Leslie Bricusse for his wife Evie at the St. James Club on Sunset Boulevard. Michael Feinstein and George Hamilton sing. Among the 99 guests: Audrey Wilder, Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor, Polly Bergen, Maud Adams, Tony Newley, Nancy Sinatra and Jack Haley, Jr., Sidney Sheldon, Dana and Cubby Broccoli, Barbara and Marvin Davis, Joan and George Axelrod, Wendy and Leonard Goldberg, Hank Mancini, Roddy McDowall, David Niven, Jr., Jackie Collins and Oscar Lerman, David Hemmings, Sammy Cahn, and Vidal Sassoon.
July 88 she and James Farentino attend the Atlantic Monthly reception at the American Booksellers Association Convention in Anaheim, California
October 88 hosts a dinner party for Anna Strasberg. "Most chums of Dani know that before her diners she closets herself for days, cooking her specialities and refusing to answer the phone."
January 89 attends a lavish weekend affair thrown by Joan Collins at her Beverly Hills hilltop hacienda. "Dani was a knockout in a low-back sequin bodice and above-the-knee red satin skirt. She laughed when her bodice snaps popped open, exposing more flesh, while she was boogieing to 'Johnny Be Good.'"
March 99 hosts an exclusive Oscar party for the likes of Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Sally Field, and Nick Nolte
February 00 is among the guests at Ron Meyer's party for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones on their engagement and impending baby
Sources:
The Post-Standard, Van Nuys News, Ironwood Daily Globe, The Lima News, The Lethbridge Herald, Nevada State Journal, The Zanesville Signal, Burlington Daily Times-News, Tri-City Herald, Syracuse Herald-Journal, The Daily Gleaner, Denton Journal, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Chronicle-Telegram, Oakland Tribune, News Journal-Mansfield, Times-Herald, Intelligencer, Syracuse Post-Standard, The Times, Flair Magazine, Picture Show Annual 1957, Silver Screen, Modern Screen, Screen World, www.IMDb.com, Motion Picture Guide
Recommended Books:
Fifties Blondes by Richard Koper
Links:
Filmography