Irene Dunne (December 20, 1898 - September 4, 1990), was born Irene Marie Dunn in Louisville, Kentucky. She was a famous film actress and a star with both a solid and a surprisingly erotic screen presence throughout the 1930s, being one of the most famous screwball comediennes of her time. She is now best remembered for her mad-cap and hilarious performance in The Awful Truth, and as Martha Hanson in George Stevens' 1948 I Remember Mama In addition, she introduced the song "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" to filmgoers in the 1935 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film Roberta, playing a glamorous White Russian princess. She retired from the screen in 1952 as one of the richest and most successful of Hollywoods actresses. She had received five Academy Award Best Actress nominations in her career; three in the 1930s and two more in the 40s.
In 1957, after retiring from show business, Dunne was appointed one of five alternate U.S. delegates to the United Nations by Dwight David Eisenhower. This was done in recognition of her charitable works and interest in conservative and Republican political causes. She was also a devout Catholic who became a daily communicant.
She was married to Dr. Francis Dennis Griffin from July 16, 1928, until his death on October 15, 1965; they had 1 adopted daughter, Mary Frances.
She died in her Holmby Hills home of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles, California at the age of 91, and is entombed in the Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles, California. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6440 Hollywood Blvd. She is survived by her adopted daughter's family.