Virginia Bruce (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸

January 08, 2022

Music has been the dominant factor in life of lovely Virginia Bruce. She devotes a great deal of her time to the piano and the cultivation of her voice. She is equally fond of classical and popular songs.

Virginia was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on September 29. Her real name is Virginia Briggs. Her father, Earl F. Briggs, was an insurance broker in Minneapolis and North Dakota, where she lived most of her life.

While attending the Fargo High School in North Dakota, English and history were her favorite subjects, and she excelled in drawing, which she still follows as a hobby. Her favorite childhood memory is of the nine kittens which she kept as pets.

Miss Bruce is five feet six and a half inches tall, and weighs 128 pounds. She has lovely, naturally blonde hair, a milky- white, perfect complexion, and large blue eyes. She is considered to have the loveliest complexion of any actress. She has a perfect figure, which she keeps in trim by swimming, tennis and riding.

Has One Daughter

Miss Bruce has visited Paris, London and New York, and, at the present time, makes her home in a very attractive bungalow at Toluca Lake, near Hollywood. She married John Gilbert and has one daughter, Susan Ann Gilbert.

It was her work in such musical shows as Whoopee!, “Smiles,” and “America’s Sweetheart” that first attracted the attention of film producers. Her first picture was “The Love Parade,” in which Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald were co-starred. Her favorite role was in “The Mighty Barnum.”

Other pictures in which she appeared are “Slightly Scarlet,” “Only the Brave,” “Lilies of the Field,” “Downstairs,” “Winner Take All,” “Miracle Man,” “Kongo,” “Jane Eyre,” “The Murder Man,” “Society Doctor,” “Shadow of Doubt,” “Times Square Lady,” “Escapade,” “The Garden Murder Case,” “Here Comes the Band” and The Great Ziegfeld. She was also with Eleanor Powell in “Born to Dance,” and was loaned to make “Women of Glamour” and “When Love Is Young.” Recent triumphs include “Between Two Women” and “Bad Man of Brimstone.”

Mother a Golf Champ

Virginia can trace a family relationship to Presidents McKinley and Garfield. Her mother, Margaret Morris Briggs, was amateur golf champion of the state of North Dakota for three years. She also has a brother, Stanley Briggs.

She is fond of both cats and dogs and has two dogs, which romp and play with little Susan Ann. Her closest friends are William Beaudine, to whom she owes her film career, for it was he who placed her under contract and sponsored her debut; Neysa McMein, the artist, and John Peers.

Her favorite color is blue. For food, she prefers lamb chops and baked potatoes. She never diets, but depends on exercise to maintain her lovely figure. She is not afraid of the dark and frequently goes for lonely walks.

Collects First Editions

Being an amateur artist herself, she especially appreciates the ability of others and she particularly admires the work of James Montgomery Flagg. Her favorite classical music is “Liebestraum” — and, in contrast with this, she likes to listen to Guy Lombardo.

Her hobbies are collecting first editions and painting. For recreation, other than sports, she attends the theatre, dances and plays bridge. When she is alone at home she reads the works of Hawthorne, O’Neill and Faulkner.

Source: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937