Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Celebrity Doll - Ideal Deanna Durbin

The Ideal Novelty and Toy Company had a hit on their hands with their Shirley Temple doll. Shirley appealed to little girls everywhere - but what about older girls? Every doll manufacturer covered both their younger and older consumers, so in 1938, Ideal came out with another celebrity doll for their teen consumers: the Deanna Durbin doll.

Deanna Durbin, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a contemporary of Judy Garland, and they appeared together in a short film called Every Sunday. Ms Durbin became Universal Studio's most popular female star of the 1940's, so Deanna Durbin dolls became popular, as well.

The dolls range in size from 15 to 21 inches (a 24 inch doll was produced in 1938) and are made of composition. They are jointed at the shoulders, neck and hips, have beautiful human hair wigs, brown sleep eyes, and an open, smiling mouth with six teeth. She is marked on the back of her head: Deanna Durbin Ideal Doll, USA.

At the height of Deanna Durbin's career, her image was also used for Ideal's Miss Liberty doll (a Deanna Durbin doll dressed in patriotic outfits with blonde hair), The Queen of the Ice (an ice skating doll also with blonde hair), and a short haired Gulliver doll. The Deanna Durbin doll face mold was modified only slightly for Ideal's Judy Garland doll, which came out in 1940.

My Deanna Durbin is marked and has her original face paint and human hair wig. Her eyes were crazed but have been enhanced. Her dress is a replacement but suits her, and she wears a tiara. My dad once told me he had had a crush on Deanna Durbin when he was a boy, so this doll will always be a little bit special to me.


  1. Well when I first saw Deanna Durbin in a movie called MAD ABOUT MUSIC it was then that I became an instant fan and now run the largest Deanna tribute website in the world. Please check out my site at DEANNA DURBIN DEVOTEES and I would consider it an honour if you sign my guestbook.

  2. Thank for that link - will definitely check it out!