Actress Amanda Duff Dunne, who was married to screenwriter and film director Philip Dunne, died of cancer April 6 in San Francisco. She was 92.
Born in Fresno, and raised in Santa Barbara, she studied music at Mills College in Oakland before moving to New York to study piano. Playwright Robert E. Sherwood cast her as the young lead in the comedy “Tovarich” on Broadway in 1936, and she was then was offered a contract with 20th Century Fox.
As Amanda Duff, she appeared in films between 1938 and 1941 including “Just Around the Corner” with Shirley Temple, “Mr. Moto in Danger Island” with Peter Lorre and “The Devil Commands” with Boris Karloff.
While working on the Fox lot, she met Philip Dunne, whose later credits included “How Green Was My Valley,” “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,” “Pinky” and “The Robe.” After World War II, their Malibu house became a gathering place for liberal Hollywood, and they hosted meetings for causes including protesting the House Un-American Activities Committee and the war in Vietnam.
After she quit acting in the early 1940s, she turned to photography. Her photographs of American children were part of designers Charles and Ray Eames’ multiscreen presentation, “Glimpses of the USA,” shown at the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959.
Philip Dunne died in 1992.
She is survived by three daughters, a brother and two grandchildren.
Donations may be made to Amnesty International.