Irene Ware

Irene Ware (born Irene Catherine Ahlberg; November 6, 1910 – March 11, 1993) was an American actress. She was a beauty queen and showgirl before appearing in 29 films between 1932 and 1940, and is mostly remembered for her roles as Princess Nadji in Chandu the Magician (1932) with Edmund Lowe and Bela Lugosi, and as Boris Karloff's and Lugosi's leading lady in 1935's The Raven. She died in 1993, aged 82, in Orange, California.

Irene Ware
Irene Ware in Chandu the Magician (1932)
Born(1910-11-06)November 6, 1910
DiedMarch 11, 1993(1993-03-11) (aged 82)
Years active1929-1993
Spouse(s)John Meehan Jr. (divorced), Fred Campbell


Irene Catherine Ahlberg was born November 6, 1910, in New York City. Her father, Ernest Ahlberg, born in Sweden, managed a saloon. Her mother, Anna Freya, born in New York of Austrian parents, was a real estate agent. She lived in New York and Los Angeles. Her first marriage was to American screenwriter John Meehan, Jr., who won three Oscars for his work. Her second marriage was to federal Judge Fred Campbell. She left the industry to become a mother to her two children, John and Deirdre Meehan.

Beauty queen

As an 18-year-old stenographer, (5`6"/1.68 cm tall), she was crowned Miss Greater New York, then "Miss United States" in 1929, and the same year was first runner-up for the title of Miss Universe at a pageant held in Galveston, Texas. She also won $1,000. The winner, Austria's Lisl Goldarbeiter, was the subject of a TV documentary, "A Queen In Wien", released in 2006 and directed by Hungarian Peter Forgacs. ("Miss United States" was an unofficial alternative to the Miss America Pageant, which was not held in 1929. The Miss Universe contest of the 1920s was not connected to the current Miss Universe system, which was launched in 1952.)

Early film years

Through early 1932 she starred in Earl Carroll's Vanities on Broadway. She was then contracted to Fox Studios and moved to Hollywood, changing her name to Irene Ware. Her first movie was Society Girl, in 1932 at Fox Film Corporation as uncredited together with names like James Dunn, Peggy Shannon and Spencer Tracy. The second film, which quickly made her a star, was Chandu the Magician, also released in 1932 and directed by Marcel Varnel.


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