June Preisser

June Preisser (June 26, 1920 September 19, 1984) was an American actress, popular in musical films during the late 1930s and through the 1940s, many of which capitalized on her skills as an acrobat.

June Preisser
from the trailer for the film
Strike Up the Band (1940).
Born(1920-06-26)June 26, 1920
DiedSeptember 19, 1984(1984-09-19) (aged 64)
Florida, U.S.
Cause of deathRoad accident
Years active1936–1952
Spouse(s)J. Moss Terry (1942–19??; divorced)
ChildrenRichard Josiah Moss "Ricky" Terry (1943-1984)

Life and career

Born in New Orleans, Preisser was one of six children. An underweight child, her parents sent her to an athletic club at an early age, in an attempt to build her strength. There she, and her sister Cherry, learned acrobatics. Their mother was keen to have them follow a career in show business, especially when their father died suddenly, leaving the family with few options to make a living. When Preisser was nine years old, an actor noticed the two sisters performing acrobatics on a sidewalk near their home, and his interest led to their working in vaudeville and later for the Ziegfeld Follies in 1934 and 1936.[1]

The Preisser sisters were successful in the United States, and performed in Europe, most notably for George VI of the United Kingdom. Cherry retired in 1938 following her marriage, and June was signed to a film contract by MGM. Her first film, Dancing Co-Ed (1939), provided only a small part, but her next film, Babes in Arms (1939), gave her a significant role opposite Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. She performed with Rooney and Garland again in Strike Up the Band (1940), and with Rooney in two "Andy Hardy" films, Judge Hardy and Son (1939) and Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (1941).

Gallant Sons (1940) placed her in a comedic murder mystery, and she played her first lead role opposite Jimmy Lydon in Henry Aldrich for President (1941), and followed this with Sweater Girl (1942), opposite Eddie Bracken. She continued her career following her marriage in 1942 to J. Moss Terry, and the birth of a son, Ricky.

By this time, MGM had little interest in promoting her, and she left to work for Monogram Pictures. She continued to appear in musical comedies over the next few years, and played the character Dodie Rogers in seven comedy films with Frankie Darro and Noel Neill from 1946 to 1948. Her final film was Music Man (1948), and after appearing in a Los Angeles theater production of Annie Get Your Gun, she retired from acting.[2]

Death

She divorced not long after, and taught dancing and acrobatics in Los Angeles, and then moved with her son to Florida. They both were killed in a car accident during a severe storm on September 19, 1984 in Florida.[1]

Filmography

References

  1. "June Preisser". Picking.com citing Screen Guide, September 1940. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
  2. "June Preisser Biography". Fandango. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
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