Virginia Gilmore

Virginia Gilmore (born Sherman Virginia Poole, July 26, 1919 – March 28, 1986) was an American film, stage, and television actress.

Virginia Gilmore
Sherman Virginia Poole

(1919-07-26)July 26, 1919
DiedMarch 28, 1986(1986-03-28) (aged 66)
Years active19391970
Yul Brynner
(m. 1944; div. 1960)

Early years

Gilmore was born in El Monte, California. Her father was a retired officer of the British Army.


Gilmore began her stage career in San Francisco at the age of 15, but moved to Los Angeles in 1939 to pursue work in films. When her movie career was not progressing, Gilmore mustered the nerve to approach Samuel Goldwyn at his home. As a result of their meeting, he promised her a screen test.[1] She soon landed some small movie roles. Her better known film appearances both occurred in 1941: Western Union, directed by Fritz Lang, and Swamp Water directed by Jean Renoir.

Later years

When her movie role options began to dwindle, Gilmore left Los Angeles for New York City and started working on Broadway, where she had appeared in A Successful Calamity in 1934. In 1943, she played in Those Endearing Young Charms and The World’s Full of Girls.[2] In 1944, she played the title role in Dear Ruth,[3] which was directed by Moss Hart. Her other Broadway credits include Truckline Cafe (1946), The Grey-eyed People (1952), and Critics Choice (1960).[2]

Starting in the late 1940s, Gilmore had many television roles. In 1949, she and her husband, Yul Brynner, were featured on We’re On, an NBC television series. Between 1966 and 1968, she taught drama at Yale University.[1] In her later years, Gilmore was a leader in Alcoholics Anonymous[4].

Personal life

In 1944, she married Yul Brynner. The couple had one son, Yul "Rock" Brynner (born on December 23, 1946), before divorcing in 1960.[5]


On March 28, 1986, Gilmore died from emphysema at her home in Santa Barbara, California, aged 66.[1] Upon her death, she was cremated by the Neptune Society and her ashes scattered at sea.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1939Winter CarnivalMargie Stafford
1940LaddiePamela Pryor
1940Manhattan HeartbeatDottie Haley
1940JennieJennie Collins
1941Tall, Dark and HandsomeJudy Miller
1941Western UnionSue Creighton
1941Swamp WaterMabel MacKenzie
1941Mr. District Attorney in the Carter CaseTerry Parker
1942Sundown JimToni Black
1942The Pride of the YankeesMyra
1942Berlin CorrespondentKaren Hauen
1942The Loves of Edgar Allan PoeElmira Royster
1942Orchestra WivesElsie
1942That Other WomanEmily Borden
1943Chetniks! The Fighting GuerrillasNatalia
1945Wonder ManSailor's Girl Friend
1948Close-UpPeggy Lake
1952Walk East on BeaconMillie Zalenko / Teresa Henning

Stage performances

  • Those Endearing Young Charms (1943)
  • The World's Full of Girls (1943)
  • Dear Ruth (1944)
  • Truckline Cafe (with Marlon Brando) (1946)
  • The Grey-Eyed People (1952)
  • Critic's Choice (with Henry Fonda) (1960)


  1. "Actress Virginia Gilmore Dies: Veteran of Stage, Hollywood". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. April 1, 1986. p. Part II - 4. Retrieved September 3, 2018 via
  2. "Virginia Gilmore". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  3. Rainho, Manny (March 2015). "This Month in Movie History". Classic Images (477): 28.
  4. Wilson, Scott (August 19, 2016). "Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed". McFarland via Google Books.
  5. Yul Brynner biodata,; accessed October 16, 2014.
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