Virginia Bruce

in The Mighty Barnum (1934) Born Helen Virginia Briggs
September 29, 1910(1910-09-29)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Died February 24, 1982 (aged 71)
Woodland Hills, California Years active 1929–1981 Spouse(s) John Gilbert (m. 1932–1934) «start: (1932)–end+1: (1935)»”Marriage: John Gilbert to Virginia Bruce” Location: (linkback: 1 child
J. Walter Ruben (m. 1937–1942) «start: (1937)–end+1: (1943)»”Marriage: J. Walter Ruben to Virginia Bruce” Location: (linkback:
Ali Ipar (m. 1946–1951) «start: (1946)–end+1: (1952)»”Marriage: Ali Ipar to Virginia Bruce” Location: (linkback:–1964)

Virginia Bruce (September 29, 1910 – February 24, 1982) was an American actress and singer.


Born Helen Virginia Briggs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she went with her family to Los Angeles intending to enrol in the University of California when a friendly wager sent her seeking film work. She got it as an extra in Why Bring That Up?. She was also in the Ziegfeld Follies. In 1930 she appeared on Broadway in the musical Smiles, followed by America’s Sweetheart in 1931.Bruce returned to Hollywood in 1932, where she married John Gilbert, her co-star in the film Downstairs. She retired briefly after the birth of their daughter Susan Ann Gilbert. The couple divorced in 1934, and Virginia returned to a hectic schedule of film appearances. Gilbert died in 1936. That same year, Bruce introduced the Cole Porter standard “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” in the film Born to Dance and costarred in the MGM musical The Great Ziegfeld. One of her final film appearances was in the 1960s Strangers When We Meet. Her final film appearance was in Madame Wang’s in 1981.

Bruce married film director J. Walter Ruben in 1937, making the Wallace Beery western The Bad Man of Brimstone together that year, and they had a son named Christopher, but she was widowed in 1942. In 1946 she married Ali Ipar. They divorced in 1951 in order for him to receive a commission in the Turkish Military (which forbade promotions of men married to foreigners), but remarried in 1952.Virginia Bruce died of cancer on February 24, 1982 in Woodland Hills, California.

Year Title Role Notes
1929 Blue Skies Party guest Uncredited
The Love Parade Lady-in-Waiting Uncredited
1930 Whoopee! Goldwyn Girl Uncredited
Let’s Go Native Chorus Girl Uncredited
Paramount on Parade Chorus Girl Uncredited
Follow Thru Bit in Ladies Locker Room Uncredited
1931 Hell Divers Girl Scenes deleted
1932 The Miracle Man Margaret Thornton
Kongo Ann Whitehall
1934 Jane Eyre Jane Eyre
The Mighty Barnum Jenny Lind
1935 Shadow of Doubt Trenna Plaice
The Murder Man Mary Shannon
1936 The Great Ziegfeld Audrey Dane
Born to Dance Lucy James
1937 When Love Is Young Wanda Werner
The Bad Man of Brimstone Loretta Douglas
1938 Arsène Lupin Returns Lorraine de Grissac
Yellow Jack Frances Blake
There Goes My Heart Joan Butterfield
1939 Society Lawyer Pat Abbott
Stronger Than Desire Elizabeth Flagg
1940 Flight Angels Mary Norvell
The Invisible Woman Kitty Carroll
1941 Adventure in Washington Jane Scott Alternative title: Female Correspondent
1942 Pardon My Sarong Joan Marshall
Careful, Soft Shoulder Connie Mathers
1944 Action in Arabia Yvonne Danesco
Brazil Nicky Henderson Alternative title: Stars and Guitars
1945 Love, Honor and Goodbye Roberta Baxter
1948 Night Has a Thousand Eyes Jenny Courtland
1949 State Department: File 649 Margaret “Marge” Weldon Alternative title: Assignment in China
1954 Salgin Nurse Alternative titles: Epidemic
1955 Reluctant Bride Laura Weeks Alternative title: Two Grooms for a Bride
1960 Strangers When We Meet Mrs. Wagner
1981 Madame Wang’s Madame Wang
Title Role Notes
1953 General Electric Theater Adele 1 episode
1955 Letter to Loretta Dee Norman 1 episode
Science Fiction Theatre Dr. Myrna Griffin
Jean Gordon
2 episodes
1957 The Ford Television Theatre Ruth Crest 1 episode


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