RICHARD DENNING Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Born Louis Denninger in Poughkeepsie, New York, in March 1914, Richard Denning was encouraged by his father to take over the family’s clothing business. However, after graduating from college, Denning decided against working for the family business and went to Hollywood. His good looks and deep, authoritative voice landed him a contract with Paramount. His first film for the studio was Hold ‘Em Navy (1937; with John Howard), in which he had a small role. Denning toiled in bit parts and small roles until the early 1940s, when his career began gathering steam. During this period, his best roles came in The Glass Key (1942; with Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy, and Veronica Lake), Ice-Capades Revue (1942; with Ellen Drew), and Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942; with Dorothy Lamour and Frances Gifford). Military service interrupted his career, but before enlisting in the in the Navy, Denning met and married beautiful Universal scream queen Evelyn Ankers in 1942.


Throughout their long marriage, Denning and Ankers costarred only twice, in Black Beauty (1946; with Mona Freeman), which was Denning’s first film after returning from the war, and No Greater Love (1960), which was Anker’s final film. Upon his return from military service, Denning left Paramount and freelanced for the remainder of his career. In 1948, he took the role of George, the banker husband of Lucille Ball, on the CBS radio comedy series My Favorite Husband (1948-1951); this radio show was the precursor to I Love Lucy. Ball’s husband Desi Arnaz replaced Denning in the television series, but Denning landed a series of his own, Mr. and Mrs. North, a 1952-1954 comedy costarring Barbara Britton. In the 1950s, Denning was cast in numerous horror and science fiction films for which he’s now known best.