Vina Delmar


Vina Delmar was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States on January 29th, 1903 and is the Screenwriter. At the age of 86, Vina Delmar biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
January 29, 1903
United States
Place of Birth
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Death Date
Jan 19, 1990 (age 86)
Zodiac Sign
Novelist, Playwright, Screenwriter, Writer
Vina Delmar Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

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Vina Delmar Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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Vina Delmar Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Eugene Delmar
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Vina Delmar Life

Viña Delmar (January 29, 1903 – January 19, 1990) was an American short story writer, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter who worked from the 1920s to the 1970s.

She rose to fame in the late 1920s with the publication of her suggestively titled novel, Bad Girl, which became a bestseller in 1928.

Delmar also wrote the screenplay to the screwball comedy, The Awful Truth, for which she received an Academy Award nomination in 1937.

Early years

Viña Delmar was born Alvina Louise Croter on January 29, 1903, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of vaudeville performers Isaac "Ike" Croter and Jennie A. Croter, née Guran or Guerin. Her parents were regulars on the vaudeville circuit as well as performers in the Yiddish theater in New York City and other major cities in the United States. Ike Croter went by the stage name of "Charlie Hoey" (or "Chas Hoey"), and formed half of the musical duo "Hoey and Lee," alongside partner Harry Lee. Jennie Croter was a chorus girl and singer who performed under the name "Jean Powell" (or "Jeanne Powell").

As a child, Delmar was taken along by her parents as they performed on the vaudeville circuit in the United States. At the age of three weeks, she was in San Francisco, with the top drawer of her mother's trunk used as a cradle. In 1911, when Delmar was eight, her mother retired from the stage, and the family settled in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. Not long afterwards, on September 13, 1916, her mother died, and with her father, Viña moved to the Bronx. She attended public schools only until the age of 13. By age 16, she was appearing on the vaudeville stage. With her stage career struggling—Delmar deemed herself "not a good actress"—she took on various employments in the 1920s, including theater usher, typist, switchboard operator, and assistant manager of a moving picture house in Harlem. Sardonically, playing off her failings on the stage, she noted "I was a notable success as an usher."

In 1921, Viña married a man named Albert Zimmerman, a radio announcer and writer. Around the time of the marriage, Zimmerman was using the name Eugene Delmar or Gene Delmar, perhaps as a stage name. Viña readily assumed the Delmar surname as well, and it became her de facto name. Zimmerman, apparently, formally changed his name to Eugene Delmar in July 1929, though conclusive evidence of this action is lacking.

The Delmars gained a brief moment of national attention in June 1921 when Viña, on a gag, placed an advertisement to "rent" her husband for a year. The stunt, apparently due to financial hardship, led to a story that quickly spread throughout the United States. The ad read: "FOR RENT One husband. Terms, $5,000 a year. Qualifications: Handsome, lovely disposition, great adaptability, stay home nights, beautiful singing voice, wonderful ballroom dancer, superior education VINA DELMAR (Mrs. Gene Delmar)" Viña's explanation for the advertisement was reported in some accounts: "Gene is a writer," she said of her husband. "He writes lovely poems to me and wants to write other things. Of course, he couldn’t support us yet on writing." The publication that ran the original advertisement wasn't identified in the newspaper reports of 1928 and remains unidentified.

Personal life

On May 20, 1921, at age of 18, Viña married Albert Otto Zimmerman in New York City. The marriage record indicates that "Alvina L. Miller" was divorced. If the record is accurate, her marriage to Zimmerman (Eugene Delmar) was her second. Viña claimed she met her husband at a Greenwich Village rendezvous, that it was a case of "love at first sight," and they married the next day.

After her marriage, Delmar and her husband initially resided for several years in the Inwood area of Manhattan. They then lived in Scarsdale, New York in the 1930s. By 1940, the duo, along with their teenage son, Gray (born 1924), had moved to Los Angeles and Hollywood. Viña and Eugene Delmar remained married until his death on December 14, 1957, in Los Angeles. Gray died in an automobile racing accident in 1966. Viña Delmar died January 19, 1990, at age 86 in a Pasadena, California convalescent home. She is interred in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California, as is her husband, Eugene Delmar.

Note: Official documents and published material reveal that Viña Delmar and her husband, Gene, were not always forthright when it came to providing personal information. Viña is quoted in a 1931 book of author biographies that she was "born in the winter of 1905." She was actually born January 29, 1903, per her New York birth certificate (Certificate No. 3137). The 1903 date of her birth is confirmed by the 1910 Census record of the "Charles" Croter family. Because of the 1905 date, Viña provided for her birth, it was reported in various publications that she had married Eugene Delmar at age 16. This was inaccurate, as she was 18; but she may have had a prior marriage. There also are two marriage records on file that document, to one degree or another, Viña and Gene Delmar as participants: (1) the aforementioned Zimmerman marriage record (Albert O. Zimmerman, age 21, married Alvina L. Miller, age 18, May 10, 1921, Manhattan, New York; others (present): Charles Croter, Jean Cariaga/Miller); and (2) a Gene Delmar marriage in Philadelphia (Gene Delmar married Hoey, 1922, Philadelphia, PA; Marriage License No. 457957). Considering that Viña Delmar's father went by the stage name Charlie or Chas. Hoey, the record possibly reflects that Viña and Gene Delmar married a second time, or perhaps renewed their vows, with Viña using the surname "Hoey."


Vina Delmar Career

Writing career

Delmar, a nine-year-old boy, expressed an interest in writing and began to pen stories. She first met with publication in 1922 with her short story "Toony Checks Out," which appeared in the risqué newspaper Snappy Stories.

Delmar's first write-in-the-House came at the age of 25 with Bad Girl, a classic fiction book published in 1928 by Harcourt Brace and Co. Bad Girl, a gypsy tale about premarital sex, pregnancy, and childbirth, was filtered through the lens of the tenement's and working-class married life, a surprising and immediate sensation. Since being initially banned in Boston, the novel acquired more fame. The Literary Guild's success prompted the Literary Guild to select it as its April 1928 pick, which also pushed sales to new heights. At No. 10, the book debuted on the Publishers Weekly fiction bestseller list at No. 10. On May 26, 1928, the 9th New York Times reached No. 9 and reached its high peak at No. 9. On June 30, 1928, he had been in charge of the department for four weeks. The book came in fifth place on the Publishers Weekly fiction bestseller list for 1928.

Delmar wrote two other books in rapid succession in 1929, each with a suggestive title. Kept Woman was a novel, while Loose Ladies held eleven fictional portraits of modern American city women. Both books attracted censorship, but no one knew about it. Delmar's gritty tenement tales began to fall out of favor with the reading public in the early 1930s. Women Lived Long and The Marriage Racket was published in 1932 and 1933, respectively, but neither book nor the quick sequel to Bad Girl made it to the bestseller charts, though many were reissued in paperback by Avon in the 1940s. Delmar did not have a new book published before 1950, with the exception of "The End of the World," a short story that appeared in Cosmopolitan and was republished and sold in paperback.

Via Delmar wrote her stories, books, and screenplays with her husband Gene's editorial assistance. Although he rarely received praise for his published work, the Delmars considered themselves a writing team. "We're working, we discuss the project a long time," she said in a 1956 Times Book Review interview: "We're talking about the plot a long time." In longhand, I create a draft. My husband reads it through the typewriter, "changing as he goes." Delmar said she wrote four nights a week with a pencil in a 1928 interview. She wrote quickly, and her husband would add missing words and correct grammatical mistakes as he typed. He'll also argue with her and help refine her plots and characters. All of the intellectual content of her writing was her own, but her husband assisted with her writing process.

Delmar was granted entry to Hollywood after the success of Bad Girl, which was first released on film in 1931. Via and Eugene Delmar went from New York to Los Angeles sometime in the 1930s. The Delmars nourished a friendship with film producer Leo McCarey, which resulted in screenplay contracts for two screenplays, both of which were turned into McCarey-directed films. The first, Make Way for Tomorrow (1937), the tale of an elderly couple losing their home to foreclosure; the second, The Awful Truth (1937), is one of the best screwball comedy films ever made. Both films were highly successful at the box office, particularly The Awful Truth, which starred Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Via Delmar was awarded an Academy Award nomination for her screenplay of The Awful Truth. But the Delmars did decide to leave Hollywood soon after, even though they lived in Hollywood. In a 1956 interview with The New York Times Book Review, Via said, "We used to do movie scenarios." Many years ago, there was The Awful Truth." That was fine, but we didn't like the work we did not enjoy, so we resigned when we were winning."

Delmar and her husband began to churn out short stories in large-circulation magazines, such as Cosmopolitan and Liberty, during the 1930s and 1940s. The pair had shifted to theatre by the mid-1940s, penneing the book The Rich Full Life: A Play in Three Acts, which opened in New York City on November 9, 1945. However, the play was unable to find a following and closed after 27 performances (it was subsequently shot as an Elizabeth Taylor vehicle named Cynthia (1947). The Delmars' second attempt, Mid-Summer, a comedy that opened at the Vanderbilt Theatre in 1951, was met with more success. Geraldine Page appeared in the Broadway debut of Geraldine Page. Mid-Summer closed on April 25, 1953, following a decent run of 109 performances. Warm Wednesday, another comedies, was published in book form by Samuel French, Inc. in 1959, but there is no mention of it in the Internet Broadway Database.

Although the Delmars made their debut in theatrical success, Via returned to writing fiction, first with a novel set in antebellum New Orleans serialized in 1947 in the New York Daily News as I'll Take My Stand and published in softcover as New Orleans Lady in 1949. About Mrs. Leslie, the author's first new book in many years, was released to modest success in 1950. The book's film rights were purchased prior to its release, with the 1954 filmation proving a huge success.

In 1950–51, three other Delmar books were published, after which the author reportedly took a break from writing fiction. Beloved, her first novel in five years, was published in 1956. Beloved was set in the nineteenth century American South, but it was mainly Judah Benjamin who was on the hunt for historical figures. John Slidell, the author of Beloved, was also present in Beloved. Delmar's 1961 book The Big Family was also focusing on her.

Via Delmar's editorial partner and husband Eugene Delmar died on December 14, 1957. Delmar continued to write consistently from 1959 to 1976, with nine of which were published by Harcourt, Brace, and Co. The Becker Scandal, a documentary that investigated Charles Becker's life, investigation, and execution, was one of them. Some scholars believe the work to be autobiographical, while others are more skeptical of Delmar's recollections. McKeever, Delmar's last book, was published in 1976.