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April 11, 2022

35 Beautiful Photos of Carol Bruce in the 1940s

Born 1919 as Shirley Levy in New York City, New York, American band singer, Broadway star and actress Carol Bruce began her career as a singer in the late 1930s with Larry Clinton and his band. She sang with Ben Bernie’s orchestra in 1940-1941.

Bruce made her Broadway debut in Louisiana Purchase, with songs by Irving Berlin, who discovered her at a nightclub in Newark, New Jersey. She was the first actress to play the role of Julie in a Broadway production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Show Boat since the 1932 Broadway revival.

Bruce appeared with Abbott and Costello in Keep ’Em Flying (1941). Her first serious film role was in This Woman Is Mine (1941). She had supporting roles many years later in the films American Gigolo (1980) and Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), and probably best-remembered for her recurring role as the domineering and meddlesome Lillian “Mama” Carlson (mother of the station manager played by Gordon Jump) on CBS’ WKRP in Cincinnati.

Bruce died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, aged 87.


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