Not only an Oscar winning actress, CLAIRE TREVOR  was  a painter and a philanthropist. And a University Arts School is named after her.

The Architectural Digest of April 1992 featured an interview with Claire at her 5th Avenue home which had her Oscar and Emmy on display. (The Emmy was for the 1956 TV version of DODSWORTH opposite Fredric March.)

She was 83 at the time and is shown above in her studio. I’d love to see more of her work. (Claire had studied art briefly before embarking on her acting career.)


The painting Claire did of Tyrone Power is shown above on the desk.


This painting of Tyrone Power by Claire in 1958 sold for $39,000 at Bonhams in Los Angeles. She signed it ‘CTB ‘ (Claire Trevor Bren).



More paintings by Claire – Picasso, one of his mistresses, Virginia Wolf and Woodrow Wilson.


Photos on her table show Humphrey Bogart, Milton Bren, Claire and Claudette Colbert and Helen O’Hagan. And Claire as a child.


In 1999, Claire donated $500,000 to the School of The Arts at the University of California at Irvine, a community near Newport Beach where Claire and her husband Milton Bren lived.

After her death in 2000, her two step sons , Donald and Peter Bren, gave a $10 million gift to the School of the Arts.


Claire’s Oscar is now on display next to the Claire Trevor Theatre at the Arts Plaza.


With her husband, Milton Bren.

Producer Milton Bren was Claire ‘s third husband whom she married in 1948.  Her son  Charles (from her second marriage) died in a plane crash in 1978, and her husband of 30 years, Milton Bren died a year later.


Born Claire Wemlinger in 1910  and raised in New York, she made her stage debut in 1929.

Claire was at Fox from 1933 to 1937, then Warner Brothers from 1938 to 1943. Neither studio gave her the parts she deserved.

Claire said, “Let’s face it, the parts I would have given my soul for – Bette Davis got.”

On “Key Largo” :

I kept saying to John Huston, when do I go to the music dept – when do I learn the music?”

But director  Huston didn’t want her to rehearse, wanting the song to show a rawness and vulnerability which of course Claire gave him, but she wasn’t happy:

”You try singing in front of that group. Not much fun, especially when you can’t sing!”


KEY LARGO. As ‘Gaye Dawn’.


With Edward G. Robinson and Dan Seymour . KEY LARGO

Why don’t you give us your old song?”


” Moanin’ Low.”


With Walter Huston

Claire won Best Supporting Oscar the same year that Walter  Huston won Best Actor for TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE.


The changing faces of Claire Trevor.

With Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart. THE AMAZING DOCTOR CLITTERHOUSE.

And reunited in Key Largo.


With James Dunn and Shirley Temple. BABY TAKE A BOW


With Randolph Scott, possibly at a premiere of their film, THE DESPERADOES


With John Wayne.THE FIRST REBEL.

The runaway success of STAGECOACH meant the two stars would be re-teamed quickly in The First Rebel and DARK COMMAND.

Wayne became a star, while Claire still struggled for good roles.


With Barry Sullivan and Albert Decker.THE WOMAN OF THE TOWN.


With Glenn Ford and William Holden. TEXAS.


With Walter Pidgeon and John Wayne. DARK COMMAND.




Wouldnt mind seeing this one, looks like a great cast.


With Elisha Cook and Lawrence Tierney. BORN TO KILL.

A tough one to watch.


With Marsha Hunt and Dennis O’Keefe. RAW DEAL.





With Fred MacMurray. BORDERLINE.



On the set of Best of the Badmen, with Lawrence  Tierney who played Jesse James.


With Robert Ryan.BEST OF THE BADMEN.


Sally Forrest turning her head with Claire Trevor right behind her in a scene from the film ‘Hard, Fast And Beautiful’, 1951.


On the set of HARD FAST AND BEAUTIFUL, which Ida Lupino directed.

Ida Lupino, Carleton Young, Claire Trevor



With Kirk Douglas. MAN WITHOUT  A STAR


And Claire’s two Oscar nominated performances:

With Humphrey Bogart.DEAD END


David Brian and Claire Trevor enjoy a drink together while flying in a scene from the film ‘The High And The Mighty’,


The radio series Claire did with Edward G. Robinson from 1937 to 1940 – Robinson as a newspaper editor and  Claire  as his ace reporter.



24 responses »

  1. This is great. Thanks for posting. I grew up relatively close to the building named after Claire Trevor and when I was younger I didn’t know who she was much less that there was a building named after her. I found out a few years back. Now that I’m not nearby I’d really like to visit the campus again.

      • Most definitely. If I remember correctly I think Paulette Goddard has a residence hall at NYU that probably suffers the same fate.

    • How interesting to hear about Paulette Goddard’s association with New York University. Completely new to me. I’ve now reaD that Paulette donated $20 million to NYU in 1990 , and one of the halls of residence is named after her at 79 Washington Square East.

      • I’m glad I didn’t make that up! I know I had read it somewhere so I’m to know that it’s true. It is quite amazing.

  2. As a young boy in my early teens, I enjoyed browsing thru pictorial displays of main and coming attractions displayed in cinemas then. Your postings offer such pleasure and golden memories. Cheers.

  3. Thank you. Warner Brothers had two actresses who should have been big stars – Claire Trevor and Ann Dvorak.

  4. Have you ever seen her in a great little Cornell Woolrich mystery Street Of Chance (1942) with Burgess Meredith?

  5. A thoroughly charming look at a classy lady. That dress in Best of the Badmen! In fact, all of her costumes in that movie are spectacular and gorgeous in colour.

  6. Didn’t know she was an artist. Do you know who the large portrait on the wall is in that picture you showed?

  7. Vienna, Claire Trevor is a favorite of mine. So many wonderful photographs to look at. I really like the photographs of Claire in her artist studio and with Robert Ryan. Also, what a treat to see her painting of Tyrone Power.

    I remember her interviews, by telephone, with Ray Nielsen on the GOODTIMES PICTURE SHOW(1976-98). When John Wayne came by for a visit he would play chess with her son. Her son was thrilled about it.

  8. Thanks for sharing this one. Had no idea of Claire’s involvement in the arts and her work as an artist beyond acting.

  9. It’s always a treat to see Claire Trevor. The head of my drama school in London, Robert Henderson, worked with her when both were very young, in Chekhov’s “The Sea Gull”, in California; at that time she was known as Claire St. Clair, and played the role of Nina.

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