Deanna is a Canadian-born, Southern California-raised singer and actress, who appeared in a number of musical films in 1930s and 1940s singing standards as well as operatic arias.
Durbin made her first film appearance in 1936 with Judy Garland in Every Sunday, and subsequently signed a contract with Universal Studios. Her success as the ideal teenage daughter in films such as Three Smart Girls (1936) was credited with saving the studio from bankruptcy and in 1938, Durbin was awarded the Academy Juvenile Award.
While her fans remained faithful as she entered adulthood, Durbin grew dissatisfied with the girl-next-door roles assigned to her, so she attempted to portray a more mature and sophisticated style, but the film noir Christmas Holiday (1944) and the whodunit Lady on a Train (1945) were not as well received as her musical comedies and romances. Her dissatisfaction with Hollywood led to her early departure from the limelight and her retirement from acting and singing in 1949.
Durbin married film producer-director Charles Henri David in 1950 and following her marriage moved to a farmhouse in the outskirts of Paris. She withdrew from public life around the same time.