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Karolyn Grimes
American actress

Karolyn Grimes

Karolyn Grimes
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
Is Actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 4 July 1940, Hollywood
Age 82 years
Karolyn Grimes
The details (from wikipedia)


Karolyn Grimes (born July 4, 1940) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as "Zuzu Bailey" in the Frank Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life. She also played "Debbie" in the 1947 Christmas film, The Bishop's Wife starring Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young.

Personal life

Grimes was born in Hollywood, California. At age 5, she studied piano and violin at the Boyd School for Actors.

Grimes' parents, Mr. and Mrs. La Van Grimes, were teachers in Kansas City, Missouri. Her mother pushed her into acting, but her acting career declined with her mother's health. The latter died from illness when Grimes was 14, and she lost her father from a car crash a year later. A court ruling sent her from Hollywood to Osceola, Missouri, where she lived in what she called a "bad home" with her aunt and uncle. She went to college in Warrensburg, Missouri at the University of Central Missouri, married, raised children, and became a medical technologist.

Grimes' first marriage ended in divorce, after which her ex-husband was killed in a hunting accident. her 18-year-old son committed suicide in 1989, and her second husband died from cancer in 1994.


Donna Reed, Jimmy Stewart and Karolyn Grimes in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Grimes' film debut came when she was 6 months old. She "first attracted attention with a role in Pardon My Past.

Zuzu had been a part of Grimes' past but as It's a Wonderful Life gained more attention, she gave local interviews in the 1980s and national interviews in the 1990s. After she suffered a serious financial setback during the early 2000s recession, she made a career of her advocacy for the film.

Grimes tours big-screen showings of It's a Wonderful Life at dinner theatres worldwide, signing autographs, sharing tidbits, and pointing out small errors. She also produced a cookbook inspired by that role and marketed a limited line of "Zuzu Dolls".

Grimes was honored as a famous Missourian with a star on the Missouri Walk of Fame in Marshfield, Missouri. She also received the city's highest honor, the Edwin P. Hubble Medal of Initiative in 2007 at the annual Marshfield cherry blossom festival.


Year Title Role Notes
1945 That Night with You Orphan Uncredited
1945 Pardon My Past Stephanie Pemberton
1946 Sister Kenny Carolyn Scenes deleted
1946 Blue Skies Mary Elizabeth Adams
1946 It's a Wonderful Life Zuzu Bailey
1947 Sweet and Low Tammie Short film
1947 Vance's Gamble Pat Roberts Uncredited
1947 The Private Affairs of Bel Ami Laurine de Marelle
1947 Mother Wore Tights Iris Uncredited
1947 Unconquered Little Girl Uncredited
1947 The Bishop's Wife Debby Brougham
1948 Albuquerque City Myrtle Walton Also known as Silver City
1949 Lust for Gold Martha Bannister Also known as For Those Who Dare
1950 Rio Grande Margret Mary
1951 Honeychile Effie
1952 Hans Christian Andersen Copenhagen Match Girl Uncredited

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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