Memories of sunny Bronx angel Evelyn

Evelyn Dall signed photo, submitted by reader and fan Dave Cooper
Evelyn Dall signed photo, submitted by reader and fan Dave Cooper
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“She always said Blackpool, with all its attractions, was one of her favourite places.”

And the “original blonde bombshell” Evelyn Dall made more than just a few appearances in the resort during the 1930s and 40s.

Evelyn Dall at Blackpool Tower Ballroom in 1935

Evelyn Dall at Blackpool Tower Ballroom in 1935

After The Gazette’s Lost Archives supplement featured photos of the Bronx-born star, her family and fans got in touch with some of their recollections of the popular blonde.

She came to the UK, aged 17, to take over as star singer for legendary dance band leader Ambrose.

Her first appearance was on August 11, 1935, when she performed with Ambrose in front of 5,000 fans at Blackpool Tower, singing South American Joe to a great response.

Real name Evelyn Mildred Fuss, she played virtually all of October that year at the Winter Gardens.

Dave Cooper, who runs fan website www.evelyndall.com, said her enduring appeal was probably down to her “sunny outlook on life, which comes over in her films, radio appearances and records.”

He was aware of her, as a writer of articles on dance bands and jazz since around 1971 and after seeing a photo of her wanted to find out more.

Dave said: “I was surprised to find Evelyn Dall had much more to offer than her singing.

She was a real all-rounder – able to dance, act and deliver comedic routines.

“Her star shone bright for only a relatively short time, as she wanted to settle down and have a family. In those 12 short years, she starred on stage, screen, radio and TV.”

After getting to know and becoming good friends with her nephew Don Winer, Dave set up the official website about Evelyn.

He already ran a website www.talking-shellac.com about his general interests.

Through her nephew Don, Evelyn’s son, Brian Winter, shared some of his memories:

“She always took good care of us. My sister and I watched TV with her many times in her room... and learned so much about many various things in life while using what was on TV as a starting point.

“Also various aspects of actors and what they were like – the ones she got to meet, anyway. Among them were James Mason and Michael Rennie.

“I remember most of all how much care we received when we were sick.

“She loved New York City, for the shopping, food, hotels, grand cinemas, theatres, sight-seeing and she took us on many trips there to see, learn and enjoy. My sister and I enjoyed these trips immensely.”

And Don himself said: “She enjoyed the fact I always called her Auntie Mame. On my father’s side of the family, I had four aunts. She was, without a doubt, my favourite.

“Often at family gatherings, she and I would leave the group, sit at the bar and drink scotch.

“We both liked to laugh and she would often tell stories about her time in London.”

He added Evelyn, who died in 2010, aged 92, did not enjoy watching her own films and did not enjoy belonging to the ‘upper class’, although she could always fit in well at the country club – testament to her acting skills.