She was an only child, and maintained a close relationship with her mother throughout her life.
She didn't drink, but she had her very own ice cream soda fountain.
Always the outdoor sporty type, she was a near-champion tennis player, a topline shot and loved going fishing.
She turned down Donna Reed's role in It's a Wonderful Life.
She was good friends with Lucille Ball and Bette Davis.
She was born Virginia Katherine McMath, but was nicknamed Feathers by one of her co-stars.
She was a fashion consultant for the J.C. Penney chain from 1972-75.
She won a Charleston contest in 1925, at the age of 14, and appeared in vaudeville acts until she was 17.
the year: 1979
the genre: comedy
the cast: Edward Herrmann (Michael Hill); Karen Valentine (Jane); Cloris Leachman (Claire); Susan Clark (Anne); Barbara Harris (Vickie); Virginia Capers (Cleo); Patsy Kelly (Rose); Douglas Fowley (Delaney); Michael Constantine (Marv)
the plot: Reverend Michael Hill arrives as the new minister at North Avenue Presbyterian Church. He wants to get members of the congregation involved, but after one of them loses the church sinking fund on a horse race, the Reverend (much to the horror of the two federal treasury agents) hits upon the idea of enlisting the help of several ladies from the church to bring down the gambling racket.
count: how many pets escape Vickie's station wagon after the pet show.
don't miss: Claire's nails.
listen for: "Uh, Max and I are watching Freddie Uh Two Fingers' Snooker Parlor, and uh I... expect to be murdered any minute. If that should happen, would somebody please contact Alfredo? He does my hair."
also listen for: "How come he doesn't have any pants on?" "Well, we - we don't know why, we - we don't question why." "Why don't we? We're all suppose to pretend he has pants on, when he doesn't?" "Mm-hmm, Yes."
check out: Strawberry Shortcake's outfits. Groovy.
did you know: the church had to be rebuilt and blown up again after the crew realized there wasn't film in the camera after the first take.
the year: 1968
the genre: musical
the cast: Dick Van Dyke (Caractacus Potts); Sally Ann Howes(Truly Scrumptious); Lionel Jeffries (Grandpa); James Robertson Justince (Lord Scrumptious); Heather Ripley (Jemima Potts); Adrian Hall (Jeremy Potts)
the plot: An eccentric professor invents wacky machinery, but can't seem to make ends meet. When he invents a revolutionary car, a foreign government becomes interested in it, and resorts to skulduggery to get their hands on it.
(I just couldn't resist a summary that had the word "skulduggery" in it.)
don't miss: Spy One and Spy Two - especially when they try to "blend in".
count: how many dogs assisted with the 'Toot Sweet' finale.
listen for: "Coggins? That lives down the road? Sure. He wouldn't light your pipe if his house was on fire."
did you know: the colors of the floating Chitty - purple, green, and white - were the colors of the women's suffrage movement of that time.
also listen for: "Time's up. Had your chance. Muffed it. Good morning."
watch for: Grandpa's accommodations as he travels to Vulgaria. They are certainly posh.
did you also know: when the production filmed in the Bavarian town of Rothenberg on the Tauber, some locals were used. Senior citizens were cast as the townspeople of Vulgaria, while the local university's riding teams played the Vulgarian soldiers.
the year: 1963
the genre: comedy. definitely.
the cast: David Niven (Sir Charles Lytton); Peter Sellers (Insp. Jacques Clouseau); Robert Wagner (George Lytton); Capucine (Simone Clouseau); Claudia Cardinale (Princess Dahla)
the plot: Inspector Clouseau is an expert on the exploits of The Phantom, a renowned jewel thief. He feels sure he knows where The Phantom will strike next and leaves Paris for Switzerland, where the famous Lugashi jewel 'The Pink Panther' is going to be. Vacationing at the deluxe Alpine resort, Sir Charles Lytton (The Phantom, of course) is indeed on the trail of the jewel - and although Clouseau has been after him for years, he is able to escape (perhaps because Clouseau's wife is Litton's lover and alerts him every time her husband draws near). Throw the gem's owner, Princess Dala, and Lytton's American nephew, George, in the mix and let the fun begin.
don't miss: the car chase. Classic Blake Edwards.
count: the gorillas.
check out: the disappearing cigarette when Princess Dala collapses on the rug.
did you know: Peter Ustinov was originally selected for the role of Inspector Clouseau?
listen for: "Simone! Where is my Surété-Scotland-Yard-type mackintosh?"
extra bonus points: if you know where Peter Sellers got the idea for his portrayal of Clouseau.
also listen for: "At times like this, I wish I was but a simple peasant."
did you also know: the film was intended to have David Niven's character Sir Charles Lytton as the main character. However, Peter Sellers' portrayal of Inspector Clouseau was so loved by the crew (and later by the audience) it became his character this film and the sequels focused on.