Erin O Brien


My regular contributor David Rayner brought my attention to this very pretty young actress, who I was not at all familiar with. David also sent the pictures below – Thanks David.

Erin O’Brien was born in Los Angeles 17 January 1934 and was the eldest of 14 children Her Father was a Long Beach Milk Delivery man – in fact Erin grew up in Long Beach where she started singing in Civic Clubs and then was discovered by a LA Television Agent from which she got a regular vappearance on Al Jarvis’ Matinee Show – she stayed there for 3 years.


On 16 June 1951 she married at the age of 17 to Jimmy Fitzgerald a fellow singer – he was 21 years old and that November her son James Patrick was born and then 3 years later another son Gregory Paul was born.




Erin O’Brien

Her film career fared quite well and it did seem to have hit lucky with a leading role in John Paul Jones.

John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones 2


She went to  Spain for three to six months to film John Paul Jones. Though given permission to take her husband with her, was not permitted to  take her two children. So her husband had to  stay at  home in Hollywood and look after them. Spain was chosen for the film because it was  cheaper and because parts of it resemble Virginia.

In June 1958 she got a wonderful reception by the Paris press after finishing John Paul Jones in Spain.


Erin O Brien


ABOVE – Erin O Brien and Robert Stack in ‘John Paul Jones’

However she did have one hitch on the way back home  from France, her plane was forced to make an emergency stop at Shannon, Ireland, because she lost her vaccination certificate in Paris. Among the passengers were 20th Century-Fox production head Buddy Adler, Mitzi Gaynor, and Jack Bean.

Erin  was  embarrassed by all the fuss over the lost certificate. She had to be re-vaccinated in Shannon – if she hadn’t been, all the passengers would have faced quarantine.

When she returned to New York she was no longer under contract to Warner Brothers, where her salary had been $500 a week.

She had been borrowed for John Paul Jones, and Warner Brothers was paid $25,000 for her services. On that one deal alone they made her yearly salary plus $5,000.



Erin O’Brien


Erin O’Brien

Erin divorced her first husband and quite soon afterwards married Kanan A. Awni in Los Angeles. He was 33 and  she was 30. Awni was a petroleum engineer and occasionally did small character parts in films and on TV.

They had two daughters – twin daughters


Erin O’Brien


Erin O’Brien

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Erin O Brien”

  1. David Rayner says:

    A lot of very interesting information there, Neil. But the photo underneath the poster is of Marisa Pavan and not Erin O’Brien. I first saw her on the cinema screen in Warner’s GIRL ON THE RUN, with Efrem Zimbalist Jr (see bottom photo), which was actually the pilot episode of the television series 77 SUNSET STRIP, which, while made for television, was released to cinemas in this country as the supporting film to Warner’s THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. I went to see this programme at my local ABC in February, 1959, as an eleven, going on twelve year old and was real gone on Erin at the time. I also have one of her 1958 singles, Honey Boy. Over the top actresses like Diana Dors and Jayne Mansfield did nothing for me. It was Erin I wanted. Incredible to realise that she’s 86 now.

  2. S Awni says:

    That looks like Erin O’brien. Mom. She is still a sweet, classy, nightingale. Beautiful inside and out.

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