Nola Fairbanks

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Nola Fairbanks (born Nola Jo Modine on December 10, 1924 in Santa Paula, California) is the granddaughter of Mormon pioneers Ralph Jacobus Fairbanks (aka R.J. "Dad" Fairbanks) and Celestia Adelaide Johnson Fairbanks from Payson, Utah and Death Valley, California and has done film and Broadway work. She is a descendant of Jonathan Fairbanks whose 17th century wood frame house still stands in Dedham, Massachusetts. She is also the aunt of actor Matthew Modine.

As a child, she joined the Meglin Kiddies Dance Troup where Shirley Temple was also a student. While her father, Alexander Revard Modine, worked for the Texaco Oil Company, Nola Jo's mother, Zella Vonola Fairbanks Modine, washed clothes to pay for her singing and dancing lessons during the Great Depression.

Modine's first movie role was as a "glorified extra" in The Corn Is Green in 1945, starring Bette Davis. Soon after, she joined the Lionel Barrymore production of the musical, Halloween at the Hollywood Bowl, and performed on The Standard Hour in addition to the Hollywood Canteen for servicemen.

Next, she went on tour as a soloist with the Sonja Henie Ice Show, completing two national tours. When the tours ended in New York, she stayed on with the show, named Howdy Mr. Ice at the Center Theatre in Rockefeller Center.

Nola's Broadway debut was in 1950 in the chorus of Cole Porter's Out of This World. She soon became an understudy and...
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