Evelyn Venable also had star status with her students
by Joe Elliott
Stunning small-town Midwestern girl, smart and popular in school, joins drama club, grabs leads in school plays, tours with professional acting troupe, gets discovered by big-time Hollywood producer, becomes film star appearing with such celebrities as Shirley Temple, Katharine Hepburn and W.C. Fields
Although it could have been the basis of a classic movie script, the scenario describes the life of UC alumna Evelyn Venable, att. '33. At least, it's half her story. Long after she stepped away from cameras, the Hollywood starlet entered a new kind of performance space, one in which she transformed herself into a distinguished teacher whose legacy still lives on today nearly two decades after her death.
Born in Cincinnati in 1913, Evelyn was the only child of a tight-knit family that valued education above all else. Her father, Emerson, was an English instructor and classics scholar. Her grandfather, William Henry Venable, was a teacher and a noted author of 20 books of poetry and history.