Joan Chaffee went from a college educated high society girl to brief flashes of glory in the papers as another one of the Goldwyn Girls, only to end up in obscurity a very short time later.
Elizabeth Joan Chaffee was born on January 19, 1925, in Los Angeles, to Harry Chaffee and Frances J. Anderson, their first and only child.
Her parents lived in Beverly Hills and were very well off. Joan grew up in a loving, nurturing environment and started dancing as a child.
Her parents divorced in the 1930s, and she continued living with her mother in Beverly Hills. In 1943, she enrolled into the UCLA. She did some amateur dramatics at the UCLA theater and was noticed by a talent scout who steered her towards a movie career.
She was one of the many Goldwyn girls in Up in Arms, a nice, fluffy, happy go lucky movie designated to make your day a bit sunnier. While not a masterpiece by any account, not something so deep it will leave you thinking, it’s more than adequate for the musical escapist fare. The cast, Danny Kaye, Dinah Shore, Dana Andrews and so on, are all very good .
Her second and last movie was Belle of the Yukon is solely remembered today as a showcase for the famous burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee. And add an impressive roster of B tier actors. Nothing else is especially notable about it. No tension, muddled plot.
Joan retired from movie acting afterwards.
Very slim information here. She hit the papers in 1942/1943, but it was never related to her personal life.
In 1943, she was a part of a publicity stunt devised by Sam Goldwyn to shame a hermit living in Los Angeles Hills into taking a job and living a more typical existence. One afternoon Goldwyn sent sent the Virginia Cruzon, Dorothy Garner, Virginia Mayo and her to do the picketing, plus two photographers to record it for the papers.
Joan left movies in 1944 and got married not long after. She entered a new career in 1945, but the paper refused to disclose it, claiming it was all hush hush, so I never found out what exactly did she do. She got divorced from her first husband prior to 1950.
Joan married her second husband, William E. Watson, on June 7, 1952, in California. William was born in 1922. Joan divorced her husband at some point and moved to the East coast. She became a film editor, and worked in New York City until her retirement n the late 1990s, when she moved to Connecticut.
Joan Chaffee died in Sharon, Connecticut, on April 4, 2002.