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On December 20, 1898 in Louisville, Kentucky Irene Marie Dunne was born. Her father was Joseph Dunne, he inspected steamships for a living and her mother was Adelaide Henry, she was a musician, she is the one that taught Irene about the theater and music. At age 5, Irene made her debut on the stage in a play called "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Her father died, when Irene was 12. After that her and her family moved to Madison, Indiana to live with grandparents.

Irene started taking piano and voice lessons, and started making money by singing in church. She graduated in 1916 and started studying in a music conservatory.In 1917, she was offered a job as a teaching post as a music and art instructor in East Chicago, Indiana, she accepted, but while on her way there she saw an ad in the paper for a scholarship contest it was ran by the Chicago Music College, and Irene won, and Irene study at the Chicago Music College.

After that, she went to New York City, she wanted to add her name to the list of luminaries of the Metropolitan Opera Company. She audition, but was rejected for being too young and inexperienced, but she did get the leading role in a road theater company.

In 1926, she graduated from the Chicago Music College with high honors. In 1928, she married Francis Dennis Griffin, he was dentist.

In 1930, starred in her first movie "Leathernecking". Her second movie was "Cimarron" this movie brought her her first Academy Award Nomination in 1931, but she lost to Marie Dressler for "Min and Bill".

She continued to make movies like: "Roberta" with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, "Magnificent Obsession" with Robert Taylor, "Show Boat" she also played same part on the stage too, "Theodora Goes Wild" this brought her her second Academy Award Nomination in 1937, but she lost to Luise Rainer for "The Great Ziegfeld".

In 1937, she teamed up for the first time with Cary Grant to do "The Awful Truth" this was the first of 3 movies they did together. This also brought Irene her third Academy Award Nomination in 1938, but she lost to Luise Rainer for "The Good Earth".

She continued working doing films like:"When Tomorrow Comes" with Charles Boyer, "Invitation to Happiness" with Fred MacMurray, "Love Affair" with Charles Boyer. This brought Irene her fourth Academy Award Nomination in 1940, but she lost to Vivien Leigh for "Gone with the Wind".

In 1940, she made her second film with Cary Grant it was "My Favorite Wife" they followed it up with another film together called "Penny Serenade". She continued to make movies like: "A Guy Named Joe" with Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson, "The White Cliffs of Dover" with Alan Marshal, "Together Again" with Charles Boyer, "Life with Father" with William Powell, " I Remember Mama" This brought Irene her fifth Academy Award Nomination in 1949, but she lost to Jane Wyman for "Johnny Belinda".

In 1952, she made her last film "It Grows on Trees".In 1957, she was appointed as a special US delegate to the United Nations during the 12th General Assembly by President Dwight Eisenhower. On October 15,1965 Irene's husband Francis Dennis Griffin passed away. On September 4,1990 in Los Angeles, California Irene Dunne passed away she was 91.