Quinn was born Katherine Lester in 1911 in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was orphaned aged nine and adopted by the American film director, Cecil B. DeMille and his wife.
She became an actress herself, appearing (as Katherine DeMille) in 27 films from 1931 to 1956, including Man from Del Rio, Unconquered and Call of the Wild.
From 1936 to 1963 she was married to the actor Anthony Quinn.
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