According to Scott O'Brien's biography entitled "Virginia Bruce: Under My Skin," and his accompanying article on Virginia for Classic Images (February, 2010), Virginia was "discovered" by director William Beaudine when the young beauty accompanied her aunt, a clothing designer, to the home of a client, Mrs. Beaudine. Virginia played the piano and sang for him that day. Paramount, under Beaudine's suggestion, took an option out on her and placed her in walk-on and bit parts, her first being Beaudine's Fugitives (1929).
After ex-husband John Gilbert died in 1936, she made 14 movies in 16 months.
Coached by Roger Edens her soprano voice was used to introduce the Cole Porter song "I've Got You Under My Skin" to film audiences in the MGM musical Born to Dance (1936), singing the song to James Stewart.
Her daughter Susan Ann Gilbert was born in 1933. She also had a son, Christopher Ruben, in 1941.
Her promising "A" MGM status was hurt following the death of Irving Thalberg. She subsequently was relegated to "B" films.
Her third husband Ali Ipar ventured into a misguided Turkish shipping business that eventually put him behind bars. Virginia was a major contributor to the business.
Lovely but demure, and not especially ambitious or self-promoting, she was prodded by her parents, who were going through financial reversals, to skip her initial plans on a music education at UCLA and pursue film work.
Portrayed soprano Jenny Lind in The Mighty Barnum (1934) and a character loosely based on Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.'s mistress Lillian Lorraine in The Great Ziegfeld (1936).
She was divorced from Ali Ipar for the first time in 1951 when he began his compulsory Turkish army service because Turkish law forbids commissions to men married to foreigners.
Very good friends with Cesar Romero.
Was one of the 20 original The Goldwyn Girls, along with Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard and Ann Sothern.