In 1927, while closing the library she worked at, she was raped by a police officer. He told her he would kill her if she told anyone. She kept her silence for decades, until finally telling her grown daughter. She went public with this in her memoirs.
Her son, Norman Scott, was born on November 2, 1934. He was born in the breach position, with the cord wrapped around his neck. Her labor was complicated, due to a fractured coccyx, and lasted twenty hours.
Mother of Norman S. Powell from her marriage to George Barnes. He was adopted by Dick Powell in February, 1938. Mother of Ellen Powell from her marriage to Dick Powell.
Her daughter Ellen was born in 1938.
According to the July 24, 1944, issue of Time Magazine, Blondell divorced Dick Powell on the grounds of cruelty alleging that "when she objected to the incessant coming and going of guests, Powell crooned: 'If you don't like it, you can get the hell out.'".
Was nominated for Broadway's 1958 Tony Award as best supporting or featured actress (dramatic) for The Rope Dancers.
She has a granddaughter, Joanie (born circa 1961) from daughter Ellen.
In the UK sitcom "Dad's Army" (1968), Private Pike has a crush on her and has dozens of pictures of her on his bedroom walls.
Her daughter Ellen had a long battle with cocaine that she overcame in 1984.
Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" by Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).