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Myrna Loy

Myrna Loy

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Also Known As: Myrna Williams Died: December 14, 1993
Born: August 2, 1905 Cause of Death: complications from surgery
Birth Place: Raidersburg, Montana, USA Profession: actor, dancer, dance instructor, film advisor for UNESCO

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

With her almond-shaped eyes, tilted-up nose, and ladylike but wry and relaxed manner, Myrna Loy was one of Hollywood's most popular actresses of the 1930s and maintained that stardom for decades. She came to embody the perfect wife--sympathetic, wise and sexy--opposite William Powell, Clark Gable and others. Loy was the ultimate proof that marriage and companionship in the movies need not be an exercise in mutual henpecking or a mere happy ending, but rather something fun and exciting in and of itself.

With her almond-shaped eyes, tilted-up nose, and ladylike but wry and relaxed manner, Myrna Loy was one of Hollywood's most popular actresses of the 1930s and maintained that stardom for decades. She came to embody the perfect wife--sympathetic, wise and sexy--opposite William Powell, Clark Gable and others. Loy was the ultimate proof that marriage and companionship in the movies need not be an exercise in mutual henpecking or a mere happy ending, but rather something fun and exciting in and of itself.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) (Archival Footage)
2.
 Just Tell Me What You Want (1980) Stella Liberti
3.
 The End (1978) Maureen Lawson
4.
 Ants (1977) Ethel Adams
5.
 It's Showtime (1976) Herself
6.
 Airport '75 (1975) Tipsy Mrs Devaney
7.
 Elevator, The (1974) Amanda Kenyon
8.
 Indict and Convict (1973) Judge Christine Taylor
9.
 Couple Takes a Wife, The (1972) Mother
10.
 Death Takes a Holiday (1971) Selena Chapman
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1912:
Family moved to Helena, MT when Loy was 7
1916:
Took part in a family trip to California which included a tour of the Universal Studios
1917:
Took dancing lessons from a Miss Alice Thompson; performed in a fundraising event in Helena and later repeated her "Bluebird" performance at a nearby Army base (date approximate)
1918:
Moved with family to California after the death of her father
1923:
Joined the chorus line of the pre-feature show at Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood at age 18 (date approximate)
1925:
Made film debut in "Pretty Ladies"; also played a bit part that year in the filming of the massive Biblical epic "Ben Hur"
1925:
Adopted name "Myrna Loy", suggested by a poet friend
1925:
Signed five-year contract with Warner Bros.
1930:
Signed one-year contract with Fox
1931:
Signed contract with MGM
1932:
Supporting role in musical comedy "Love Me Tonight" was a turning point in career, start the breaking of her typecasting as exotic vamps
1933:
Roles in "The Prizefighter and the Lady" and "Penthouse" complete transformation of image to that of sympathetic American romantic leads
1933:
First of seven films opposite Clark Gable, "Night Flight"
1934:
First of 14 teamings with William Powell, "Manhattan Melodrama"
1936:
Voted the number one box-office star by US theater owners
1938:
Voted "Queen of the Movies" in "New York Daily News" poll
1938:
Last film opposite Gable, "Too Hot to Handle"
1942:
Moved to New York
:
Put her film career on hold to work for the New York Red Cross as assistant head of welfare activities for much of the duration of WWII; also arranged entertainment for over 50 military hospitals and worked at stage door canteens
1947:
Founding member of the Committee of the First Amendment
1947:
Last of the "Thin Man" series of films opposite William Powell, "Song of the Thin Man"
1947:
Made last appearance with Powell, in a cameo role as his wife near the end of "The Senator Was Indiscreet"
1948:
After WWII, became a member of the US National Commission for UNESCO; first Hollywood celebrity to work for the United Nations; helped organize its Hollywood Film Committee
1950:
Went to England to star in the film, "If This Be Sin"
:
Active as a member of UNESCO's U.S. Commission
1956:
Took second billing to another actress for the first time in 20 years (since she and Jean Harlow co-starred with Powell and Spencer Tracy in "Libeled Lady" 1936) when she played a major but supporting role in "The Ambassador's Daughter", starring Olivia de Havilland and John Forsythe
1960:
Stage debut in "Marriage-go-Round"
:
Played the heroine's mother in a touring stage production of Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park"
1969:
Returned to features after a nine-year absence to play a supporting role opposite Charles Boyer in "The April Fools", starring Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve
1973:
Made Broadway debut in a revival of Clare Boothe Luce's comedy, "The Women"
1974:
Toured in "Don Juan in Hell" with Ricardo Montalban, Edward Mulhare, and Kurt Kasznar
1980:
Final film appearance, "Just Tell Me What You Want"
1981:
Last acting role: starring opposite Henry Fonda in the acclaimed made-for-TV movie, "Summer Solstice"
1983:
Career feted in a syndicated documentary TV special, "Legends of the Screen"
1985:
Received tribute at Carnegie Hall in New York hosted by Lauren Bacall
1990:
Documentary profile, "Myrna Loy: So Nice to Come Home To", produced by and aired on cable network station TNT, hosted by Kathleen Turner
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Westlake School for Girls: Los Angeles , California -
Venice High School: Venice , California -

Notes

Myrna Loy twice made the annual nationwide exhibitors poll of top ten boxoffice stars, placing 10th in 1937 and 8th in 1938.

She was former advisor and officer, National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Arthur Hornblow Jr. Producer. Married 1936-42.
husband:
John Hertz Jr. Car-rental and advertising executive. Married 1942-44; heir to the Hertz Rent-a-Car company fortune.
husband:
Gene Markey. Producer, screenwriter. Married 1946-50.
husband:
Howland Sergeant. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for public affairs. Married 1951-60.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
David Williams. Cattleman. Died in the influenza epidemic of 1918; named his daughter after a railroad watering spot; was also a Montana state legislator who lobbied in support of Woodrow Wilson's push for the League of Nations.
mother:
Della Williams. Singer. Parents were of Welsh and Scottish extraction.
brother:
David Williams.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming" Alfred A. Knopf
"Myrna Loy" Pyramid Books

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