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Gary Merrill

Gary Merrill

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Also Known As: Cpl. Garry Merrill Died: March 5, 1990
Born: August 2, 1915 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Hartford, Connecticut, USA Profession: actor, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A rugged, deep-voiced stage actor who made his first film appearances in "This Is the Army" (1943) and "Winged Victory" (1944), Merrill gained attention in a fine turn supporting Gregory Peck in "Twelve O'Clock High" (1949). He came to prominence opposite future wife Bette Davis in a splendid performance as a cynical and hot-tempered but ultimately reasonable stage director in the backstage comedy-drama "All About Eve" (1950). A likable and reliable performer, he went on to play a number of earnest leads and secondary parts, mostly with 20th Century-Fox, through the 1970s. His 1988 autobiography "Bette, Rita and the Rest of My Life" chronicled his turbulent 10-year marriage to Davis (1950-60) and his affair with actor-dancer Rita Hayworth.

A rugged, deep-voiced stage actor who made his first film appearances in "This Is the Army" (1943) and "Winged Victory" (1944), Merrill gained attention in a fine turn supporting Gregory Peck in "Twelve O'Clock High" (1949). He came to prominence opposite future wife Bette Davis in a splendid performance as a cynical and hot-tempered but ultimately reasonable stage director in the backstage comedy-drama "All About Eve" (1950). A likable and reliable performer, he went on to play a number of earnest leads and secondary parts, mostly with 20th Century-Fox, through the 1970s. His 1988 autobiography "Bette, Rita and the Rest of My Life" chronicled his turbulent 10-year marriage to Davis (1950-60) and his affair with actor-dancer Rita Hayworth.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Piece Touchee (1989) Himself
2.
 Thieves (1977) Street Man
3.
 Huckleberry Finn (1974) Pap
4.
 Pueblo (1973) Admiral Thomas H Moorer
5.
 Earth II (1971) Walter Dietrich
6.
 The Secret of the Sacred Forest (1970) Mike Parks
7.
 Then Came Bronson (1969) Inspector Otis
8.
 The Power (1968) Mark Corlane
9.
 The Last Challenge (1967) Squint Calloway
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Spent formative years in New England, mostly in Connecticut and Maine
:
After college, moved to NYC to pursue an acting career
:
Joined the touring company of "Brother Rat"
:
Appeared on Broadway with Milton Berle in "See My Lawyer"
:
Drafted into the US Army
1943:
Film debut in "This Is the Army"
1944:
Appeared in "Winged Victory"
1946:
Starred on Broadway in "Born Yesterday" opposite Judy Holliday and Paul Douglas
1949:
Returned to films in "Slattery's Hurricane"
1950:
Had perhaps best-known role as stage director Bill Sampson in "All About Eve"
1952:
Co-starred in "Decision Before Dawn"
1954:
Had starring role in "Justice" (NBC)
:
Hosted and narrated the ABC special "The Valiant Years", about Winston Churchill
1964:
Appeared as the city editor on the short-lived CBS series "The Reporter"
1966:
Cast as the Pentagon Chief of Staff in "Cast a Giant Shadow"
1967:
Co-starred in "The Incident"
1972:
Played Dr. Gillespie on the syndicated "Young Dr. Kildare"
1973:
Had featured role in the acclaimed ABC drama special "Pueblo"
1974:
Portrayed Pap Finn in the feature version of "Huckleberry Finn"
1977:
Last feature film, "Thieves"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Bowdoin College: Brunswick , Maine -
Trinity College: Hartford , Connecticut -

Notes

"I got into acting because of my voice which was pretty deep for a student. So, I got the part as a villain when I was in school. Once I heard the applause, I was hooked!" --Merrill to author Charles P. Mitchell, from "Garry Merrill: A Thinking Man's Actor" in Classic Images, November 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Barbara Leeds. Actor. Married in 1941; divorced in 1950.
wife:
Bette Davis. Actor. Married in 1950; divorced in 1960.
companion:
Rita Hayworth. Actor, dancer. Had four-year relationship.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Jerry Merrill.
daughter:
Margot Merrill. Adopted; born mentally handicapped.
son:
Michael Merrill. Attorney. Adopted.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Bette, Rita and the Rest of My Life"

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