Gary Merrill


Actor
Gary Merrill

About

Also Known As
Cpl. Garry Merrill
Birth Place
Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Born
August 02, 1915
Died
March 05, 1990
Cause of Death
Cancer

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 backst...

Family & Companions

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

Bibliography

"Bette, Rita and the Rest of My Life"
Gary Merrill with John Cole (1988)

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.

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.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Piece Touchee (1989)
Himself
Thieves (1977)
Huckleberry Finn (1974)
Pueblo (1973)
Admiral Thomas H Moorer
Earth II (1971)
Walter Dietrich
The Secret of the Sacred Forest (1970)
Mike Parks
Then Came Bronson (1969)
Inspector Otis
The Power (1968)
Mark Corlane
The Last Challenge (1967)
Squint Calloway
Clambake (1967)
Sam Burton
The Incident (1967)
Douglas McCann
Hondo And The Apaches (1967)
Destination Inner Space (1966)
Dr. Le Satier
Ride Beyond Vengeance (1966)
Dub Stokes
Around the World Under the Sea (1966)
Dr. August Boren
Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)
Pentagon Chief of Staff
Dangerous Days Of Kiowa Jones (1966)
The Woman Who Wouldn't Die (1965)
Raymond Garth
A Girl Named Tamiko (1962)
Max Wilson
The Great Impostor (1961)
Pa Demara
The Pleasure of His Company (1961)
James Dougherty
Mysterious Island (1961)
Gideon Spilett
The Savage Eye (1960)
The poet
The Wonderful Country (1959)
Major Colton
Crash Landing (1958)
Capt. Steve Williams
The Missouri Traveler (1958)
Doyle Magee
Navy Wife (1956)
Cmdr. Jack Blain
The Human Jungle (1954)
Capt. John "Danny" Danforth
Witness to Murder (1954)
Lawrence Mathews
The Black Dakotas (1954)
Brock Marsh, also known as Zachary Paige
A Blueprint for Murder (1953)
Fred Sargent
Another Man's Poison (1952)
George Bates
Night Without Sleep (1952)
Richard Morton
Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)
David Trask
The Girl in White (1952)
Dr. Seth Pawling
Decision Before Dawn (1951)
Col. Devlin
The Frogmen (1951)
Lt. Cmdr. Pete Vincent
All About Eve (1950)
Bill Simpson [Sampson]
Mother Didn't Tell Me (1950)
Dr. Peter Roberts
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
Tommy Scalise
Slattery's Hurricane (1949)
Commander E. T. Kramer
Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
Col. [Keith] Davenport
The Quiet One (1949)
Narrator
Strange Victory (1948)
Narrator
Strange Victory (1948)
Winged Victory (1944)
Capt. McIntyre

Cast (Special)

The Making of Liberty (1986)
Narrator
The World of Darkness (1977)
Dr Thomas Madsen (Guest)
The Jackie Gleason Special (1973)
The Star Maker (1958)
The Lady Died at Midnight (1958)
Paul Gorman

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

The Seekers (1979)

Life Events

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)

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"

Photo Collections

Mysterious Island (1961) - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Columbia's Mysterious Island (1961), featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Mysterious Island (1961) - Listen Captain Nemo After the pirate ship sinks, Herbert and Elena (Michael Callan, Beth Rogan) rush back, then Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom) finally emerges, conversing with Spillett, Lady Mary and Captain Harding (Gary Merrill, Joan Greenwood, Michael Craig), over an hour into Mysterious Island, 1961.
Mysterious Island (1961) - Cook In A Slow Oven Spillett (Gary Merrill) is having a swim when a new Ray Harryhausen beast appears, Lady Mary and Elena (Joan Greenwood, Beth Rogan) attempt to resist, soldier Herbert (Michael Callan) finally interceding, hard times for the Civil War refugees on Jules Verne's Mysterious Island, 1961.
Mysterious Island (1961) - Mighty Big Crab Civil War POW's Captain Harding (Michael Craig) and "Neb" (Dan Jackson) encounter the first big Ray Harryhausen monster, a crab, Spillett, Pencroft and Brown (Gary Merrill, Percy Herbert, Michael Callan) rushing to help, in the Columbia, Charles H. Schneer version of Mysterious Island, 1961.
Blueprint For Murder, A (1953) - The Same Kind Of Convulsions This is how we learn that the young niece of Joseph Cotten, as visiting businessman “Cam” Cameron, died the evening before after a second unexplained seizure, as we meet his friends, Gary Merrill and Catherine McLeod, as lawyer Fred and freelance reporter Maggie, discussing her father’s earlier death, in A Blueprint For Murder, 1953.
All About Eve (1950) - We Theater Folk At the party hosted by well-lit Margo (Bette Davis), her husband, director Bill (Gary Merrill) and critic Addison (George Sanders) hold court for the plucky Miss Casswell (Marilyn Monroe) and ambitious assistant Eve (Anne Baxter), et al, in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's All About Eve, 1950.
All About Eve (1950) - Fasten Your Seat Belts Friend Karen (Celeste Holm), her playwright husband (Hugh Marlowe) and producer Max (Gregory Ratoff) stand back as actress-hostess Margo (Bette Davis) delivers her famous line in All About Eve, 1950, then joins critic DeWitt (George Sanders), Marilyn Monroe on his arm, and protegè Eve (Anne Baxter).
Where The Sidewalk Ends (1950) - I'm Getting Richer Consulting with just-demoted cop Dixon (Dana Andrews) and Klein (Bert Freed) ex-con Willie (Don Appell) leads us to the casino run by Scalise (Gary Merrill), where Texan Morrison (Harry von Zell), is entertained by Morgan (Gene Tierney) and her almost-ex husband Paine (Craig Stevens), in Otto Preminger's Where The Sidewalk Ends, 1950.
Phone Call From A Stranger (1952) - You're All Married Binky (top-billed Shelley Winters), nervous about the weather before her first airplane flight, makes a second approach to Gary Merrill, whom we know is leaving his wife and traveling under an assumed name, when they’re joined by Keenan Wynn and Michael Rennie, with extensive exposition, in Jean Negulesco’s Phone Call From A Stranger, 1952, produced and written by Nunnally Johnson from an I.A.R. Wylie novelette.
Phone Call From A Stranger (1952) - Even Though You're Still In Love With Her? Gary Merrill as lawyer Trask visits Bette Davis (Mrs. Merrill, at the time) as Marie, last of the next-of-kin of his fellow travelers who didn’t survive the airline crash, surprised she isn’t the swimsuit ingenue from the photograph her boorish husband showed, in Phone Call From A Stranger, 1952, from an I.A.R. Wylie story.
Twelve O'Clock High (1949) - I Signed The Field Order General Savage (Gregory Peck, his first scene), receives his friend, flight commander Colonel Davenport (Gary Merrill), to discuss a dangerous new mission, following a series of severe losses to American bomber squadrons in England, circa 1942, in Henry King's Twelve O'Clock High, 1949.
Wonderful Country, The (1959) - They Don't Stay Very Pretty Forthright Texas Ranger captain Rucker (Albert Dekker) speaks to hired gun Brady (Robert Mitchum) about Ellen (Julie London), the center of attention at a party hosted by her husband Major Colton (Gary Merrill), with whom he soon initiates a difficult conversation, in The Wonderful Country, 1959.
All About Eve (1950) - The Sarah Siddons Award Nothing beats a George Sanders opening narration, as critic Addison DeWitt, writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz introducing indirectly Hugh Marlowe and Garry Merrill, then Celeste Holm, Gregory Ratoff and Bette Davis, with reference to star Anne Baxter, in the celebrated showbiz melodrama, All About Eve, 1950.

Trailer

Family

Jerry Merrill
Brother
Margot Merrill
Daughter
Adopted; born mentally handicapped.
Michael Merrill
Son
Attorney. Adopted.

Companions

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

Bibliography

"Bette, Rita and the Rest of My Life"
Gary Merrill with John Cole (1988)

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.