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Myrna Loy

Myrna Loy was born Myrna Williams on August 2, 1905 in Radersburg, Montana, the daughter of a cattle baron who died when she was twelve. Her family moved to Los Angeles and she was educated at the Westlake School for Girls. She had some stage experience performing in shows at Grauman's Theatre. She was discovered by Mrs. Rudolph Valentino and danced in chorus lines before making her screen debut in Pretty Ladies[1925]. She was often chosen to play exotic femme fatales early in her career because her auburn hair photographed much darker and her features, especially her eyes, suggested her as Oriental. She worked steadily in silent films, including The Jazz Singer [1927].

Loy's weak, high pitched voice made her transition to talkies difficult. She was often cast as Oriental or Mexican vamps in her early sound films. Her performance in Penthouse [1933] convinced the MGM brass to cast her opposite William Powell in the first of the six "Thin Man" features, 1934's The Thin Man in which she portrayed Nora Charles. The film was a huge success and catapaulted her to Hollywood stardom. She became Hollywood's "perfect" wife, bright, witty and humorous. Some of Loy's best appearances include Manhattan Melodrama [1934], the film John Dillinger "just had to see" much to his regret, I'm sure, The Great Ziegfeld [1936], Libeled Lady [1936], Wife vs. Secretary [1936], Test Pilot [1938], and Too Hot to Handle [1938]. In 1937 she was crowned the "Queen of Hollywood" by Ed Sullivan opposite Clark Gable's "King".

Loy took a hiatus from filmmaking during World War II except for a stint as Nora Charles to devote herself to Red Cross work and selling war bonds.

She returned to the movies in 1946 making such notable films as The Best Years of Our Lives [1946], Song of the Thin Man [1947], the last of the series, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer [1947], Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House [1948], The Red Pony [1949], Cheaper by the Dozen [1950], and its sequel Belles on Their Toes [1952].

She became more involved with politics and only acted occasionally from the 1950's through the rest of her life. For five years (1949-54) she served as a film advisor for UNESCO and she served as an advisor to the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing. She appeared in Midnight Lace and From the Terrace in 1960, The April Fools [1969], Airport 1975 [1974], The End [1978], and Just Tell Me What You Want [1980]. She starred in several films for television and made her Broadway debut in 1973 in a revival of "The Women".

On a personal note, her autobiography "Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming" was published in 1987. Her hobbies included dancing and sculpting. She was married to: Howland H. Sergeant (1951 - 1960) (divorced), Gene Markey (1946 - 1950) (divorced), John Hertz Jr. (1942 - 1944) (divorced) and Arthur Hornblow Jr. (1936 - 1942) (divorced). She received an honorary Academy Award in 1991. Myrna Loy passed away in New York City during surgery on December 14, 1993.

Myrna Loy

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AWARD
YEAR
AWARD NAME
Academy Award
1991
Lifetime Achievement Award
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award
1983
Career Achievement Award
National Board of Review
1979
Career Achievement Award

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FILMOGRAPHY


loybt Summer Solstice (1981) (TV)
loybt Just Tell Me What You Want (1980) ~~ Stella Liberti
loybt End, The (1978) ~~ Maureen Lawson
loybt It Happened at Lakewood Manor (1977) (TV) ~~ Ethel Adams
loybt Airport 1975 (1974) ~~ Mrs. Devaney
loybt Elevator, The (1974/I) (TV) ~~ Amanda Kenyon
loybt Indict and Convict (1973) (TV)
loybt Couple Takes a Wife, The (1972) (TV) ~~ Mother
loybt Columbo: Étude in Black (1972) (TV) ~~ Lizzy Fielding
loybt Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate (1971) (TV) ~~ Evelyn Tryon
loybt Death Takes a Holiday (1971) (TV) ~~ Selena Chapman
loybt April Fools, The (1969) ~~ Grace Greenlaw
loybt Midnight Lace (1960) ~~ Aunt Bea
loybt From the Terrace (1960) ~~ Martha Eaton
loybt Lonelyhearts (1959) ~~ Florence Shrike
loybt Ambassador's Daughter, The (1956) ~~ Mrs. Cartwright
loybt Belles on Their Toes (1952) ~~ Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth
loybt Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) ~~ Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth
loybt If This Be Sin (1949) ~~ Lady Cathy Brooke
loybt Red Pony, The (1949) ~~ Alice Tiflin
loybt Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) ~~ Muriel Blandings
loybt Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, The (1947) ~~ Judge Margaret Turner
loybt Senator Was Indiscreet, The (1947) (uncredited) ~~ Mrs. Ashton (cameo)
loybt Song of the Thin Man (1947) ~~ Nora Charles
loybt Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946) ~~ Milly Stephenson
loybt So Goes My Love (1946) ~~ Jane
loybt Thin Man Goes Home, The (1945) ~~ Nora Charles
loybt Show Business at War (1943) ~~ Herself
loybt Love Crazy (1941) ~~ Susan Ireland
loybt Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) ~~ Nora Charles
loybt I Love You Again (1940) ~~ Kay Wilson
loybt Third Finger, Left Hand (1940) ~~ Margot Sherwood Merrick
loybt Another Thin Man (1939) ~~ Nora Charles
loybt Lucky Night (1939) ~~ Cora Jordan
loybt Rains Came, The (1939) ~~ Lady Edwina Esketh
loybt Test Pilot (1938) ~~ Ann Barton
loybt Man-Proof (1938) ~~ Mimi Swift
loybt Too Hot to Handle (1938) ~~ Alma Harding
loybt Double Wedding (1937) ~~ Margit Agnew
loybt Parnell (1937) ~~ Katie O'Shea
loybt Libeled Lady (1936) ~~ Connie Allenbury
loybt To Mary - with Love (1936) ~~ Mary Wallace
loybt Great Ziegfeld, The (1936) ~~ Billie Burke
loybt Wife vs. Secretary (1936) ~~ Linda Stanhope
loybt After the Thin Man (1936) ~~ Nora Charles
loybt Petticoat Fever (1936) ~~ Irene Campton
loybt Whipsaw (1935) ~~ Vivian Palmer
loybt Wings in the Dark (1935) ~~ Sheila Mason
loybt Broadway Bill (1934) ~~ Alice 'Princess' Higgins
loybt Manhattan Melodrama (1934) ~~ Eleanor Packer
loybt Evelyn Prentice (1934) ~~ Evelyn Prentice
loybt Men in White (1934) ~~ Laura
loybt Stamboul Quest (1934) ~~ Annemarie
loybt Thin Man, The (1934) ~~ Nora Charles
loybt Prizefighter and the Lady, The (1933) ~~ Belle Mercer Morgan
loybt When Ladies Meet (1933) ~~ Mary Howard
loybt Scarlet River (1933) ~~ Herself
loybt Barbarian, The (1933) ~~ Diana
loybt Night Flight (1933) ~~ Wife of Brazilian Pilot
loybt Penthouse (1933) ~~ Gertie Waxted
loybt Topaze (1933) ~~ Coco
loybt Thirteen Women (1932) ~~ Ursula Georgi
loybt Love Me Tonight (1932) ~~ Countess Valentine
loybt Animal Kingdom, The (1932) ~~ Cecelia Henry Collier
loybt Emma (1932) ~~ Isabelle
loybt Mask of Fu Manchu, The (1932) ~~ Fah Lo See
loybt New Morals for Old (1932) ~~ Myra
loybt Vanity Fair (1932) ~~ Becky Sharp
loybt Wet Parade, The (1932) ~~ Eileen Pinchon
loybt Woman in Room 13, The (1932) ~~ Sari Loder
loybt Arrowsmith (1931) ~~ Joyce Lanyon
loybt Body and Soul (1931) ~~ Alice Lester
loybt Connecticut Yankee, A (1931) ~~ Morgan le Fay
loybt Consolation Marriage (1931) ~~ Elaine Brandon
loybt Hush Money (1931) ~~ Flo Curtis
loybt Naughty Flirt, The (1931) ~~ Linda Gregory
loybt Rebound (1931) ~~ Evie Lawrence
loybt Skyline (1931) ~~ Paula Lambert
loybt Transatlantic (1931) ~~ Kay Graham
loybt Rogue of the Rio Grande (1930) ~~ Carmita
loybt Renegades (1930) ~~ Eleanore
loybt Bad Man, The (1930)
loybt Jazz Cinderella, The (1930) ~~ Mildred Vane
loybt Last of the Duanes, The (1930/I) ~~ Bland's wife
loybt Bride of the Regiment (1930) ~~ Sophie
loybt Cock o' the Walk (1930) ~~ Narita
loybt Under a Texas Moon (1930) ~~ Lolita Romero
loybt Isle of Escape (1930) ~~ Moira
loybt Cameo Kirby (1930) ~~ Lea
loybt Devil to Pay!, The (1930) ~~ Susan Hale
loybt Truth About Youth, The (1930) ~~ Kara, the Firefly
loybt Evidence (1929) ~~ Native Girl
loybt Black Watch, The (1929) ~~ Yasmini
loybt Squall, The (1929) ~~ Nubi
loybt Desert Song, The (1929) ~~ Azuri
loybt Hardboiled Rose (1929) ~~ Rose Duhamel
loybt Fancy Baggage (1929) ~~ Myrna
loybt Great Divide, The (1929) ~~ Manuella
loybt Noah's Ark (1929) ~~ Dancer/Slave Girl
loybt Show of Shows, The (1929) ~~ Guest
loybt Pay as You Enter (1928) ~~ Yvonne De Russo
loybt Crimson City, The (1928) ~~ Isobel/State Street Sadie
loybt Turn Back the Hours (1928) ~~ Tiza Torreon
loybt Girl in Every Port, A (1928) (uncredited) ~~ Girl in China
loybt What Price Beauty? (1928) ~~ Vamp
loybt Beware of Married Men (1928) ~~ Juanita Sheldon
loybt Midnight Taxi, The (1928) ~~ Gertie Fairfax
loybt Ham and Eggs at the Front (1927) ~~ Fifi
loybt If I Were Single (1927) ~~ Joan Whitley
loybt Girl from Chicago, The (1927) ~~ Mary Carlton
loybt Jazz Singer, The (1927) (uncredited) ~~ Chorus Girl
loybt Sailor's Sweetheart, A (1927) ~~ Claudette Ralston
loybt Heart of Maryland, The (1927) ~~ Mulatta
loybt Simple Sis (1927) ~~ Edith Van
loybt Climbers, The (1927) ~~ Countess Veya
loybt Bitter Apples (1927) ~~ Belinda White
loybt Finger Prints (1927) ~~ Vamp
loybt When a Man Loves (1927) (uncredited) ~~ Convict Extra
loybt Ben-Hur (1926) (uncredited) ~~ Bit Part
loybt Third Degree, The (1926) (uncredited) ~~ Bit Part
loybt Across the Pacific (1926) ~~ Roma
loybt Don Juan (1926) ~~ Mai, Lady in Waiting
loybt So This Is Paris (1926) ~~ Maid
loybt Exquisite Sinner (1926) ~~ Living Statue
loybt Gilded Highway, The (1926) ~~ Inez Quartz
loybt Why Girls Go Back Home (1926) ~~ Sally Short
loybt Love Toy, The (1926) (uncredited) ~~ Bit Part
loybt Caveman, The (1926) ~~ Maid
loybt Sporting Life (1925) (uncredited) ~~ Chorus Girl
loybt Pretty Ladies (1925) (uncredited) ~~ Bit Part

TV APPEARANCES OF NOTE

loybt "Ironside" (1967) playing "Andrea" 2/22/1973
loybt "Virginian, The" (1962) in episode: "Lady of the House" 4/5/1967
loybt "Family Affair" (1966) playing "Adele" in episode: "Helping Hand, A" 2/6/1967
loybt "General Electric Theater" (1953) in episode: "It Gives Me Great Pleasure" 4/3/1955

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