Myrna Loy

Active - 1925 - 1981  |   Born - Aug 2, 1905 in Radersburg, Montana, United States  |   Died - Dec 14, 1993 in New York City, NY  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Crime, Mystery

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Biography

During the late 1930s, when Clark Gable was named the King of Hollywood, Myrna Loy was elected the Queen. The legendary actress, who started her career as a dancer, moved into silent films and was typecast for a few years as exotic women. Her film titles from those early years include Arrowsmith (1931), Love Me Tonight (1932), The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932), and Manhattan Melodrama (1934), the film that gangster John Dillinger just had to see the night he was killed. Starting in 1934, with The Thin Man, opposite William Powell, she became Hollywood's ideal wife: bright, witty, humorous. She and Powell were often teamed throughout the '30s and '40s, and many of the characters she played were strong, independent, adventurous women. In addition to The Thin Man series, Loy's best appearances included The Great Ziegfeld (1936), Libeled Lady (1936), Wife vs. Secretary (1936), Test Pilot (1938), and Too Hot to Handle (1938). She took a break from filmmaking during WWII to work with the Red Cross, and in her later years she devoted as much time to politics as to acting (among her accomplishments, Loy became the first film star to work with the United Nations). She stands out in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), Cheaper by the Dozen (1950), and its sequel Belles on Their Toes (1952). She received an honorary Oscar in 1991, two years before her death.

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • Began her career as a chorus-line dancer at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
  • Starred opposite William Powell in the popular Thin Man film series.
  • Worked with the Red Cross during World War II and later with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • Was a founding member of the American Place Theatre, a nonprofit theater established in New York in the early '60s.
  • Her autobiography, Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming, was published in 1987.