Ona Munson

Active - 1931 - 1955  |   Born - Jun 16, 1903 in Portland, OR  |   Died - Feb 11, 1955 in New York City, NY  |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Western

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An English literature major while in school, American actress Ona Munson forsook academia to work in a variety of show business jobs, ranging from ballet dancer to vaudeville sketch work. Ona made her first film, Head of the Family, in 1928, but it wasn't until 1933 that she would cease juggling film and theater work to settle in Hollywood for good. Adept at comedy, Ms. Munson was nonetheless mired in heavy drama in most of her films, often as the "other woman" in romantic triangles. Before leaving films in 1947 (she committed suicide in 1955 after several years of illness and personal reverses), Munson left behind two indelible cinematic portrayals: Belle Watling, the lady of the evening with the requisite golden heart in Gone With the Wind (1939), and Mother Gin Sling, proprietress of the euphemistically labelled "gambling house" in the exotic melodrama The Shanghai Gesture (1941).

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