Carmel Myers

Active - 1916 - 1976  |   Born - Apr 4, 1899   |   Died - Nov 9, 1980   |   Genres - Drama, Romance

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Those latter-day historians who deride director D.W. Griffith for his alleged anti-Semitism should take note that one of his most famous protégées was Carmel Myers, the daughter of a San Francisco rabbi. Making her film debut with Griffith's Triangle company in 1916, the bewitchingly beautiful Myers went on to star opposite such luminaries as Douglas Fairbanks, John Barrymore, and Rudolph Valentino. She developed into one of screendom's most alluring "vamps," never more so than as Iras in the 1926 version of Ben-Hur. Surviving the talkie revolution, she played a number of good character parts, notably as Barrymore's cast-off mistress in Svengali (1931). Officially retiring in the mid-'40s, Myers resurfaced as a Los Angeles TV hostess in the 1950s; her 15-minute interview series The Carmel Myers Show was picked up by the ABC network in 1951. She continued sporadically accepting acting roles into the 1970s, showing up as herself on an episode of TV's Sanford and Son, and joining dozens of other movie veterans to play a cameo role in the 1976 feature Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood. The sister of screenwriter Zion Myers, Carmel Myers was also the mother of novelist Ralph Blum and actresses Susan Adams Kennedy and Mary Ufland.

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