Myrna Loy ~ Hollywood's Ideal Wife

Myrna Loy In Color

Myrna Loy was a popular movie star known for playing the perfect wife.

She was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905, in Helena, Montana. Her father was a rancher who died when she was twelve. Soon after her mother moved the family to Southern California. Myrna attended the Westlake School for Girls and worked at Grauman's Chinese Theater. She began her acting career as an extra in The Wanderer and Pretty Ladies. Then she landed a supporting role in the drama What Price Beauty? with Nita Naldi. The twenty year old was signed by Warner Brothers in 1925. Myrna appeared in the films Across The Pacific, Don Juan, and The Desert Song. With her dark hair and exotic looks she found herself typecast as a foreign vamp. When her contract with Warner Brothers ended she was signed by MGM. She costarred with Ramon Navarro in The Barbarian and with Boris Karloff in The Mask of Fu Manchu. Then in 1934 she was teamed up with William Powell to make the comedy The Thin Man. It was a huge hit and her sexy image was changed to the ideal wife. Myrna and William became one of Hollywood's most popular screen teams. They made fourteen movies together including Another Thin Man, Libeled Lady, The Great Ziegfeld. In 1936 she married producer Arthur Hornblow Jr. Although she wanted to be a mother a botched abortion had left her unable to have children. She was now one of the highest paid actresses at MGM and she was voted the "Queen Of Hollywood".

Myrna Loy

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  Myrna became close friends with Joan Crawford and Jean Harlow, her costar in Wife Vs. Secretary. After divorcing Arthur she married John Hertz Jr, of the Hertz Rent A Car family, in 1942. Two years later she divorced him in Mexico. During World War 2 she took time off to work with the Red Cross. She married screenwriter Gene Markey in 1946. Her success continued with starring roles The Best Years Of Our Lives, Cheaper By The Dozen, and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Myrna divorced Gene and married Howland H. Sergeant, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, in 1951. Their marriage lasted nine years. Now in her fifties she had supporting roles in From The Terrace and Midnight Lace with Doris Day. In 1973 she starred on Broadway in a revival of The Women. Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy. She published her autobiography Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming and retired from acting. Her final role was in the 1982 television series Love, Sidney. Despite her many years in Hollywood she was never nominated for an Oscar. Myrna was given an honorary Academy Award in 1991 for her career achievement. On December 14, 1993 she died at the age of eighty-eight from complications during surgery. She was cremated and her ashes are buried at Forestvale Cemetery in Helena, Montana.


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