MYRNA LOY NOTES

………..In 1990,MYRNA LOY was given an Honorary Oscar ,” in recognition of her extraordinary qualities,both on screen and off, with appreciation for a lifetime’s worth of indelible performances.”

By satellite from New York ( where Myrna had lived for many years), Myrna said, “You’ve made me very happy. Thank you so much.”

Myrna was 85 at the time. I’m sure if the Oscar had come some years sooner, she would have had more to say.

 

………….Born Myrna Williams in Radersburg,Montana, her family moved to Helena when she was 7, and it is in Helena that there is a Myrna Loy Center, an  institution dedicated to “presenting the Arts in an educational context.” It opened in 1991.

M

Yes, that’s Myrna.

 

M

And so is this.

 

M

And this too.

It always seems amazing to me how Myrna Loy’s  look changed so significantly from her early career in silents and early talkies ,to that golden period when MGM realised they had a genuine star on their roster.

The inspired teaming of Myrna and William Powell as Nick and Nora Charles in THE THIN MAN  brought Myrna to the prominence she deserved. As the beautiful,sophisticated woman about town who could trade wisecracks and be funny and loving.

 

M

They seemed  made for each other.

 

M

 

M

 

Myrna wrote of her teaming with William Powell,

“From the very first scene we did together in MANHATTAN MELODRAMA, we felt that particular magic between us. There was this feeling of rhythm ,of complete understanding, and an instinct of how each of us could bring out  the best in the other.”

M

An early picture of Myrna without the studio makeup and coiffure .

 

………..Myrna’s father died when she was 13 and her family moved to Los Angeles. In 1925 she signed a five year contract with Warners and appeared in BEN HUR. In the silent period in the 20s, she played maids,showgirls and very often was Chinese or Spanish.

Even in her first talkie, THE DESERT SONG 1929), Myrna played ‘Azuri’, a native dancer.

Warner Brothers dropped her in 1931, and she played her last oriental baddie in THE  MASK OF FU MANCHU.

 

M

Seems a shame that Myrna only made three  films with Cary Grant. ( Wings in the Dark, The Bachelor  and the Bobbysoxer and Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House.)

 

M

MR BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE.

 

M

TEST PILOT?

 

M

With Mr. Gable. Looks like a serious conversation.

 

M

TO MARY WITH LOVE

 

………..W.S.Van Dyke, director of MANHATTAN MELODRAMA (1934), liked Myrna and William Powell and teamed them again  in THE THIN MAN. And Myrna’s career took off like a rocket,  putting her at the top at MGM.

I would argue that,typical of MGM, they typecast Myrna and didn’t realise she was capable of far more than the light comedies at which she was so good. (Robert Montgomery is another example of the MGM short sightedness.)

 

M

  • I haven’t seen PARNELL, but  it doesn’t get good reviews.
  • MAnother one I ‘d like to see.

 

M

And another. I really must start looking for Myrna’s films. She deserves a couple of DVD box sets!

 

M

THE RAINS CAME

One I love because it is a serious role for Myrna which she carries off very well. Myrna had  to go to Fox for this one.

 

M

Tracy and Loy look like a good combination.

 

M

Her best role?

 

M

Another perfect couple.

 

M

 

………..During  the Second World War, Myrna worked for the Red Cross. She also fought the Hollywood  blacklist. When the Hollywood Reporter called her a Communist sympathiser in  1946, she sued them, settling for a retraction.

 

M

Myrna was on plenty of magazine covers.

 

M

 

M

Gorgeous drawing.

 

M

 

…………..Myrna asked for release from her MGM contract when Katharine Hepburn  was cast in SEA OF GRASS (1947), which had been bought for Myrna and Spencer Tracy.

M

 

…………..Myrna never appeared on the New York stage until 1973, when she played the mother in a revival of THE WOMEN. Also in the cast were Rhonda Fleming as Miriam (Paulette Goddard in the film) and Alexis Smith as Sylvia  Fowler ( Roz Russell’s part in the film). Kim Hunter played the Norma Shearer role. The play had 63 performances.

 

M

 

………….Myrna Loy (1905 – 1993) was married four times. She made 129 films. She made no films between 1941 and 1945 due to her involvement in the war effort.

She is buried in Helena,Montana.

M

I wish I could credit whoever painted this, it’s so lovely.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s