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Ona Munson

ONA MUNSON (American actress, b. 1903, d. 1955) Ona Munson was an improbable choice to play the whiskey-voiced prostitute with a heart of gold, Belle Watling, in "Gone With the Wind." Born Ona Wolcott in Portland, Oregon in 1903, she first came to fame on Broadway as the singing and dancing ingenue in the original production of "No, No, Nanette." She had a very successful stage and radio career in the 1930’s in New York. She introduced the song "You're the Cream In My Coffee," to New York audiences. She was the antithesis of the voluptuous Belle: tall, freckled, and of slight build. But her skills as an actress electrified her screen test: it was all in the voice. She spoke deep and throaty in her test, and her voice conveyed sexiness and worldliness. The needed look for Belle could be created in the wardrobe and makeup departments. Early on, Selznick had announced Mae West was to play Belle, but this was of course a publicity stunt. Tallulah Bankhead refused the role as too small. Ona Munson’s career was stalemated by the acclaim of GWTW. She was typecast in similar roles, and in 1955, plagued by ill health, she committed suicide with an overdose of barbiturates in her apartment in New York.


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She was typecast in similar roles, and in 1955, plagued by ill health, she committed suicide with an overdose of barbiturates in her apartment in New York. In 1994, the government of France placed her image on a postage stamp. Ona Munson’s career was stalemated by the acclaim of GWTW. Yvonne Printemps died in the Paris suburb of Neuilly on January 19, 1977. Tallulah Bankhead refused the role as too small. She continued to perform on stage until she was well into her sixties and remained active with Pierre Fresnay, co-directing the Théâtre de la Michodière in Paris with him until his death in 1975. Early on, Selznick had announced Mae West was to play Belle, but this was of course a publicity stunt. Personifying the grand diva, she made a great spectacle wherever she went with her pet poodles on a leash.

The needed look for Belle could be created in the wardrobe and makeup departments. Loving the spotlight, she would be seen draped with jewels and wearing enormous hats. She spoke deep and throaty in her test, and her voice conveyed sexiness and worldliness. Following her divorce from Sacha Guitry, she fell in love with French film star Pierre Fresnay with whom she remained for life. But her skills as an actress electrified her screen test: it was all in the voice. She appeared in nine motion pictures, including the starring role in both the stage and screen versions of "Le Trois Valses.". She was the antithesis of the voluptuous Belle: tall, freckled, and of slight build. In 1934 she received international acclaim for her performance in the Noel Coward play, "Conversation Piece." She performed in Paris and at London's West End before going to the United States to star on Broadway.

She introduced the song "You're the Cream In My Coffee," to New York audiences. Together they performed in a number of his plays bringing the extremely popular 1925 production of "Mozart" to cities in North America, including New York City, Montreal, Quebec and Boston, Massachusetts. 1955) Ona Munson was an improbable choice to play the whiskey-voiced prostitute with a heart of gold, Belle Watling, in "Gone With the Wind." Born Ona Wolcott in Portland, Oregon in 1903, she first came to fame on Broadway as the singing and dancing ingenue in the original production of "No, No, Nanette." She had a very successful stage and radio career in the 1930’s in New York. In 1919, she married actor-playwright Sacha Guitry. 1903, d. Her voice and stage presence made her a great star at a young age, appearing as a teenager with the greatest stars of the day, Maurice Chevalier and Mistinguett. ONA MUNSON (American actress, b. Nicknamed Printemps (springtime) by her fellow chorus members because of her sunny disposition, she started in operetta, appearing in such works as "Les Contes de Perrault" (1913) and "Le Poilu" (1916).

Born Yvonne Wignolle, she was dancing in revues at the Folies Bergère in Paris at age 13. Yvonne Printemps, born July 25, 1895 in Ermont, Île-de-France, France - died January 19, 1977 in Paris, France, was a singer and actress.

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