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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. Patrick died suddenly from a heart seizure on the day before her 81st birthday, at Laguna Beach, California. Ona Munson’s career was stalemated by the acclaim of GWTW. Starring George Segal as Sam Spade Jr., forced to continue his father's work, and to keep his increasingly sarcastic secretary, the film attempted to turn its revered predecessor into a comedy, and was a box office failure. Tallulah Bankhead refused the role as too small. Her final film role was a reprise of her Effie Perine character in a reworking of the Sam Spade story titled The Black Bird (1975). Early on, Selznick had announced Mae West was to play Belle, but this was of course a publicity stunt. Among her other films are Now, Voyager (1942), Mrs Parkington (1944), Mildred Pierce (1945), Caged (1950), There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), Vertigo (1958), Auntie Mame (1958), Pillow Talk (1959), and Summer and Smoke (1961).

The needed look for Belle could be created in the wardrobe and makeup departments. As Effie Perine, the loyal and quick-thinking secretary of Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade, Patrick created one of her most enduring film characterisations. She spoke deep and throaty in her test, and her voice conveyed sexiness and worldliness. Over the next several years she played numerous supporting roles, without attracting much attention until she appeared in The Maltese Falcon (1941). But her skills as an actress electrified her screen test: it was all in the voice. She remained in Hollywood, and appeared in Border Cafe (1937). She was the antithesis of the voluptuous Belle: tall, freckled, and of slight build. Her disappointments continued when she was considered and then rejected for the lead role in Stella Dallas in favour of Barbara Stanwyck.

She introduced the song "You're the Cream In My Coffee," to New York audiences. Patrick had made her film debut in 1929 but since that time had not appeared in a single film, and RKO Studios were reluctant to allow an unknown actress to take a part in a film which they were beginning to realise had great potential. 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. Eventually the part was rewritten and split from a single character into two characters which were played by Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers. 1903, d. Her success in Stage Door (1937) led her to Hollywood to reprise her role in the film version. ONA MUNSON (American actress, b. For more than a decade she was constantly employed and established herself as a popular actress.

Born in New York, New York, Patrick began acting on Broadway in 1924. Lee Patrick (November 22, 1901 – November 21, 1982) was an American theater and film actress. Her difficulties in establishing a career as a leading actress were often attributed to a long standing fued Patrick had with gossip columnist Louella Parsons, about whom Patrick's husband, a journalist, had written very unfavourably. Shaving a decade off her age was a decision she made early in her career, and at the time of her death, many of her friends believed that she was in her early seventies.

After her death it was discovered that she was ten years older than she had ever revealed.

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