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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. She also sang "Monster Rap" and "Haunted House" on the Elvira's Monster Hits album. Ona Munson’s career was stalemated by the acclaim of GWTW. Elvira has become a symbol of Halloween, and owns the trademark to her wig and costume. Tallulah Bankhead refused the role as too small. One of the first successful horror hostesses, Vampira (Maila Nurmi), later sued Peterson over character rights issues. Early on, Selznick had announced Mae West was to play Belle, but this was of course a publicity stunt. Shortly after her marriage to Mark Pierson (now her business manager) in 1981, she created the character Elvira after a successful audition to be a horror movie show host. She was the first such host to be nationally syndicated.

The needed look for Belle could be created in the wardrobe and makeup departments. Back in the US, she joined the Los Angeles-based improvisational troupe The Groundlings. She spoke deep and throaty in her test, and her voice conveyed sexiness and worldliness. In Italy, she was the lead singer in a rock band and a chance encounter with Federico Fellini led to a small part in Roma (1972). But her skills as an actress electrified her screen test: it was all in the voice. She became a showgirl at The Dunes in Las Vegas at age 17. She was the antithesis of the voluptuous Belle: tall, freckled, and of slight build. Born in Manhattan, Kansas, Peterson grew up in Colorado.

She introduced the song "You're the Cream In My Coffee," to New York audiences. She gained fame wearing dark, gothic, and cleavage-enhancing clothing as host of Elvira's Movie Macabre, a weekly horror movie presentation. 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. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is the screen persona of Cassandra Peterson (born September 17, 1949). 1903, d. ONA MUNSON (American actress, b.

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