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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 has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1994, she was honored with her image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. Ona Munson’s career was stalemated by the acclaim of GWTW. They had two children: a daughter, Ann Gallery, and a son, Don Gallery (ne Marvin Carville La Marr), whom they adopted after the death of his mother, actress Barbara La Marr. Tallulah Bankhead refused the role as too small. Pitts was married to actor Tom Gallery from 1920 to 1932. Early on, Selznick had announced Mae West was to play Belle, but this was of course a publicity stunt. She was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.

The needed look for Belle could be created in the wardrobe and makeup departments. ZaSu Pitts died of cancer in Hollywood, California at age 69. She spoke deep and throaty in her test, and her voice conveyed sexiness and worldliness. From the 1940s through the early 1960s ZaSu Pitts also made numerous television appearances, including her role in The Gale Storm Show, Oh! Susanna (1956-1960), with Gale Storm. But her skills as an actress electrified her screen test: it was all in the voice. When Mae Questel was called on to create the screen voice of the character "Olive Oyl" for the Fleischer Studios animated cartoon version of the comic strip "Popeye", Questel created a caricature of Zazu Pitts' voice. She was the antithesis of the voluptuous Belle: tall, freckled, and of slight build. When Hollywood switched to talkies, Pitts, who had a distinctive nasal voice with a wavering vibrato, switched to comedy character actor roles.

She introduced the song "You're the Cream In My Coffee," to New York audiences. Von Stroheim also featured her in The Wedding March and Walking Down Broadway. 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. Perhaps her most famous early role was in Erich von Stroheim's Greed (1925). 1903, d. Pitts debuted in silent film in 1917, including a number of leading roles. ONA MUNSON (American actress, b. Her unusual first name was coined from parts of the names "Eliza" and "Susan", female relatives who both wanted ZaSu's mother to name the child after them.

ZaSu Pitts was born in Parsons, Kansas and grew up in Santa Cruz, California. In many of her film credits and contemporary articles, her name is rendered as Zazu Pitts. ZaSu Pitts (3 January 1894 - 7 June 1963) was a United States movie actress.

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