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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. (The second series used Nichols' own death as an excuse to kill off the character and dealt with Alf's experience of widowhood.). Ona Munson’s career was stalemated by the acclaim of GWTW. She reprised her role as Else in the first series of the sequel, In Sickness and in Health. Tallulah Bankhead refused the role as too small. Prior to the series, Dandy Nichols had been a minor comedy actress, appearing in many old British films. Early on, Selznick had announced Mae West was to play Belle, but this was of course a publicity stunt. Alf often referred to Else as a "silly old moo" (the word "cow" would have been unacceptable to contemporary audiences).

The needed look for Belle could be created in the wardrobe and makeup departments. Dandy Nichols (1907, London - February 6, 1986) was an actress most noted for her role as Else Garnett, the long-suffering wife of the racially bigoted and misogynistic character Alf Garnett in the BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part. She spoke deep and throaty in her test, and her voice conveyed sexiness and worldliness. But her skills as an actress electrified her screen test: it was all in the voice. She was the antithesis of the voluptuous Belle: tall, freckled, and of slight build.

She introduced the song "You're the Cream In My Coffee," to New York audiences. 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. 1903, d. ONA MUNSON (American actress, b.

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