Merle Oberon

Merle Oberon (February 19, 1911 - November 23, 1979), born Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson, was a film actress, known for her sultry looks.

Born in Bombay, India to an Anglo-Irish father and an Anglo-Sinhalese mother, Constance Selby, who gave birth to Merle at the age of 15 and allowed her to be raised as her sister, Merle came to England for the first time in 1928. Initially she worked as a club hostess under the name Queenie O'Brien and played in minor and unbilled rolls in various films. Her first major film role was as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). In 1934, she played the female lead in The Scarlet Pimpernel, opposite Leslie Howard.

Oberon's career went on to greater heights partly as a result of her relationship with and later marriage to director Alexander Korda, who had persuaded her to take the name under which she became famous. She received her only Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for The Dark Angel (1935). She was to star in Korda's film of I, Claudius (1937) as Messalina, but a serious car accident resulted in filming being abandoned. Merle Oberon was scarred for life, but skilled lighting technicians prevented her injuries being spotted by cinema audiences. She went on to appear as Cathy in Wuthering Heights (1939), as George Sand in A Song to Remember (1945), and as Empress Josephine in Désirée (1954). During her time as a film star, Oberon went to great lengths to disguise her mixed-race background and when her dark-skinned mother moved in with her in Hollywood, she masqueraded as Oberon's maid.

Merle Oberon divorced Sir Alexander Korda in 1945, to marry cinematographer Lucien Ballard. She married twice more, to Italian-born Mexican industrialist Bruno Pagliai (two adopted children) and Dutch actor Robert Wolders, before her retirement to Malibu, California, where she died after suffering a stroke. She was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard.

Throughout her life, Oberon maintained that she had been born in Tasmania, Australia. It was only after her death that this was revealed to have been a fabrication.


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It was only after her death that this was revealed to have been a fabrication. She still works as an actress and producer, and has also created a line of skin care products and written three books about beauty and skin-care. Throughout her life, Oberon maintained that she had been born in Tasmania, Australia. She left the show after nine years, and began her own production company, Victoria Principal Productions. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard. She agreed - and then landed the role of Pamela Ewing on Dallas. She was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Principal planned on going to law school and later become a studio executive, but Aaron Spelling offered her one year's tuition to accept a role in the pilot of Fantasy Island.

She married twice more, to Italian-born Mexican industrialist Bruno Pagliai (two adopted children) and Dutch actor Robert Wolders, before her retirement to Malibu, California, where she died after suffering a stroke. Four years later, disappointed with her career, she quit acting and for the next three years worked as an agent. Merle Oberon divorced Sir Alexander Korda in 1945, to marry cinematographer Lucien Ballard. Her first film was as a Mexican mistress in Paul Newman's The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. During her time as a film star, Oberon went to great lengths to disguise her mixed-race background and when her dark-skinned mother moved in with her in Hollywood, she masqueraded as Oberon's maid. She studied at RADA in London, and moved to Los Angeles in 1971. She went on to appear as Cathy in Wuthering Heights (1939), as George Sand in A Song to Remember (1945), and as Empress Josephine in Désirée (1954). She moved to New York, and worked as a model and actress.

Merle Oberon was scarred for life, but skilled lighting technicians prevented her injuries being spotted by cinema audiences. She enrolled at Miami-Dade Community College, and wanted to study chiropractic medicine, but serious injures in a car crash at age 18 made her refocus her energy on acting. She was to star in Korda's film of I, Claudius (1937) as Messalina, but a serious car accident resulted in filming being abandoned. She acted in a commercial when five and began modeling in high school. She received her only Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for The Dark Angel (1935). Air Force, moved constantly, and she grew up in London, Florida, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, and Georgia, among other places, attending 17 different schools. Oberon's career went on to greater heights partly as a result of her relationship with and later marriage to director Alexander Korda, who had persuaded her to take the name under which she became famous. Her father, a sergeant in the U.S.

In 1934, she played the female lead in The Scarlet Pimpernel, opposite Leslie Howard. Victoria was the elder of two daughters born to Victor Principal and Ree Veal. Her first major film role was as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). She is also well-known for her line of cosmetic products. Initially she worked as a club hostess under the name Queenie O'Brien and played in minor and unbilled rolls in various films. Victoria Principal (born January 3, 1946 in Fukuoka, Japan) is an American actress, best known for her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing on the CBS nighttime drama Dallas from 1978 to 1987. Born in Bombay, India to an Anglo-Irish father and an Anglo-Sinhalese mother, Constance Selby, who gave birth to Merle at the age of 15 and allowed her to be raised as her sister, Merle came to England for the first time in 1928.

Merle Oberon (February 19, 1911 - November 23, 1979), born Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson, was a film actress, known for her sultry looks.

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