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. West Wing episode guide (http://www.tvtome.com/WestWing). Throughout her life, Oberon maintained that she had been born in Tasmania, Australia. Yahoo! Links directory (http://dir.yahoo.com/Entertainment/Actors_and_Actresses/Parker__Mary_Louise/). She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard. Humourous recaps of The West Wing (http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/show.cgi?show=4). She was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. IMDb Entry (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000571/).

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. Butterfly in Reverse lyrics (http://www.lyricsdomain.com/3/counting_crows/butterfly_in_reverse.html). Merle Oberon divorced Sir Alexander Korda in 1945, to marry cinematographer Lucien Ballard.
. 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. Received 'Special Thanks' credits for Wet Hot American Summer and Pieces of April. 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). A song entitled Butterfly in Reverse by the band Counting Crows was written for her.

Merle Oberon was scarred for life, but skilled lighting technicians prevented her injuries being spotted by cinema audiences. Appeared in a Bonnie Raitt music video entitled You Got It. She was to star in Korda's film of I, Claudius (1937) as Messalina, but a serious car accident resulted in filming being abandoned. 2004 - Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, for Angels in America. She received her only Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for The Dark Angel (1935). 2004 - Golden Globe Award Winner for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Miniseries, for Angels in America. 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. 2004 - Golden Satellite Award nominee for Best Performance by an Supporting Actress in a Miniseries, for Angels in America.

In 1934, she played the female lead in The Scarlet Pimpernel, opposite Leslie Howard. 2004 - Screen Actors Guild Award nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries, for Angels in America. Her first major film role was as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). 2003 - Screen Actors Guild Award nominee for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, for The West Wing. Initially she worked as a club hostess under the name Queenie O'Brien and played in minor and unbilled rolls in various films. 2002 - Emmy award nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, for The West Wing. 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. 2001 - Tony award winner, for Proof.

Merle Oberon (February 19, 1911 - November 23, 1979), born Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson, was a film actress, known for her sultry looks. 2000 - Genie award nomination, for The Five Senses. 1990 - Tony award nomination, for Prelude to a Kiss.
. Among the cast are Parker and Elizabeth Perkins, the series will be seen late this year.

The pilot for the show - about a suburban mother who, following the death of her husband, decides to sell marijuana to make money, while also attempting to maintain her profile in the community - was filmed last year, with 10 additional episodes ordered. Filming begins next month on the first season of Showtime's black comedy Weeds. Parker stars alongside James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Mandy Moore, Kate Winslet and Christopher Walken. 2005 will also see the release of the John Turturro movie musical Romance And Cigarettes.

CBS will air the television film Vinegar Hill (filmed in 2004), which sees Parker playing a down-on-her-luck schoolteacher who, with her husband and two children, moves in with her in-laws only to discover their bitter, loveless relationship. She'll reprise her role of Amy Gardner on The West Wing for at least three episodes from February 9, as the show takes the first steps toward the impending cast changeover as President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) enters his last year in the Oval Office. [2005]] is already shaping up as a big year for Parker. The production, directed by Mark Brokaw, was critically acclaimed during its run.

Parker's former role of Pooty was played by Rosie Perez. Parker, who had starred in the film, this time took the lead role that had been Mia Farrow's on screen. In 2004, she appeared in the black comedy Saved!, and a TV movie called Miracle Run based on the true story of a mother with two autistic sons, as well as spending time on Broadway, appearing in Craig Lucas's Reckless. The joy was added to when, on January 7, 2004 - two months after her split from Billy Crudup - Parker gave birth to a healthy baby boy, William Atticus.

Parker played Harper Pitt, the valium-addicted wife of a closeted lawyer, and - among its many awards - Parker received the Golden Globe and Emmy awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries. The miniseries - about a group of lost souls in New York during the AIDS epidemic of the '80s - was internationally acclaimed and starred Meryl Streep, Al Pacino and Emma Thompson. On December 7 2003, HBO aired what would become the biggest event of the year in television: an epic six-and-a-half hour adaptation of Tony Kushner's acclaimed Broadway play Angels in America, directed by Mike Nichols. In November 2003, she split with long-time boyfriend Billy Crudup, after a seven year relationship which began when they met in a 1996 theater reprisal of the Marilyn Monroe film Bus Stop.

She was later to return for a few episodes. Around this time, Parker fell pregnant and her character was written out of the series after a few episodes of the fifth season. While some fans believed that this destroyed the show, and others enjoyed it, one thing was certain: the show's style had definitely changed. However in 2003, after the show's fourth season, creator and head writer Aaron Sorkin left the show along with his top director Thomas Schlamme.

For this role, Parker was nominated for an Emmy, and a Screen Actors Guild award. Next up was a guest role on the Rob Lowe/Martin Sheen NBC drama, The West Wing, as women's rights activist Amelia 'Amy' Gardner, which soon became a recurring role. Beginning in 2001, her character became Chief of Staff to the First Lady (played by Stockard Channing), became a love interest for neurotic Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford), and provided another female voice in a show publicly criticised for its lack of high-level political women (with the exception of Allison Janney's press secretary C.J. Cregg). But whatever her theatrical aspirations, she would leave the stage for three years as her profile soared and she found roles wherever she looked: among them, the Silence of the Lambs prequel Red Dragon; a 2002 television movie based on the life of FBI spy-turned-Soviet informer, Robert Hanssen (played by William Hurt); and playing a struggling screenwriter alongside Martin Donovan in Pipe Dream (2002). However, Parker again lost out when the play was made into a film and the role was given to Gwyneth Paltrow.

In 2001, Parker appeared alongside Len Cariou and Anne Heche in David Auburn's Proof on Broadway, and among the praise showered on her was the much-coveted Tony award. After several independent film releases, she appeared in Let The Devil Wear Black and then a much-lauded role in 1999's The Five Senses. Her theater career continued to flourish when she appeared in Mark Brokaw's 1997 critical smash How I Learned To Drive, with David Morse. Parker did not become an instant household name, but rather a darling of the critics.

In 1997, she appeared alongside Matthew Modine in Tim Hunter's The Maker. She followed this up with a movie adaptation of yet another Craig Lucas play, Reckless (1995), alongside Mia Farrow and then in in Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady (1996) which also starred Nicole Kidman, Viggo Mortensen, Christian Bale, John Malkovich and Barbara Hershey. Parker maintained a strong theater presence in the early 1990s, but also maintained her reputation on the big screen, starring with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in The Client (1994); with John Cusack in Bullets Over Broadway (1994); and then playing an AIDS sufferer in Boys on the Side (1995), with Drew Barrymore and Whoopi Goldberg. This role was followed by her appearance in Fried Green Tomatoes in 1991 alongside Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Kathy Bates.

That same year she was noticed by critics worldwide when she appeared in the movie adaptation of another Craig Lucas play, the poignant Longtime Companion, one of the first movies to truly deal the AIDS virus. However, when the play was made into a film, Meg Ryan took over Parker's role. She also briefly dated her co-star Timothy Hutton. For her performance she won the Clarence Derwent Award and was nominated for a Tony award.

After a few minor roles, she made her Broadway debut in a 1990 production of Craig Lucas's Prelude to a Kiss, playing the main role of Rita. In the late '80s, she travelled to New York where she got a job measuring feet at Ecco. Acting was always her passion and she graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with acting as her major. Parker was born on August 2, 1964 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Her best-known works include Boys on the Side, The West Wing, and Angels in America. Mary-Louise Parker is an American actress whose work in theater and film has won her international acclaim, and she has been the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Tony award, Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

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