Una Merkel (December 10, 1903 – January 2, 1986) was an American film actress.
Born in Covington, Kentucky, Merkel resembled the popular actress Lillian Gish, and her resemblance allowed her to enter films in 1920 as Gish's double in the film Way Down East. She appeared in several films during the silent era but spent most of her time in New York working on Broadway. She returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies". She played Ann Rutledge in the 1930 film Abraham Lincoln and during the 1930s became a popular second lead in a number of films, usually playing the wisecracking best friend of the heroine.
Her career went into decline during the 1940s and although she continued working it was in less prestigious productions. She made a comeback as a middle aged woman playing mothers and maiden aunts, and in 1956 won a Tony Award for her role in The Ponder Heart. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Summer and Smoke (1961). Her final film role was in the 1966 Elvis Presley film Spinout.
She died in Los Angeles, California.
Una Merkel has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 6230 Hollywood Boulevard.
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Una Merkel has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 6230 Hollywood Boulevard. Harry Thaw swore he was not the child's father, although Evelyn always insisted he was. She died in Los Angeles, California. Evelyn had one child, Russell William Thaw (October 25, 1910 - 2002), a noted aviator who sometimes appeared in Hollywood films; the identity of his father remains in doubt. Her final film role was in the 1966 Elvis Presley film Spinout. She was also portrayed by Elizabeth McGovern in the movie "Ragtime.". She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Summer and Smoke (1961). In her later years, she taught ceramics and served as a technical consultant to a 1955 movie about the White shooting, "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing," in which she was portrayed by Joan Collins.
She made a comeback as a middle aged woman playing mothers and maiden aunts, and in 1956 won a Tony Award for her role in The Ponder Heart. Evelyn Nesbit eventually died in a nursing home in Santa Monica, California, at age 82. Her career went into decline during the 1940s and although she continued working it was in less prestigious productions. Thaw had become reconciled and planned to resume their former relationship; however, nothing came of the couple's reported plans. She played Ann Rutledge in the 1930 film Abraham Lincoln and during the 1930s became a popular second lead in a number of films, usually playing the wisecracking best friend of the heroine. In 1926, however, several months after she attempted suicide over losing her job as a dancer at the Moulin Rouge Café in Chicago, she reappeared in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she gave an interview to the New York Times, stating that she and Harry K. She returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies". She married again in 1916, in Ellicott City, Maryland, taking Virgil James Montani (1880-1956, professional name Jack Clifford, her dancing partner) as her second husband; he abandoned her in 1918 and she eventually divorced him in 1933.
She appeared in several films during the silent era but spent most of her time in New York working on Broadway. After the trial, Evelyn Nesbit Thaw's career was largely unsuccessful (vaudeville performer, actor, dancer, café manager) and her life marred by suicide attempts. Born in Covington, Kentucky, Merkel resembled the popular actress Lillian Gish, and her resemblance allowed her to enter films in 1920 as Gish's double in the film Way Down East. If she did not survive him, the money was to go to her son, Russell William Thaw (see below). Una Merkel (December 10, 1903 – January 2, 1986) was an American film actress. His will stipulated that his former wife was to receive $10,000 of his more than $1 million estate. He died of a heart attack in February 22, 1947 at his home in Miami Beach, Florida; he had another home, Villa Marie Antoinette, in Bolton, New York.
Thaw moved back to Pittsburgh, and his subsequent life was also filled with scandalous brawls, affairs, and lawsuits. He was extradicted back to the United States, and in 1915 another jury found him sane. In 1913 he walked out of the asylum and was driven over the border to Sherbrooke, Quebec. Thaw was incarcerated at the Asylum for the Criminally Insane at Matteawan, New Jersey, enjoying nearly complete freedom.
Evelyn got the divorce, in 1915, but not the money). She did just that, and performed in court wonderfully: he was found not guilty. (Thaw's mother told Evelyn that if she would testify that Stanford White abused her and that Harry only tried to protect her, she'd receive a divorce from Harry Thaw and one million dollars in compensation. At the first, the jury was deadlocked: at the second, Thaw pled insanity, and Evelyn testified.
There were two trials. During the song, "I Could Love A Million Girls", Thaw fired three shots at close range into White's face, killing him. On June 25, 1906 Evelyn and Harry saw White at a restaurant (the Cafè Martin) and ran into him again in the audience of the Madison Square Garden's roof theatre at a performance of Mamzelle Champagne. After a trip to Europe, Evelyn accepted Thaw's proposal and they married on April 4, 1905.
Thaw was also a sexual sadist, and subjected Evelyn to beatings. Thaw became increasingly jealous of Nesbit (he carried a pistol), and was especially sensitive about her relationship with White. Stanford was eventually supplanted in her affections by Harry Kendall Thaw (1871-1947), also of Pittsburgh, son of a coal and railroad baron. Both abortions were explained as appendectomies, though a second appendectomy strains credulity.
(Nesbit refused Barrymore's marriage proposal during her second pregnancy). She became pregnant by Barrymore twice, and he arranged for abortions both times. During this period, Evelyn was courted by a young actor named John Barrymore after her affair to White ended. Her involvement with White continued off and on.
DeMille. White arranged to have her educated at a New Jersey boarding school run by the mother of Cecil B. White allegedly took her virtue there after giving her a drink that knocked her out -- a claim she repeated often to her eventual husband, though at the end of her life she claimed "Stanny" was the only man she ever loved. In his lavish tower apartment at Madison Square Garden, which he built, he had installed a red velvet swing from which he derived sexual pleasure watching his young friends -- including Evelyn -- use (Nesbit would be sensationalized as "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing").
The fact that he was married and made a hobby of "befriending" young ladies was overlooked by Evelyn's mother, who encouraged White's patronage. Now a Florodora Girl on Broadway, she caught the attention of Stanford White. Church and Charles Dana Gibson and photographer Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr.. She continued modelling, posing for Frederick C.
In 1901, at age 16, now the family breadwinner, she decided they would move to New York to further her career. As a teenager, she posed for an artist, John Storm, in Pittsburgh, and achieved some measure of success. Fortunately, Evelyn was an exceptional beauty. Born in Tarentum, Pennsylvania, her family was left destitute when her father, a lawyer, died.
Thaw. Evelyn Nesbit (December 25, 1884 - January 17, 1967) was a model noted for her entanglement in the murder of her ex-lover, architect Stanford White, by her husband, Harry K. "Dementia Americana" - A long narrative poem by Keith Maillard - 1994. Ragtime (musical) - the musical play.
Ragtime (movie) - the film. Doctorow; in turn was adapted to create the two below works:
The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing -1955. "Prodigal Days" - Evelyn Nesbit Thaw - 1934. "The Story of my Life" - Evelyn Nesbit Thaw - 1914. "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing" - Charles Samuels.
Thaw. The Traitor - Harry K. The Murder of Stanford White - Gerald Langford. Evelyn Nesbit and Stanford White: Love and Death in the Gilded Age - Michael Mooney.
Collins. Glamorous Sinners - Frederick L. The Architect of Desire - Suzannah Lessard (White's great-granddaughter).