Una Merkel

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. She received a "Woman of the Year" award in 1989 for her psychological work. She died in Los Angeles, California. In 1986, she earned a master's degree in Clinical Psychology and began a second career as a psychological counselor for abused women and children and women in prison. Her final film role was in the 1966 Elvis Presley film Spinout. She then went on to appear in Television( aforementioned Star Trek ) and film including Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) and The Joy Luck Club (1993). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Summer and Smoke (1961). She was about to portray Suzie Wong in the film production but was replaced by Nancy Kwan.

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 became a stage actress and portrayed Suzie Wong in theatrical production of The World of Suzie Wong in 1958 opposite William Shatner whom she later worked with again in an episode of Star Trek. Her career went into decline during the 1940s and although she continued working it was in less prestigious productions. Born in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France to a French mother and a Vietnamese father, she was raised in Marseille by a cousin. 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. France Nuyen (born July 31, 1939 as France Nguyen Vannga) is a Eurasian actress. She returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies".

She appeared in several films during the silent era but spent most of her time in New York working on Broadway. 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. Una Merkel (December 10, 1903 – January 2, 1986) was an American film actress.

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