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 did television series work for a time, then in 1983 she reprised her most famous role in Psycho II, vociferously protesting the proposed parole of killer Norman Bates (played, as in the original, by Anthony Perkins). She died in Los Angeles, California. She continued to play roles in Disney into the 1970s. Her final film role was in the 1966 Elvis Presley film Spinout. Following another stint for Ford in 1962's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance she got her first parts at the Disney studio, in A Tiger Walks (1964) and Those Calloways (1965). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Summer and Smoke (1961). Pregnancy cost her the lead in Vertigo but Hitchcock did cast her as Janet Leigh's sister in Psycho (1960), in which her character discovers the truth about Norman Bates' mother.

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. A year later, she played Henry Fonda's beleaguered wife in Hitchcock's The Wrong Man (1957). Her career went into decline during the 1940s and although she continued working it was in less prestigious productions. Then John Ford cast her as Jeffrey Hunter's spirited love interest in The Searchers (1956), and her career took a dramatic turn upward. 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. She posed for cheesecake photos, and married her leading man from Tarzan's Hidden Jungle (1955), Gordon Scott (they later split). She returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies". She began her career as a beauty queen and, as a result, earned a minor part in Two Tickets to Broadway (1951).

She appeared in several films during the silent era but spent most of her time in New York working on Broadway. August 23, 1929) is a American 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. Vera Miles (b. Una Merkel (December 10, 1903 – January 2, 1986) was an American film actress.

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