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. Mary Miles Minter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 1724 Vine St. She died in Los Angeles, California. She died from heart failure in Santa Monica, California. Her final film role was in the 1966 Elvis Presley film Spinout. She commented that she had never been happy with her Hollywood career and was content to live without it. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Summer and Smoke (1961). She left Hollywood and lived the rest of her life in obscurity.

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. The studio terminated her contract as soon as it became clear that her reputation had been destroyed. Her career went into decline during the 1940s and although she continued working it was in less prestigious productions. She made two more films after this, but her public had rejected her. 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. Minter was at the height of her success, having starred in more than 50 films and the revelation of her association with Taylor caused a sensation. She returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies". The ensuing scandal was the subject of widespread media speculation, and as allegations about Taylor's questionable past began to circulate, it was revealed that several intimate letters written by Minter had been found in his house after his death.

She appeared in several films during the silent era but spent most of her time in New York working on Broadway. In 1922 Taylor was murdered in his home. 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. A close relationship developed between them and Minter began to distance herself from her mother. Una Merkel (December 10, 1903 – January 2, 1986) was an American film actress. Her first film for director William Desmond Taylor was Anne of Green Gables in 1919, and Taylor actively promoted Minter as a star of great potential. Minter specialised in playing demure and innocent young girls, and with her gentle features and curly hair, both emulated and rivalled Mary Pickford.

Changing her name to Mary Miles Minter, she made her first film in 1915 and over the next few years steadily built her career. Until the age of 15, she was rarely unemployed and was greatly admired for both her talent and her beauty. Her mother pushed her towards a stage career, and by the age of 5 she had appeared in her first play. Born Juliet Reilly in Shreveport, Louisiana, she was the daughter of an ambitious but unsuccessful actress named Charlotte Shelby.

Mary Miles Minter (April 1, 1902 - August 4, 1984) was a US film actress in silent films.

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