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. Pola Negri has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard. She died in Los Angeles, California. She died in San Antonio, Texas from a brain tumour and was interred in Calvary Cemetery. Her final film role was in the 1966 Elvis Presley film Spinout. She maintained her flamboyant persona to the end of her life and was often compared to the Gloria Swanson character Norma Desmond, from the film Sunset Boulevard. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Summer and Smoke (1961). Negri lived her remaining years in relative 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. In the same year she received an honorary award from the German film industry, for her career work. Her career went into decline during the 1940s and although she continued working it was in less prestigious productions. Her final film appearance was in the 1964 Disney film The Moon-spinners. 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 made only a few films after this, and worked mainly in Europe. She returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies". Her style of vamp was beginning to go out of vogue, and the advent of talking pictures revealed a accented voice that the public did not warm to.

She appeared in several films during the silent era but spent most of her time in New York working on Broadway. Negri's career began to decline. 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. They dismissed her actions as a publicity stunt. Una Merkel (December 10, 1903 – January 2, 1986) was an American film actress. Despite the wide publicity she attracted, many of Valentino's friends stated that Valentino and Negri had not intended to marry. At his funeral she fainted several times, and had arranged for a large floral arrangement which spelled her name to be placed on Valentino's coffin.

Negri caused a media sensation after the death in 1926 of Valentino by announcing that they had planned to marry, and following the train that carried his body from New York to Los Angeles, posing for photographers at every stop. Negri's exotic style of glamour proved popular with audiences during the 1920s, and her association with such actors as Charles Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino ensured she remained in the public eye. Their films were successful throughout the world, and in 1922 both were offered contracts with Hollywood studios. Her popularity provided her with an opportunity to move to Berlin where she appeared in several films for director Ernst Lubitsch.

She turned to acting, and by the end of World War I had established herself as a popular stage actress in Warsaw and had appeared in several films. Born Barbara Apolonia Chałupiec in the village of Janowa, Poland, Negri trained as a dancer and performed ballet until forced by illness to change her profession. Pola Negri (December 31, 1894 - August 1, 1987) was a film actress who achieved notoriety as a femme fatale in silent films.

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