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. Following her death, Moorehead willed her Emmy for Bewitched, her Oscar nominations and her private papers to Muskingum College, along with her family's home in Rix Mills, Ohio. She died in Los Angeles, California. Moorehead herself believed her cancer was related to this exposure, commenting in an interview shortly before her death "I wish I'd never done that damn movie". Her final film role was in the 1966 Elvis Presley film Spinout. The irony of this circumstance is that three of Hollywood’s biggest stars may have literally and unknowingly sacrificed their health to make a movie that is consistently rated as one of the worst films of the 1950s. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Summer and Smoke (1961). While never confirmed, it is suspected that Moorhead’s cancer was a result of having been exposed to radiation while filming The Conqueror in the Nevada desert. Moorehead, and co-stars John Wayne and Susan Hayward all died from cancer.

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. Agnes Moorhead died in Rochester, Minnesota from lung cancer. Her career went into decline during the 1940s and although she continued working it was in less prestigious productions. Moorehead transitioned to television in a seamless fashion, and again won acclaim and accolades for her work in drama and in comedy. 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. While never a headlining star in films, her skill at charecter development and her range, allowed Moorehead to garner awards and accolades. She returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies". She was also part of Orson Welles' Mercury Theater on the Air radio program in the 1930s and appeared in a Broadway production of Don Juan in Hell in 1950.

She appeared in several films during the silent era but spent most of her time in New York working on Broadway. Moorehead was a graduate of Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. 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 was born in Clinton, Massachusetts. Una Merkel (December 10, 1903 – January 2, 1986) was an American film actress. Agnes Moorehead (December 6, 1900 - April 30, 1974) was an American character actress.
Moorehead as Endora on Bewitched.

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