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 died 22 January, 2004 at the age of 81 from lung cancer and was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. She died in Los Angeles, California. In 1979 she astounded audiences in the Broadway show Sugar Babies, and took a role in David Lynch's movie Mulholland Dr.. Her final film role was in the 1966 Elvis Presley film Spinout. Her film career effectively ended in 1956, but she remained active in the theatre. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Summer and Smoke (1961). She grew up in Houston, and took up dancing to help exercise her legs to help her rickets.

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. Her father insisted on the name Johnnie, but she was often called Annie. Her career went into decline during the 1940s and although she continued working it was in less prestigious productions. Miller was famed for her speed in tap dancing; she claimed to be able to tap 500 times per minute. 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 became famous for her roles in films such as Kiss Me Kate, Easter Parade and On the Town. She returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies". She was given a contract with RKO at the age of thirteen (she had told them she was eighteen).

She appeared in several films during the silent era but spent most of her time in New York working on Broadway. Born Johnnie Lucille Collier in Chireno, Texas, she was considered a child dance prodigy. 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. Ann Miller (April 12, 1923 - January 22, 2004) was an American dancer, singer and actress. Una Merkel (December 10, 1903 – January 2, 1986) was an American film actress. The Devil on Horseback (1936). The Life of the Party (1937).

Stage Door (1937). Radio City Revels (1938). You Can't Take It with You (1938). Room Service (1938).

Tarnished Angel (1938). Too Many Girls (1940). Hit Parade of 1941 (1940). Melody Ranch (1940).

Time Out for Rhythm (1941). Go West, Young Lady (1941). True to the Army (1942). Priorities on Parade (1942).

Reveille with Beverly (1943). What's Buzzin', Cousin? (1943). Hey, Rookie (1944). Jam Session (1944).

Carolina Blues (1944). Eadie Was a Lady (1945). Eve Knew Her Apples (1945). The Thrill of Brazil (1946).

Easter Parade (1948). The Kissing Bandit (1948). On the Town (1949). Watch the Birdie (1950).

Texas Carnival (1951). Two Tickets to Broadway (1951). Lovely to Look at (1952). Small Town Girl (1953).

Kiss Me, Kate (1953). Deep in My Heart (1954). Hit the Deck (1955). The Opposite Sex (1956).

The Great American Pastime (1956). Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976). Mulholland Dr. (2001).

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