Thursday, August 02, 2018

Mrs. William Powell???????

Nooooooooo, but many movie goers in the 1930's were convinced she was.  Today's birthday girl and her charming co-star were so convincing as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man films and the eight other films they made together (usually as a married couple) that the public was convinced they were.

Myrna Loy was born on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana.  Loy's early ambition was to be a dancer, but in 1925 she was cast in her first silent film.  Throughout her silent career she was cast as a vamp or a femme fatale because of her exotic beauty.  This stereotyping continued as late as 1932.  In 1934 W.S. Van Dyke cast Myrna in Manhattan Melodrama with Clark Gable and William Powell.  Van Dyke was wise enough to see the remarkable chemistry between Loy and Powell.  In 1934 much to the disdain of Louis B. Mayer, Van Dyke cast Powell and Loy in a little mystery film based on a story by Dashiell Hammett called The Thin Man.  As they say, "the rest is history".

Powell and Loy made 14 films together.  They also developed an extremely close and lasting friendship.  Loy said that when Powell died in 1984, she was one of the first people his wife Diana Lewis called.

Loy's career lasted until 1981 when she starred with Henry Fonda in a TV movie, "Summer Solstice".  It was the last starring appearance for them both, although Myrna did make a guest appearance on a TV show in 1982. 

Happy Birthday, Myrna!  I know somewhere, your buddy Bill is wishing you one as well. 

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