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Mina Loy

Biography

Modernist poet, author, musician, and celebrity known for an avant-garde poetry collection entitled Music to Joannes. Her various other literary works consist of Insel (book) and Lunar Baedecker (poems). She was the little girl of the Hungarian-Jewish dad and a United kingdom mom. She was connected with an Italian cultural and artistic motion referred to as Futurism. She wedded Stephen Haweis in 1903 and eventually gave delivery to three kids. Pursuing her divorce, Loy acquired like affairs with Filippo Marinetti and Giovanni Papini. She fulfilled writer Gertrude Stein in Paris; both became lifelong close friends.

Quick Facts


Full Name Mina Loy
Date Of Birth December 27, 1882
Place Of Birth England
Height 1.68 m
Profession Poet
Education Harvard-Westlake SchoolVenice High School
Nationality British, English, American, American
Spouse Howland H. Sargeant, Gene Markey, John Hertz Jr., Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Parents Adele Mae Williams, David Franklin Williams
Siblings David Williams
Awards Academy Honorary Award, Kennedy Center Honors
Movies The Thin Man, The Best Years of Our Lives, Libeled Lady, Manhattan Melodrama, I Love You Again, Another Thin Man, The Great Ziegfeld, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Love Crazy, Shadow of the Thin Man, Double Wedding, Evelyn Prentice, Test Pilot, The Thin Man Goes Home, Song of the Thin Man, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, Wife vs. Secretary, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Animal Kingdom, The Mask of Fu Manchu, Love Me Tonight, Too Hot to Handle, The Rains Came, Midnight Lace, Thirteen Women, Penthouse, Topaze, Arrowsmith, Men in White, Night Flight, The Prizefighter and the Lady, From the Terrace, Belles on Their Toes, Just Tell Me What You Want, When Ladies Meet, Broadway Bill, The Barbarian, A Connecticut Yankee, Lonelyhearts, Whipsaw, Third Finger, Left Hand, So Goes My Love, The Squall, Lucky Night, The Red Pony, Airport 1975, The Desert Song, The Ambassador's Daughter, The Devil to Pay!, Petticoat Fever, The Black Watch
Star Sign Capricorn

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Underwent an abortion prior to her marriage to Arthur Hornblow Jr.. The procedure left her infertile.
2If her cameo in The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947) is counted, Myrna Loy co-starred with William Powell fourteen times. Besides the six Thin Man films, the others were Manhattan Melodrama (1934), Evelyn Prentice (1934), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), Libeled Lady (1936), Double Wedding (1937), I Love You Again (1940) and Love Crazy (1941).
3She appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).
4She died only eight days after her So Goes My Love (1946) co-star Don Ameche and only eighteen days before her The Thin Man (1934) co-star Cesar Romero.
5At the Academy Lifetime Tribute to Loy in 1985 Burt Reynolds, who cast her as his mother in The End (1978), reportedly said that he wished he'd been born earlier but didn't think he was a good enough actor to appear opposite her if he had.
6Loy has gone on record as considering The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) her favourite film and the homecoming scene with Fredric March her favorite scene.
7Was considered for the title role in Mildred Pierce (1945).
8Was considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).
9A cast of her hand-print and her signature are in the sidewalk in front of Theater 80, on St. Mark's Place in New York City.
10A building at Sony Pictures Studios, formerly MGM Studios, in Culver City, California, is named in her honor.
11Was a member of New York's St. Paul's Methodist Church (later known as the United Methodist Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew).
12Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman. [1999]
13Is the subject of the song "Myrna Loy" by Steel Pole Bathtub (this song is different from and predates the song by The Minus 5).
14In 1960 she campaigned for John F. Kennedy. Later she did battle with Californian Governor Ronald Reagan over open-housing legislation and for years afterward was a vigorous member of the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing.
15Turned down the role of Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night (1934). Claudette Colbert was given the part and went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
16Appeared in the first feature film with synchronized sound (Don Juan (1926)) and first feature film with audible dialog (The Jazz Singer (1927)).
17Good friend of Princess Marina.
18In Italy, she was dubbed at the beginning of the (talking) career either by Tina Lattanzi or Rosina Galli. Later in her career, Lidia Simoneschi was her official Italian voice. She was once dubbed by the talented Giovanna Scotto in So Goes My Love (1946).
19Her Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) co-star, Jeanne Crain, died exactly ten years to the day after Myrna.
20Subject of the song "Myrna Loy" by The Minus 5.
21William Powell's nickname for her was 'Minnie'.
22Was supposedly the favorite star of famed outlaw John Dillinger. He came out of hiding to see Manhattan Melodrama (1934), in which she starred, and was gunned down by police upon leaving the theater.
23The statue outside Venice High School that bears her likeness is titled 'Inspiration', and has been the target of vandalism and school pranks for decades (Loy mentions in her book that the statue was even decapitated at one point). It is now surrounded by a fence.
24Appeared in staged prologues at Grauman's Egyptian theater in Los Angeles, before getting her first role in films. The prologues, staged by Fanchon and Marco, were live shows put on before the feature had begun. Myrna appeared in prologues for The Ten Commandments (1923) and The Thief of Bagdad (1924), among others.
25Her profile was the most requested in the 1930s by women to their plastic surgeons.
26First Actress to work for the UN (UNESCO).
27Her mother, Della Williams, was a talented pianist who encouraged Myrna's interest in the arts.
28Born on a cattle ranch.
29Outspoken against Adolf Hitler in the War, Myrna appeared on his blacklist.
30Made her stage debut in 1916.
31Myrna was Co-Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Committee against discrimination in housing - exposing segregation in federal funded projects.
32Moved to Manhattan in 1960, where she lived until her death in 1993.
33Attended Venice High School in Los Angeles, where a statue of her stands (on the front lawn). The same school was featured in the original Grease (1978), American History X (1998) and in The Chemical Brothers' and Britney Spears' music videos ("Elektrobank" and "Baby one more time", respectively).
34Changing last name from Williams to Loy was suggested by legendary pulp writer Paul Cain (AKA Peter Ruric).
35Underwent two mastectomies after being diagnosed with breast cancer twice.
36In honor of Myrna Loy, a poem was created called, Montana Women, which was read at the celebration of her 86th birthday.
37Myrna Williams made her stage debut at age twelve at Helena's old Marlow Theater in a dance she choreographed, based on "The Blue Bird" from the Rose Dream Operatta.
38Her final public appearance was in 1991 when she received her lifetime achievement award during The 63rd Annual Academy Awards (1991). She was unable to travel to Hollywood to accept the award in person, so the Academy arranged a live satellite link to her Manhattan apartment. Anjelica Huston introduced the film tribute presentation to her, which started with clips from The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and ended with a clip from After the Thin Man (1936) When the tribute finished, there was instantaneous rapturous applause and Huston then said, "Here from her apartment in New York is Miss Loy. Congratulations Myrna." Loy appeared live on a large screen from her beautiful New York apartment smiling, with her Honorary Oscar on a side table next to her. She was seated wearing sparkling purple evening wear and watched intently on her own television. She viewed and smiled at close up shots of fellow same-year Honorary Award recipient Sophia Loren and other audience members applauding. There was unusually no standing ovation, instead audience members remained seated during the applause, this was by no means a snub. There was a short silence after the applause, while the camera closed in on Miss Loy. She then looked directly at the camera and simply and said, "You've made me very happy, thank you very much," to yet further loud applause and then she disappeared from the screen once more.
39Received a Honorary Academy Award in the same year as Sophia Loren.
40At Venice High school, in the middle of a small rose garden, is a larger-than-life-size statue of actress Myrna Loy. And it was made years before Myrna appeared in a single movie. Actually, it isn't a particularly good likeness of Miss Loy. Standing atop a stone pedestal, back arched, the short-haired figure is semi-nude (wearing only a thin gown which leaves little to the imagination), with one arm raised in a dramatic pose. All three statues were modeled by Venice High students, and the trio are meant to depict the "Mental," "Physical" and "Spiritual." According to the bronze plaque on the east side of the pedestal, the statues were erected in 1921, which means that Myrna Loy (then named Myrna Williams) was only 16 years old when she posed for the "Spiritual" statue - long before she became a celebrity.
41Her father, at age 21, the youngest man ever elected to the Montana State Legislature, owned a small cattle ranch.
42Some of her biggest fans included James Stewart, Winston Churchill, and the Roosevelts. Franklin D. Roosevelt invited to the White House early on in his administration, and she became very friendly with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
43In 1923, she was photographed by Henry Waxman, who showed the pictures to Rudolph Valentino. Impressed with Myrna, Valentino arranged for a screen test for his upcoming film, Cobra (1925). She failed it.
44She organized an opposition to the House Unamerican Activities Committee in Hollywood.
45Recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center in 1988.
46In 1918, her father died in the Spanish Flu epidemic, and Myrna, her mom, and brother moved to LA.
47In 1936 Myrna was named Queen of the Movies and Clark Gable King in a national poll, winning a crown of tin and purple velvet. in her autobiography, she says that she did not get on with Gable in her earlier films with him. However, in her later films he developed a respect for Loy and they became good friends.
48After graduating from high school in 1923, Myrna got a job dancing in the chorus during the prologue for The Ten Commandments at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
49When her father was travelling by train in early 1905, he went through a small station called 'Myrna' - he eventually named her after that station.
50Spent her early years on a ranch and in the town of Helena, Montana, which was also the home of Gary Cooper.
51Myrna enrolled at Venice High School -- a school which later named its annual speech and drama awards 'Myrnas'.
52A devout Democrat and feminist, she later dismissed her work in the pre-Civil Rights-era movie Ham and Eggs at the Front (1927) as "shameful".
53Men-Must-Marry-Myrna Clubs were formed due to her portrayal as The Perfect Wife (The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)).
54Loy donned a uniform during the War when she joined the Hollywood Chapter of 'Bundles for Bluejackets' -- helping to run a Naval Auxiliary Canteen and going on fund raising tours.
55In 1937, Myrna had a narrow escape when her horse bolted during the filming of The Rains Came (1939) with Tyrone Power; she was nearly killed.
56'Caterina Williams' is sometimes quoted as her real name.
57She became a founder member of the American Place Theatre, a non-profit theatre set up to help new writers develop.
58One of a handful of great movie stars never nominated for an acting Oscar, she received an honorary Academy Award in 1991.
59Hobbies: Sculpting and dancing.
60She made her Broadway debut in the 1973 revival of "The Women".
61She served as an advisor to the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing.
62For five years (1949-1954) she served as a film advisor for UNESCO.


Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Third Degree1926Bit Part (uncredited)
Across the Pacific1926Roma
Don Juan1926Mai - Lady in Waiting
So This Is Paris1926Lalle's Maid
Exquisite Sinner1926Living statue
The Gilded Highway1926Inez Quartz
Why Girls Go Back Home1926Sally Short
The Love Toy1926Bit Part (uncredited)
The Caveman1926Maid
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ1925Slave Girl (uncredited)
Sporting Life1925Chorus Girl with Lord Wainwright (uncredited)
Pretty Ladies1925Showgirl (uncredited)
The Wanderer1925Girl at Baccanal (uncredited)
What Price Beauty?1925Vamp
Love, Sidney1982TV SeriesVera Lonnigan
Summer Solstice1981TV MovieMargaret
Just Tell Me What You Want1980Stella Liberti
The End1978Maureen Lawson
Ants1977TV MovieEthel
Airport 19751974Mrs. Devaney
The Elevator1974TV MovieAmanda Kenyon
Indict and Convict1974TV MovieJudge Christine Tayloy
Ironside1973TV SeriesAndrea Wollcott
The Couple Takes a Wife1972TV MovieBarbara's Mother
Columbo1972TV SeriesLizzy Fielding
Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate1971TV MovieEvelyn Tryon
Death Takes a Holiday1971TV MovieSelena Chapman
The April Fools1969Grace Greenlaw
The Virginian1967TV SeriesMrs. Miles
Family Affair1967TV SeriesAdele
Midnight Lace1960Aunt Bea
From the Terrace1960Martha Eaton
The DuPont Show with June Allyson1960TV SeriesMary Sidney
Meet Me in St. Louis1959TV MovieMrs. Anna Smith
Lonelyhearts1958Florence Shrike
Schlitz Playhouse1957TV Series
General Electric Theater1955-1957TV SeriesAllie Evans / Maggie Webster / Kate Kennedy
The Ambassador's Daughter1956Mrs. Cartwright
Belles on Their Toes1952Dr. Lillian M. Gilbreth
Cheaper by the Dozen1950Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth
If This Be Sin1949Lady Cathy Brooke
The Red Pony1949Alice Tiflin
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House1948Muriel Blandings
The Senator Was Indiscreet1947Mrs. Ashton (Cameo Appearance) (uncredited)
Song of the Thin Man1947Nora Charles
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer1947Judge Margaret Turner
The Best Years of Our Lives1946Milly Stephenson
So Goes My Love1946Jane Budden Maxim
The Thin Man Goes Home1945Nora Charles
Shadow of the Thin Man1941Nora Charles
Love Crazy1941Susan Ireland
Third Finger, Left Hand1940Margot Sherwood Merrick
I Love You Again1940Kay Wilson
Another Thin Man1939Nora Charles
The Rains Came1939Lady Edwina Esketh
Lucky Night1939Cora Jordan
Too Hot to Handle1938Alma Harding
Test Pilot1938Ann Thurston Barton
Man-Proof1938Mimi Swift
Double Wedding1937Margit Agnew
Parnell1937Katie
After the Thin Man1936Nora Charles
Libeled Lady1936Connie Allenbury
To Mary - with Love1936Mary Wallace
The Great Ziegfeld1936Billie Burke
Petticoat Fever1936Irene Campton
Wife vs. Secretary1936Linda
Whipsaw1935Vivian Palmer
Wings in the Dark1935Sheila Mason
Broadway Bill1934The Princess
Evelyn Prentice1934Evelyn Prentice
Stamboul Quest1934Annemarie, aka Fräulein Doktor and Helena Bohlen
The Thin Man1934Nora Charles
Manhattan Melodrama1934Eleanor
Men in White1934Laura
The Prizefighter and the Lady1933Belle
Night Flight1933Wife of Brazilian Pilot
Penthouse1933Gertie Waxted
When Ladies Meet1933Mary
The Barbarian1933Diana 'Di' Standing
Scarlet River1933Myrna Loy (uncredited)
Topaze1933/ICoco
The Animal Kingdom1932Cecelia Henry Collier
The Mask of Fu Manchu1932Fah Lo See
Thirteen Women1932Ursula Georgi
Love Me Tonight1932Countess Valentine
New Morals for Old1932Myra
The Woman in Room 131932Sari Loder
The Wet Parade1932Eileen Pinchon
Vanity Fair1932Becky Sharp
Emma1932Isabelle
Arrowsmith1931Mrs. Joyce Lanyon
Consolation Marriage1931Elaine Brandon
Skyline1931Paula Lambert
Transatlantic1931Kay Graham
Rebound1931Evie Lawrence
Hush Money1931Flo Curtis
A Connecticut Yankee1931Queen Morgan le Fay / Evil Sister in Mansion
Body and Soul1931Alice Lester
The Naughty Flirt1931Linda Gregory
The Devil to Pay!1930Mary Crayle
Rogue of the Rio Grande1930Carmita
The Truth About Youth1930Kara
Renegades1930Eleanore
The Bad Man1930
The Jazz Cinderella1930Mildred Vane
The Last of the Duanes1930Lola Bland
Bride of the Regiment1930Sophie
Cock o' the Walk1930Narita
Under a Texas Moon1930Lolita Romero
Isle of Escape1930Moira
Cameo Kirby1930Lea
The Show of Shows1929Performer in 'What Became of the Floradora Boys' & 'Chinese Fantasy' Numbers
Evidence1929Native Girl
The Great Divide1929Manuella
The Squall1929Nubi
The Black Watch1929Yasmani
The Desert Song1929Azuri
Hardboiled Rose1929Rose Duhamel
Fancy Baggage1929Myrna
Noah's Ark1928Dancer / Slave Girl
The Midnight Taxi1928Gertie Fairfax
State Street Sadie1928Isobel
Pay as You Enter1928Yvonne De Russo
The Crimson City1928Isobel State Street Sadie
Turn Back the Hours1928Tiza Torreon
A Girl in Every Port1928Jetta, Girl in Singapore (uncredited)
Beware of Married Men1928Juanita Sheldon
Ham and Eggs at the Front1927Fifi
If I Were Single1927Joan Whitley
The Girl from Chicago1927Mary Carlton
The Jazz Singer1927Chorus Girl (uncredited)
A Sailor's Sweetheart1927Claudette Ralston
The Heart of Maryland1927Mulatta
Simple Sis1927Edith Van
The Climbers1927Countess Veya
Bitter Apples1927Belinda White
When a Man Loves1927Convict Behind Manon (uncredited)
Finger Prints1927Vamp

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Belles on Their Toes1952performer: "Love's Old Sweet Song Just a Song at Twilight", "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose"
The Red Pony1949performer: "Marche Militaire" 1818, "Shall We Gather at the River?" 1864 - uncredited
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House1948performer: "Home on the Range" - uncredited
The Best Years of Our Lives1946performer: "Among My Souvenirs" 1927, "Beer Barrel Polka Roll Out the Barrel" 1927 - uncredited
Third Finger, Left Hand1940"Over the Rainbow" 1939, uncredited / performer: "The Riddle" 1940 - uncredited
Another Thin Man1939performer: "Adios Muchachos I Get Ideas" 1927 - uncredited
Test Pilot1938performer: "The Prisoner's Song If I Had the Wings of an Angel" 1924 - uncredited
Man-Proof1938"On a Sunday Afternoon" 1935, uncredited / performer: "On a Sunday Afternoon" 1935 - uncredited
Wife vs. Secretary1936performer: "Thank You for a Lovely Evening" 1934 - uncredited
Broadway Bill1934performer: "Split-Pea Soup and Succotash" - uncredited
Evelyn Prentice1934performer: "Lullaby Wiegenlied" 1868 - uncredited
The Prizefighter and the Lady1933performer: "Downstream Drifter" 1933 - uncredited
When Ladies Meet1933performer: "I Love But Thee Jeg elsker Dig!" 1864 - uncredited
The Barbarian1933"Love Songs of the Nile"
Love Me Tonight1932performer: "The Son of a Gun Is Nothing But a Tailor" 1932 - uncredited
Rebound1931performer: "Same Thing Over Again" 1931, "There's No Use Trying to Give Me the Air" - uncredited
The Truth About Youth1930performer: "Playing Around" 1930, "I Have to Have You" 1929 - uncredited
The Show of Shows1929performer: "What's Become of the Floradora Boys?", "Li-Po-Li" 1929 - uncredited
The Squall1929performer: "Gypsy Charmer" 1929 - uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
72nd Annual Academy Awards Pre-Show2000TV SpecialHerself (uncredited)
The 63rd Annual Academy Awards1991TV SpecialHerself - Honorary Award Recipient (Live from her Manhattan residence)
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts1988TV SpecialHerself - Honoree
CBS This Morning1988TV SeriesHerself
The Annual Waldorf Gala Salute to Myrna Loy1985TV MovieHerself - Honoree
The Legends of the Screen1983TV MovieHerself
Night of 100 Stars1982TV SpecialHerself
Henry Fonda and the Making of 'Summer Solstice'1981TV Short documentaryHerself
The Merv Griffin Show1980TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Mike Douglas Show1980TV SeriesHerself - Guest
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to William Wyler1976TV Special documentaryHerself
ABC Late Night1974TV SeriesHerself
Day at Night1974TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Movie Game1972TV SeriesHerself
The 42nd Annual Academy Awards1970TV SpecialHerself - Presenter: Best Short Films, Art Direction, and Best Director
The David Frost Show1969TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Omnibus1969TV Series documentaryHerself
The Joey Bishop Show1968TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1967TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The 32th Annual New York Film Critics Circle Awards1967TV SpecialHerself - Presenter
The Linkletter Show1967TV SeriesHerself
Here's Hollywood1962TV SeriesHerself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show1961TV SeriesHerself - Guest
I've Got a Secret1960TV SeriesHerself
Gala Adlai on Broadway1960TV MovieHerself - Performer
Celebrity Talent Scouts1960TV SeriesHerself
What's My Line?1960TV SeriesHerself - Mystery Guest
The George Gobel Show1959TV SeriesHerself - Guest
This Is Your Life1956TV SeriesHerself
Show-Business at War1943Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)
Verdensberømtheder i København1939ShortHerself
Another Romance of Celluloid1938Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)
The Candid Camera Story (Very Candid) of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures 1937 Convention1937Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)
20th Century Fox Promotional Film1936Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)
Fashion News1930DocumentaryHerself (1928, 1930)
1925 Studio Tour1925Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn2016Documentary
Stars of the Silver Screen2011TV SeriesHerself
1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year2009TV Movie documentary
American Masters2009TV Series documentary
Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood2008TV Movie documentaryGertie Waxted
Why Be Good? Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema2007DocumentaryHerself
William Powell: A True Gentleman2005Video short
Robert Capa, l'homme qui voulait croire2004TV Movie documentaryHerself
Complicated Women2003TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
Biography1998TV Series documentaryHerself
Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream1998TV Movie documentaryHerself
20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years1997TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies1995TV Movie documentaryHerself
That's Entertainment! III1994DocumentaryDiana 'Di' Standing (uncredited)
The 66th Annual Academy Awards1994TV SpecialHerself - Memorial Tribute
Myrna Loy Remembered1993TV Movie documentaryHerself
MGM: When the Lion Roars1992TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Hollywood Remembers: Myrna Loy - So Nice to Come Home to1991TV Movie documentaryHerself
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic1990TV Movie documentaryHerself
Moonlighting1987TV SeriesNora Charles
The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn1986TV Special documentaryHerself
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActress - Unidentified 'Thin Man' Film (uncredited)
That's Entertainment, Part II1976DocumentaryNora
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975DocumentaryHerself
The Dick Cavett Show1971TV SeriesHerself
Hollywood My Home Town1965DocumentaryHerself
Inside Daisy Clover1965Herself (uncredited)
The Love Goddesses1965DocumentaryHerself
The Big Parade of Comedy1964DocumentaryNora Charles
Hollywood and the Stars1963TV SeriesHerself
The Legend of Rudolph Valentino1961Video documentaryHerself
Screen Snapshots: Ramblin' Round Hollywood1955Documentary shortHerself
Some of the Greatest1955ShortMing
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story1951Documentary
Twenty Years After1944Short
The Miracle of Sound1940Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)
Trifles of Importance1940ShortHerself, film clip (uncredited)
Hollywood: Style Center of the World1940Documentary shortHerself
Northward, Ho!1940Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)
From the Ends of the Earth1939Documentary shortHerself
Screen Snapshots Series 17, No. 11937Documentary shortHerself
The Romance of Celluloid1937ShortMargit Agnew
Screen Snapshots Series 16, No. 111937Documentary shortHerself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1991Honorary AwardAcademy Awards, USA

In recognition of her extraordinary qualities both on screen and off, with appreciation for a ... More

1983Career Achievement AwardLos Angeles Film Critics Association Awards
1979Career Achievement AwardNational Board of Review, USA
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6685 Hollywood Blvd.

TitleSalary
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)$100,000
A Connecticut Yankee (1931)$1,500 /week
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)$3 .50

#Quote
1[on changing the direction of her career in the 1930s] I finally got fired because they ran out of hussies to play.
2[on "The Thin Man" series ending] It was the drinking. The characters drank too much, and for a while the public didn't seem to mind all the martinis and all the hangovers, but then, after a while, they did, or at least the studio maintained that was what happened.
3[on Joan Crawford] Joan never complained about her difficult children. Christina and Christopher made me glad I didn't have children.
4[on Ronald Reagan] I never worked with Ronald Reagan. I'm not happy that he's President. I was willing to give him a chance. But he's destroying everything now I've lived my life for.
5[on Joan Crawford, and the book, "Mommie Dearest"] What bothers me is that there were book buyers who bought that book and read it and people who believed it. What perplexes me and makes me profoundly sad was that people wanted to spend their money that way, on such trash, and, worse yet, believed it. The readers who believed it were the ones who did the damage.
6[on her character "Nora Charles" from the "Thin Man" films] Nora of "The Thin Man" was different . . . Nora had a gorgeous sense of humor; she appreciated the distinctive grace of her husband's wit. She laughed . . . at him and with him when he was funny. What's more, she laughed at herself. Besides having tolerance, she was a good guy. She was courageous and interested in living and she enjoyed doing all the things she did. You understand, she had a good time, always.
7[on Christina Crawford and her book "Mommie Dearest"] She wanted to be Joan Crawford. I think that's the basis of the book she wrote afterward and everything else. I saw what her mind created, the fantasy world she lived in. She envied her mother, grew to hate her, and wanted to destroy her.
8[on Christina Crawford when things got so bad with the Chicago production of "Barefoot in the Park" that Loy had to call the director of the London production to intervene] He couldn't do anything with her. Absolutely nothing. She was going to do it her way. It was self-defeating and sad, because the girl had potential.
9[on working with Joan Crawford's adopted daughter Christina Crawford in a Chicago production of "Barefoot in the Park"] We didn't have any problems in "Barefoot" until Christina Crawford appeared. I've never known anybody else like her--ever. Her stubbornness was really unbelievable. She would not do a single thing that anybody told her to do. You'd go out there on the stage and you couldn't find her. One thing an actor needs to know is exactly where people are on the stage. Christina completely disregarded her blocking, throwing the rest of us off.
10[In 1981, on her friend Joan Crawford] Joan and I approached being movie stars in a different way. She liked to take limos everywhere; she was much "grander", for lack of a better word, and maybe I was much more down to earth, but so what? Joan certainly wasn't the only movie star who liked the champagne and limousine treatment. I can tell you that when you made a friend in Joan you had a friend for life. She never forgot your birthday, and you'd get a congratulatory note from her when good things happened in your life. She cared about people and her friends, no matter what anybody says. I liked her, and I miss her, and I think her daughter's stories are pure bunk. Even if they were true, if ever there was a girl who needed a good whack it was spoiled, horrible Christina [Christina Crawford]. Believe me, there were many times I wanted to smack her myself.
11[In 1974] When I was touring in "Don Juan in Hell," we played a college town near New Orleans. Paul [Paul Newman] happened to be there shooting The Drowning Pool (1975), so I went to see him that afternoon. I remember walking down a country road past every kid in town waiting to glimpse Paul Newman. When he saw me he rushed over, threw his arms around me, and kissed me, eliciting a collective swoon from those kids, who were probably wondering, "Who's that lucky old lady?" We went off and talked until they called him back to work.
12[on Natacha Rambova] She was absolutely beautiful, the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She always wore turbans and long, very stark dresses, usually velvet or brocade of the same golden brown as her eyes. She was breathtaking and I was scared. "I know they call me everything from Messalina to a dope fiend", she disclosed to calm me, "but I really don't eat little dancers for breakfast".
13[on Tyrone Power] A lovely gentleman with a great quality of imagination.
14[on Montgomery Clift] Monty was a great talent, whose acting I always admired. He had extraordinary instincts. His observations about the script were always astute and correct. He would have made a great director, which eventually he wanted to be. "Would you ever direct yourself?", I once asked him. "Are you kidding", he replied. "As a director, I simply wouldn't put up with all that crap from me". Monty was having problems then. He was full of all kinds of problems, many of them imaginary.
15[on Doris Day] I have nothing but the best to say about Doris Day. She was wonderful to me, really lovely. She sent flowers when I started and remained friendly and attentive. As I've said, it's difficult when you start stepping down. You fight so hard to get to the top and then you realize it's time to gracefully give in a little. Doris, who was riding high then, never played the prima dona. I appreciated her attitude enormously.
16[on Rex Harrison] Rex Harrison was in a strange kind of mood in Midnight Lace (1960), no doubt because his wife Kay Kendall had died. He had very little time for me or anybody else, as far as I could tell; he did his job and that was it.
17[on Liza Minnelli] I love Liza. She is so original. People speak of her in terms of her mother, but she is herself, very definitely. A good, strong, unique person.
18[on Burt Reynolds] It's the man's tremendous wit that just keeps coming across. Listen, there is no acting style. Most people just play themselves. Spencer Tracy used to say to me after a scene, "Did I ham that one up?" If I said yes, he'd say, "Okay, let's do it again". There's that same honesty in Burt Reynolds. He's a throwback to the old school.
19[on William Powell] The later ones [the "Thin Man" pictures] were very bad indeed, but it was always a joy to work with Bill Powell. He was and is a dear friend and, in the early Thin Man films with [director W.S. Van Dyke], we managed to achieve what for those days was an almost pioneering sense of spontaneity.
20[on Barbra Streisand] I think Barbra Streisand is a genius, the creativity she has! And I am very impressed with her as a person. Some years ago I was on the Academy Awards broadcast, she came up to me. I was standing in the wings and Barbra walked across the stage to greet me. Very polite, very nice. You don't find many young women who extend that kind of gracious courtesy to an older woman. Audrey Hepburn does. And Barbra. I've not forgotten how charming she was.
21I was glamorous because of magicians like George J. Folsey, James Wong Howe, Oliver Marsh, Ray June, and all those other great cinematographers. I trusted those men and the other experts who made us beautiful. The rest of it I didn't give a damn about. I didn't fuss about my clothes, my lighting, or anything else, but, believe me, some of them did.
22[on Clark Gable] He happened to be an actor, a damned good one, and nobody knew it--least of all Clark. Oh, he wanted to be an actor, but he always deprecated his ability, pretended it didn't matter. He was a really shy man with a terrible inferiority in there somewhere. Something was missing that kept him from doing the things he could have done.
23[Referring to her "perfect wife" typecasting] Some perfect wife I am. I've been married four times, divorced four times, have no children, and can't boil an egg.
24[Challenging MGM bosses in the 1930s] Why does every black person in the movies have to play a servant? How about a black person walking up the steps of a courthouse carrying a briefcase?
25[on her screen test for Cobra (1925)] I rushed out of the projection room, ran home and cried for hours. I was really ashamed of myself. It was so awful . . .
26[Speaking in the late 1960s] I admire some of the people on the screen today, but most of them look like everybody else. In our day we had individuality. Pictures were more sophisticated. All this nudity is too excessive and it is getting very boring. It will be a shame if it upsets people so much that it brings on the need for censorship. I hate censorship. In the cinema there's no mystery. No privacy. And no sex, either. Most of the sex I've seen on the screen looks like an expression of hostility towards sex.
27[on her "Perfect Wife" label, based on her work in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)] It was a role no one could live up to, really. No telling where my career would have gone if they hadn't hung that title on me. Labels limit you, because they limit your possibilities. But that's how they think in Hollywood.
28I was a homely kid with freckles that came out every spring and stuck on me till Christmas.
29Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.
30[on her work with William Powell] I never enjoyed my work more than when I worked with William Powell. He was a brilliant actor, a delightful companion, a great friend and, above all, a true gentleman.

#Trademark
1Early in her career, often played sexy, unpredictable party girls
2Later in her career, often cast as maternal, heroic characters
3Turned-up nose

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