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Linda Darnell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (1) | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 16 October 1923Dallas, Texas, USA
Date of Death 10 April 1965Glenview, Illinois, USA  (house fire)
Birth NameMonetta Eloyse Darnell
Nickname Tweedles
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Linda Darnell, one of five children of a postal clerk, grew up fast. At 11, she was modeling clothes, giving her age as 16. At 13, she was appearing on the stage with little theater groups. Her mother encouraged her to audition when Hollywood talent scouts came to Dallas. She went to California and when the studio found out how young she really was, she was sent home and told to come back when she was 15. Her fourth film, Star Dust (1940), was based on this real life experience. It was Star Dust (1940) that Darnell was watching the night of April 9, 1965, at the home of her former secretary, located in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The house caught on fire in the early hours of the next morning and Darnell died that afternoon in Cook County Hospital. The character she played in one of her best known roles, Forever Amber (1947) survived the London fire, the plague and the perils of being the mistress of the English king, Charles II.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dale O'Connor <daleoc@worldnet.att.net>

Linda Darnell was born Monetta Eloyse Darnell in Dallas, Texas, one of five children of a post office worker and his wife. It was evident at an early age that she would be a ravishing beauty, and her mother encouraged her to model. By age 11 she was modeling clothes for an area department store. She had no trouble getting modeling jobs even at such a young age, mainly because her beauty was so striking that potential clients, agencies and even government officials would think she was five or six years older than she actually was--something that neither she nor her mother did anything to discourage.

By the time Linda was 13 she was acting in local theater companies and her talent was already becoming apparent. There was no doubt that Linda had a rare gift for someone so young. When the Hollywood studios sent scouts to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, her mother thought it would be a good idea to take Linda to a tryout. The talent scouts took one look at her and her acting abilities and arranged for a screen test. She made the trek to Hollywood, but when her real age became known she was sent home. After two years and more local theater appearances, Linda returned to California and her career was off and running.

Linda made her film debut in 1939 in the role of Marcia Bromley in Hotel for Women (1939). She was all of 16 at the time and became the youngest leading lady in Hollywood history. Her next film was Day-Time Wife (1939). Her third film was Star Dust (1940) made in 1940, in which she played Carolyn Ayres. Linda quickly ascended the ladder of stardom, and she began appearing in more expensive and better quality films, making a stunningly beautiful leading lady in the swashbuckling The Mark of Zorro (1940) opposite Tyrone Power. She worked with Power again in the hit Blood and Sand (1941) and held her own with Jack Oakie in the hilarious football comedy Rise and Shine (1941). In 1945 she played Netta Longdon in Hangover Square (1945), which proved to be a box-office bonanza. The following year Linda appeared with the legendary Lillian Gish in Centennial Summer (1946). Later that same year she co-starred with Henry Fonda and Victor Mature in My Darling Clementine (1946). It was another hit and garnered Linda some of the best reviews of her career. She scored another hit opposite Cornel Wilde in 1947's Forever Amber (1947), in which she survived the notorious Great London Fire. In 1952 she starred in Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952) along with Irene Ryan, Robert Newton and William Bendix.

Linda's final screen appearance was in the low-budget western Black Spurs (1965). She was married and divorced three times: to cinematographer J. Peverell Marley from 1944-1952, to Phillip Liebmann (a New York brewer) from 1954-1955 and to Merle Roy Robertson (an airline pilot) from 1957-1962. On April 10, 1965, Linda died from burns she received in a fire at the house of her former secretary. Ironically, she had been watching Star Dust (1940) on television, which was one of the films that set her career in motion, when the house caught fire. She had appeared in a total of 46 films. Often described as the "girl with the perfect face", Linda Darnell died at the age of 41.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Spouse (3)

Merle Roy Robertson (3 March 1957 - 23 November 1963) (divorced)
Phillip Liebmann (25 February 1954 - 2 December 1955) (divorced)
J. Peverell Marley (18 April 1943 - 20 February 1951) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (8)

Born at 4:40am-CST.
Stage and television actress.
Died in a fire of unknown source while visiting friends. While sleeping upstairs and awakened by smoke, she tried to exit through the downstairs door, but was trapped. Badly burned over 90% of her body she died the following day in the hospital. Source: "Hollywood Beauty" by Ronald L. Davis University of Oklahoma Press.
Suffered from alcoholism during most of her career.
Mother of Charlotte Mildred Adams (nicknamed Lola). Born on January 5, 1948; adopted in 1948 while Darnell was married to J. Peverell Marley.
In Italy, almost all her films were dubbed by either Lidia Simoneschi or Dhia Cristiani. Only once was she dubbed by Paola Barbara: in The Mark of Zorro (1940).
Acted as a witness at close friend Lana Turner's wedding to Stephen Crane.
Tuptim, her character in Anna and the King of Siam (1946), was executed by being burned at the stake. In real life, Linda died at age 41 from burns received in a house fire.

Personal Quotes (1)

[about her time at Twentieth Century-Fox] Leaving Fox was like leaving home at 28; I'd been there since I was 16.

Salary (1)

Hotel for Women (1939) $750 /week

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