Una Merkel (1903–1986)

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Una Merkel began her movie career as stand-in for Lillian Gish in the movie The Wind (1928). After that, she performed on Broadway before she returned to movies for the D.W. Griffith film Abraham Lincoln (1930). In her early years, before gaining a few pounds, she looked like Lillian Gish, but after Abraham Lincoln (1930) her comic potential was ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »


Known For

42nd Street Lorraine Fleming
Private Lives Sibyl Chase
The Parent Trap Verbena
The Maltese Falcon Effie Perine


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (115 credits)
 1968 I Spy (TV Series)
Aunt Alta
- Home to Judgment (1968) ... Aunt Alta
 1966 Spinout
Violet Ranley
 1963-1965 Burke's Law (TV Series)
Clara Lovelace / Mrs. Thomas Barrett / Miss Samantha Cartier
- Who Killed the Rabbit's Husband? (1965) ... Clara Lovelace
- Who Killed the Strangler? (1965) ... Mrs. Thomas Barrett
- Who Killed Cynthia Royal? (1963) ... Miss Samantha Cartier
 1964 The Cara Williams Show (TV Series)
Amelia Hofstetter
- Amelia Hofstetter, Please Go Home (1964) ... Amelia Hofstetter
 1964 A Tiger Walks
Mrs. Watkins
 1964 Destry (TV Series)
Granny Farrell
- Law and Order Day (1964) ... Granny Farrell
 1963 The Bill Dana Show (TV Series)
Mrs. Hatten
- The Poker Game (1963) ... Mrs. Hatten
 1963 Summer Magic
Mariah Popham
 1962 The Real McCoys (TV Series)
Mrs. Gaylord
- The New Housekeeper (1962) ... Mrs. Gaylord
 1961 Summer and Smoke
Mrs. Winemiller
 1961 The Parent Trap
 1959 The Mating Game
Ma Larkin
 1958 The United States Steel Hour (TV Series)
- Flint and Fire (1958)
 1958 The DuPont Show of the Month (TV Series)
Aladdin's Mother
- Cole Porter's 'Aladdin' (1958) ... Aladdin's Mother
 1957 The Girl Most Likely
Dodie's Mother
 1957 Climax! (TV Series)
- The Secret of the Red Room (1957) ... Maud
 1957 The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown
 1957 The Red Skelton Hour (TV Series)
Mrs. Van Wyck
- Freddie and the Happy Helper (1957) ... Mrs. Van Wyck
 1957 Playhouse 90 (TV Series)
Louise Hoagland
- The Greer Case (1957) ... Louise Hoagland
 1956 Bundle of Joy
Mrs. Dugan
 1956 Calling Terry Conway (TV Movie)
Pearl McGrath
 1956 The Kettles in the Ozarks
Miss Bedelia Baines
 1955 Kraft Theatre (TV Series)
- Trucks Welcome (1955)
 1955 The Kentuckian
Sophie Wakefield
 1954 Studio One (TV Series)
Parsis McHugh
- Two Little Minks (1954) ... Parsis McHugh
 1953 Your Jeweler's Showcase (TV Series)
- The Monkey's Paw (1953) ... 1
 1953 I Love Melvin
Mom Schneider
 1953 Schlitz Playhouse (TV Series)
- Guardian of the Clock (1953) ... Secretary
 1952 Four Star Playhouse (TV Series)
Rose Barton
- My Wife Geraldine (1952) ... Rose Barton
 1952 The Merry Widow
Kitty Riley
 1952 With a Song in My Heart
Sister Marie
 1951 Golden Girl
Mary Ann Crabtree
 1951 A Millionaire for Christy
Patsy Clifford
 1951 Rich, Young and Pretty
 1950 Emergency Wedding
Emma - Nurse / Receptionist
 1950 My Blue Heaven
Miss Irma Gilbert
 1950 Kill the Umpire
Betty Johnson
 1948 The Man from Texas
Widow Weeks
 1948 The Bride Goes Wild
Miss Doberly
 1947 It's a Joke, Son!
Mrs. Magnolia Claghorn
 1944 Sweethearts of the U.S.A.
Patsy Wilkins
 1944 To Heir Is Human (Short)
 1943 Quack Service (Short)
 1943 This Is the Army
Rose Dibble
 1942 Twin Beds
 1942 The Mad Doctor of Market Street
Aunt Margaret Wentworth
 1941 Cracked Nuts
Sharon Knight
 1941 Road to Zanzibar
Julia Quimby
 1941 Double Date
Aunt Elsie Kirkland
 1940 The Bank Dick
Myrtle Sousé
 1940 Sandy Gets Her Man
Nan Clark
 1940 Comin' Round the Mountain
Belinda Watters
 1939 Destry Rides Again
Lily Belle Callahan
 1939 On Borrowed Time
Marcia Giles
 1939 Some Like It Hot
Flo Saunders
 1939 Four Girls in White
Gertie Robbins
 1937 True Confession
Daisy McClure
 1937 Checkers
Mamie Appleby
 1937 Saratoga
 1937 The Good Old Soak
 1937 Don't Tell the Wife
Nancy Dorsey
 1936 Born to Dance
Jenny Saks
 1936 We Went to College
Susan Standish
 1936 Speed
Josephine Sanderson
 1936 Riffraff
 1935 It's in the Air
Alice Lane Churchill
 1935 Broadway Melody of 1936
Kitty Corbett
 1935 Murder in the Fleet
Toots Timmons
 1935 Baby Face Harrington
Millicent 'Millie' Harrington
 1935 One New York Night
 1935 The Night Is Young
Fanni Kerner
 1935 Biography of a Bachelor Girl
Slade Kinnicott
 1934 Evelyn Prentice
Amy Drexel
 1934 The Merry Widow
Queen Dolores
 1934 Have a Heart
Joan O'Day
 1934 The Cat's-Paw
Pet Pratt
 1934 Paris Interlude
 1934 Murder in the Private Car
Georgia Latham
 1934 This Side of Heaven
 1933 The Women in His Life
Miss 'Simmy' Simmons
 1933 Day of Reckoning
 1933 Bombshell
 1933 Menu (Short)
Mrs. Omsk (uncredited)
 1933 Beauty for Sale
Carol Merrick
 1933 Broadway to Hollywood
Flirt in Audience (uncredited)
 1933 Her First Mate
 1933 Midnight Mary
 1933 Reunion in Vienna
Ilsa Hinrich
 1933 Clear All Wires!
 1933 42nd Street
Lorraine Fleming
 1933 Whistling in the Dark
Toby Van Buren
 1932 Men Are Such Fools
 1932 They Call It Sin
Dixie Dare
 1932 Red-Headed Woman
 1932 Huddle
 1932 Man Wanted
Ruth 'Ruthie' Holman
 1932 The Impatient Maiden
Betty Merrick
 1932 She Wanted a Millionaire
Mary Taylor
 1931 Private Lives
Sibyl Chase
 1931 The Secret Witness
Lois Martin
 1931 Wicked
 1931 The Bargain
 1931 Daddy Long Legs
Sally McBride
 1931 The Maltese Falcon
Effie Perine
 1931 6 Cylinder Love
Margaret Rogers
 1931 Don't Bet on Women
Tallulah Hope
 1931 Command Performance
Princess Katerina
 1930 The Bat Whispers
Dale Van Gorder
 1930 The Eyes of the World
Sybil LaGrange
 1930 Abraham Lincoln
Ann Rutledge
 1924 The Fifth Horseman
 1923 Love's Old Sweet Song (Short)
Show Show Additional Crew (3 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack (8 credits)
Show Show Self (8 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (5 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

(1947-48) Radio: Appeared (as "Adaline Fairchild") in "The Great Gildersleeve". See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Interview | 3 Articles | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »


5' 4" (1.63 m)


Ronald Lucin Burla  (divorced)


Arno | Merkel, Bess

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on W.C. Fields] Yes, I remember the first day I worked with him; he was two hours late to the set. He was due at 9 and came in at 11, and he'd had quite a night the night before, I guess. The first scene was all of us sitting around the table--- I was his daughter; I was supposed to say, "Good morning, Pater," and kiss him. So in the rehearsal he apologized because you could smell the alcohol, ... See more »


Merkel appeared in both versions of "The Merry Widow (1934)" with Jeanette Macdonald and Maurice Chevalier and more than seventeen years later "The Merry Widow (1952)" with Lana Turner and Fernando Lamas in different roles. See more »

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