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Dina Merrill Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (17)

Overview (5)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in East Hampton, New York, USA  (Lewy body dementia)
Birth NameNedenia Marjorie Hutton
Nickname Deenie
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

It would have been pretty darn difficult for actress Dina Merrill to have ever pulled off playing a commoner on stage, film or TV. She just had too much class. The epitome of poise and glamour, the New York-born socialite and celebrity was born in 1923, the daughter of E.F. Hutton, the financier and founder of the Wall Street firm which bears his name, and heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post of the Post cereal fortune. Although Dina made elaborate use of her upbringing over the decades, she handled it all positively and graciously, without tabloid incident. Instilling these same refined credentials into her characters. She originally did not intend to pursue acting. After studying at George Washington University, she suddenly dropped out after only a year (to the chagrin of her disapproving parents) after sensing a strong desire to perform. Enrolling at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and apprenticed in summer stock in the early 1940s before reaching Broadway with "The Mermaids Singing" (1945). After nearly a decade of theater roles and taking some time off to raise 2 children (her first husband was Stanley Rumbough, Jr., an heir to the Colgate toothpaste fortune), Dina finally made her official film debut with a smart and stylish support role in the Spencer Tracy / Katharine Hepburn vehicle Desk Set (1957). With charm to spare, she continued in her same upper-crust vein playing some version of the model wife, or socialite maven in her many posh but hardly challenging outings. Some of Dina's more noticeable roles came with Operation Petticoat (1959) with the equally classy Cary Grant, BUtterfield 8 (1960), starring Elizabeth Taylor and Laurence Harvey, and The Young Savages (1961) opposite Burt Lancaster. Following her divorce to Rumbough after 20 years, she married handsome actor Cliff Robertson in 1966. The pair had one daughter and were a popular Hollywood fixture for nearly 20 years before they, too, ended up divorced. With her film career on the wane, Dina gravitated toward the usual TV guest spots, and went on to co-star on Broadway with the drama "Angel Street" (1975) and the revamped musical "On Your Toes" (1983). In 1989 Dina married actor and investment banker Ted Hartley. Together they bought RKO Studios and renamed it RKO Pavilion. He serves as chairman while she served as vice chairperson and creative director. The studio produced such popular efforts as Milk & Money (1996) and the remake of Mighty Joe Young (1998).

Admired for her tireless philanthropic contributions, she was a moderate Republican (vice chair of the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition), and an active lobbyist for women's health issues. Dina also devoted much time working for the disadvantaged, particularly for the New York City Mission Society. Still active, an avid tennis and golf player as she approached age 90, the ever-glamorous Dina appeared most recently in a summer stock production of "Only a Kingdom" (2004) and continued to appear in occasional movie and television productions, until her death.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net (updated U.N. Owen)

Spouse (3)

Ted Hartley (18 November 1989 - 22 May 2017) ( her death)
Cliff Robertson (22 December 1966 - 1989) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Stanley Maddox Rumbough, Jr. (23 March 1946 - 15 December 1966) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Trivia (17)

Third husband Ted Hartley was a regular on the television series Peyton Place (1964). In 1989, they bought RKO Pictures, which she managed until her death.
Received the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award (1994).
Her mother's first husband, Edward Bennett Close, was the grandfather of actress Glenn Close.
Spent her winters growing up at Mar-A-Lago, the largest and most elaborate estate in Palm Beach, Florida. As of this writing, Mar-a-Lago is owned by Donald Trump, who runs the estate as a private club and residence. Trump rescued the estate from condemnation in 1985 and painstakingly restored it to its former glory.
On Broadway in the 1940s before moving to film, she was hardly ever stretched during her career, being typed rather severely as a tactful, altruistic wife in family fare or as an elegant socialite and patron of the arts in sophisticated fluff.
When one of her children was diagnosed with diabetes, she became one of the founders of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which is dedicated to diabetic research. She is also a director of Project Orbis, a flying ophthalmological hospital which teaches advanced eye care and performs surgical techniques around the world.
She was a trustee of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Centern and a director of the Museum of Broadcasting. She was also a presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
As an actress, socialite and model, she made the cover of Life magazine on January 11, 1960.
Received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. [April 2005]
Her cousin was heiress Barbara Hutton, who at one time was married to Cary Grant, who later co-starred with Merrill on Operation Petticoat (1959).
Her three children with first husband Stanley Rumbough, Jr--a Colgate heir--are Stanley, David (deceased), and Nedenia (Nina). She and second husband Cliff Robertson are the parents of daughter Heather Robertson (deceased).
She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village, New York City.
Both she and her then husband Cliff Robertson played "Special Guest Villains" on Batman (1966).
At a net worth of over $5 billion, she is by far the richest actress in the world. While this list changes every year, she has consistently held the #1 spot every year.
Ex-stepmother of Stephanie Robertson.
Daughter of Marjorie Merriweather Post and E.F. Hutton.
Her son David Post Rumbough (DOB: September 27, 1949) was killed in a boating accident on September 8, 1973 when the twin engine racing boat in which he was riding capsized in choppy seas in Gardiner's Bay off eastern Long Island. His remains were recovered on September 13th.

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