Monday, August 1, 2011

I (Heart) Myrna!




I share my birthday (August 2) with my favorite movie star: Myrna Loy.

I couldn't believe it when I first found out.

Born in 1905, the fabulous Myrna died age 88 in 1993. She never received an Oscar for a single performance, but did receive an honorary Oscar in 1991. Acknowledging the recognition was her last public appearance.

I first became enamored with Myrna watching the entire Thin Man series -- Nick and Nora Charles and their dog, Asta, are so cosmopolitan and suave as they solve crimes. They have a fabulous life; watching it just makes you want to be a part of it.

In every film, Myrna is poised, witty, sophisticated, funny, pretty without being distractingly gorgeous, and, while always a lady, she can be disarmingly down-to-earth and bawdy. She treated everyone equally, getting along with everybody no matter who they were.

She was miscast when she first began in films, playing exotic roles, femme fetales, and vamps. She came into her own in the '30s when she got scripts where she was allowed to be witty and showcase her comic timing. She was an excellent comedienne -- and her slight air of ditziness and clumsiness further endeared her to me, since I seem to share both traits.

Some of my favorite films are the Thin Man series, as mentioned, as well as Libeled Lady (one of my favorite screwball comedies), Test Pilot, Wife vs. Secretary, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, and Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House. She worked with them all: Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, William Powell -- and held her own with all of them. Her most frequent co-star with the debonair Powell. They were in 14 films together.


She was rumored to have affairs with Spencer Tracy, Leslie Howard, and William Powell.


Personally, she sounds as awesome as I would have hoped she would be. She all but quit acting during WWII to concentrate on raising funds for the war effort and to work with the Red Cross.
She spoke out against Hitler so vehemently she was on his blacklist. She was an advocate for equal rights. She supported black performers when it wasn't popular to do so.

She married four times but the marriages just didn't work out. She never had kids, but was close to the step-kids she had. She was a breast cancer survivor in her later years. Sadly, she died during an operation.

Myrna Loy was class. There will never be another like her, and more's the pity.

28 comments:

Ms. A said...

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!"

Belle said...

Happy Birthday. I also admire Myrna Loy. My husband and I love all her movies. She was one of the best of her time.

SP said...

Happy B'Day!!!

I am so much like Myrna :)

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

Mr. Blandings Builds a Dreamhouse is one of my all time favorites..She is wonderful. Happy Birthday!

Sweet Tea said...

"Happy Birthday to you!". Every time I visit your Blog I learn something. :-)
Hope you have a wonderful Birthday!

Jane said...

Happy birthday, Amy! It's been wonderful reading your blog and sort-of getting to know you over the last few months, and I hope you have a well-deserved relaxing and wonderful day. :)

The Frog Queen said...

Wow....funny how things work their way through your life. My grandmother, one of the most amazing people I ever knew LOVED her....I saw all her movies....she would take me to the old theaters in LA to see them.....I was just thinking about her the other day....she always said, "the woman had class" with a smile on her face....your post...using those words. Made my day.

Thank you. I needed that today.

Cheers!

The Frog Queen said...

BTW - Happy Birthday! :)

Cheers!

Arkansas Patti said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
I too remember some of those films. She really had a great career.
You also share a birthday with my great niece who will someday be a super model if you can be patient. She is only 2 right now.
Hope you are throughly spoiled today. Enjoy.

maddyrose said...

Have a happy birthday. I too am a big Myrna Loy fan. I loved the Thin Man series.

Lois said...

Reserved "the thin man" from the library, we depend heavily on the library ever since we cancelled our cable. They have quite a few of her films. And have a great birthday!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

She sounds almost as fabulous as you.
Almost.
Happy Birthday, my lady!:)
Thinking of you today.

Dan said...

I think I'd go with Hedy Lamarr - just because of her wartime patent.

But i do have to agree - the Thin Man series of stories are some of Hammett's best.

Dan said...

Oh, and ...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

e said...

Happy Birthday, and I wish you many more. I haven't seen the original Thin Man, but there was a sixties re-make that I vaguely recall. My birthday is on the 4th.

Doris Sturm said...

Happy Birthday and this was another interesting read that I was not aware of!

Enjoy your day :-)

EG Wow said...

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful birthday!

ReformingGeek said...

Happy Birthday!

What a nice write-up for Myna. It makes me want to go watch some old movies.

Sharon Morris said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMY!!! Hope it's the best one yet! I enjoyed your recent "bug" blog.

Retired English Teacher said...

She really was a beautiful and amazing woman. So are you. I hope you have had wonderful birthday.

Carol............. said...

Happy Late B.D!

There was something very special about the ladies in films of yesterday. Classy is the word and many actresses today could learn a few things from them.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Happy belated birthday! Myrna Loy is beautiful...and so are you. I would love to see the Thin Man series...I didnt realize there were television "series" such as this, during that time frame....

Blessings & Aloha!
Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind, kind comment.

Jenny said...

Happy Birthday! What an elegant post!

Mrs. Tuna said...

Well happy belated birthday! Hope it was an amazing day :)

injaynesworld said...

What a lovely tribute. I remember Loy best from the Thin Man series and didn't know all that other stuff about her. She sounds like quite a lady. Happy Birthday to another. :)

Chris said...

Myrna sounds very much like someone else I know. They share a birthday.

Bodacious Boomer said...

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House has always been a fav of mine. Happy Belated BD kiddo.

Traci said...

Happy belated birthday Amy. I hope you had a wonderful day. As you can see, I'm so behind on all my correspondence. There are so many great actors and actresses from the past to look up to. They don't make 'em like they used to.