One of the quintessential leading ladies of cinema was Myrna Loy. To the screen, she brought an easy sense of poise and wit that few possess. During her reign at MGM, she came to be referred to as “the perfect wife.” However, Julianne Moore stated a more accurate statement when she declared that Myrna was the perfect acting partner. Together, TCM and Moore created a tribute to this wonderful actress that can be seen in this clip.
Through her endearing wit and charm she captured the hearts of millions worldwide. It even brought her marriage proposals from two very sought after leading men (Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy). She co-stared with both of these individuals along with other notable stars of the era including Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, Franchot Tone, and yes, William Powell.
Myrna did not find stardom easily. It took years of working as an extra in silent films (most often being cast as a vamp) to be noticed by fans and the heads of the studio.
Once MGM found the right movie niche for her, this small town girl from Montana could not be stopped. She was cast in countless memorable movies, including a series a films done by her dear friend William Powell. Of course, I am referring to are none other than the “Thin Man” movies. Here is a wonderful clip that highlights just a few sections of witty banter that occur during the first “Thin Man” movie.
When World War II broke out she stopped making films so that she could focus all of her efforts on war relief. This was a dedicated move and despite her long absence, audiences welcomed her back with open arms. Additionally she became the first Hollywood star to become a member of U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. Myrna was an incredibly dedicated woman who gave of herself freely for a ‘just’ cause. With her wit, intelligence and grace, it’s no wonder that some of the biggest names in Hollywood history wanted to work with her. If you are looking for a good read, she wrote a biography entitled, “Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming.” It is hard to find as it is out of print but if you have the opportunity to read it, it is well worth it.
“Life, is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.” Myrna Loy