Una Merkel (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸
Una Merkel was born in Covington, Kentucky, on December 10. She was educated in the public schools of Covington and Philadelphia, and then attended a dramatic school in New York.
She made her debut in a picture in which she played the sister of Lillian Gish and, at the same time, doubled for her, but the picture was never finished. Her first stage appearance was in “Two by Two,” followed by “The Poor Nut.” She played the lead in “Pigs,” and then appeared in “Two Girls Wanted” and “The Gossipy Sex.”
With Helen Hayes
After a short season in vaudeville, Una played for two years in “Coquette” with Helen Hayes, and the two became firm friends. While appearing in “Salt Water” with Frank Craven, she was given a role in the picture, “Abraham Lincoln.”
Prior to signing her Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract she had roles in “Eyes of the World,” “The Bat Whispers,” “Command Performance,” “Daddy Long Legs,” and “Wicked.” Her recent films include “Private Lives,” Huddle, Red-Headed Woman, “Freedom,” “They Call it Sin,” “Whistling in the Dark,” “Clear All Wires,” ‘Midnight Mary,” “Day of Reckoning,” ‘Blonde Bombshell,” “Forever Faithful,” “This Side of Heaven,” “The Woman in His Life,” The Merry Widow, “The Rear Car,” “Have a Heart,” “Evelyn Prentice,” “Biography of a Bachelor Girl,” “The Night is Young,” “Baby Face Harrington,” “One New York Night,” Broadway Melody of 1936, “It’s In the Air,” Riff Raff, “Speed,” “We Went to College,” Born to Dance and “The Good Old Soak.”
Great Favorite on Lot
Una is a decided favorite on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot. Her grand sense of humor and sympathetic understanding have won her hosts of friends.
During her years in Hollywood she has also won a reputation for being decidedly original in entertainment plans for parties. She has become a consultant for everyone planning a party and desiring to introduce a novel note.
An ardent collector of games of all sorts, Una has little trouble entertaining guests. Arranged in a large room are games of every description and to suit every taste. Even tiddly-winks is included.
Summer barbecues are her favorite method of entertaining, however, and a large barbecue pit in the garden of her home, flanked by long tables and rustic chairs, provides an ideal setting.
She is five feet five inches tall, weighs 108 pounds, has blonde hair and blue eyes. Una is an expert pianist and a good cook. She likes swimming and reading biographies. She is afraid of microphones.
Now Glamour Girl
She made her first appearance as a glamour girl in Saratoga, wearing an especially designed wardrobe and a set of chic coiffures. As a matter of fact, the talented actress had fifteen changes of costume in the picture, nine more than she ever made before.
Glamour was a new thrill for Miss Merkel. Prior to Saratoga, she had been featured almost exclusively opposite comedians of the Frank Morgan and Charlie Butterworth type. She even was kissed by Gable.
On the strength of her remarkable performance in Saratoga, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gave the “one girl in pictures who speaks with a Southern accent and means it” a new contract.
She is destined for bigger, and, she hopes, more glamorous roles.
Collection: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1937)
Source: Photoplay Magazine, March 1933