Job Actress
Years active 1923-1966
Known for Wisecracking friends; maiden aunts and sassy spinsters (later career)
Top Roles Flo Saunders, Miss Bedelia Baines, Lily Belle, Kitty Riley, Violet Ranley
Top GenresComedy, Drama, Romance, Musical, Film Adaptation, Crime
Top TopicsBook-Based, Mistaken Identity, Pre-Code Cinema
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Producer), (Producer), (Producer)
Shares birthday with Victor McLaglen, Dorothy Lamour, Reginald Rose  see more..

Una Merkel Overview:

Legendary character actress, Una Merkel, was born Una Kohnfelder on Dec 10, 1903 in Covington, KY. Merkel died at the age of 82 on Jan 2, 1986 in Los Angeles, CA and was laid to rest in Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, KY.

MINI BIO:

Una Merkel was a pixieish American actress with dimpled cheeks and red-gold hair. She sometimes played leading roles in the thirties, but more often was cast as the heroine's wisecracking friend or characters called 'Tootsie,' 'Trixie' and the like. In post-war years, looking more sprite-like than ever, she turned up as maiden aunts and sassy spinsters. 

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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Although Merkel was nominated for one Oscar, she never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1961Best Supporting ActressSummer and Smoke (1961)Mrs. WinemillerNominated
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She was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

: Saucy Sidekick

By shadowsandsatin on Oct 25, 2021 From Shadows and Satin

In her 1930s features, portrayed a variety of standout roles, including the shrill and frequently sobbing Sibyl in Private Lives (1931), the wronged girlfriend of David Manners in Man Wanted (1931), Jean Harlow’s scheming secretary in Bombshell (1932), and a wisecracking chorus girl... Read full article


Carole Lombard and in "True Confession": Inspiration for "I Love Lucy?"

By Stephen Reginald on Jan 6, 2016 From Classic Movie Man

Carole Lombard and in "True Confession": Inspiration for "I Love Lucy?" I Love Lucy was a landmark in television history. The original series ran for six years on CBS and for four of those years was the top-rated TV show in the country. One of the dynamics that made the show work s... Read full article


Know Your Character Actor:

By smumcountry on Mar 22, 2014 From Smum County

March 22, 2014 by smumcounty Abraham Lincoln (1930) was born in Covington, Kentucky on Dec 10th, 1903. In her teens she moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in films. In her early years, she so resembled Lillian Gish that D.W. Griffith hired her as Gish?s stand-in for ?Way Down East? (1... Read full article


Know Your Character Actor:

By smumcountry on Mar 22, 2014 From Smum County

March 22, 2014 by smumcounty Abraham Lincoln (1930) was born in Covington, Kentucky on Dec 10th, 1903. In her teens she moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in films. In her early years, she so resembled Lillian Gish that D.W. Griffith hired her as Gish?s stand-in for ?Way Down East? (1... Read full article


Funny Lady Blogathon:

By Vanessa Buttino on Jun 28, 2013 From Stardust

Funny Lady Blogathon: Wide eyes + button nose + pert mouth = the cutest face you ever did see. I have never laughed so hard whilst watching a classic film as I did at 's wisecracks in Warner Brothers' backstage musical 42nd Street (1933). In between bouts of laughter, ... Read full article


See all articles

Una Merkel Quotes:

Marion Cullen: I've answered ads for everything from a waitress to a lady's maid, and it's always the same old story - ten girls for every job.
Dixie Dare: My trouble's just the opposite - ten jobs and only one Dixie Dare!


Georgia Latham: I'll call you Godfrey. It'll sound like I'm swearing.


Lillian 'Lil': I'm not gonna spend my whole life on the wrong side of the railroad tracks.
Sally: I hope you don't get hit by a train while you're crossing over.


read more quotes from Una Merkel...



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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1961






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Una Merkel on the
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Una Merkel Facts
Father: (Albert) Arno Merkel born May 9, 1882 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Died December 23, 1969 in Los Angeles, California. Mother: Bessie Phares Merkel died in New York, NY on March 5, 1945. She was 61 years old. Interred in Covington, Kentucky.

She almost died in 1946 when her mother committed suicide by turning on the gas.

Was originally signed for the title role in Blondie (1938) but was replaced before filming began.

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