August 2, 1905 – December 14, 1993
She was born Myrna Williams, in 1905. She studied acting and dancing, and when her father died in 1918, her mother moved the family just outside of Hollywood.
Legend has it that she was chorine at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and Valentino and his wife Natacha Rambova discovered her, and gave her a part in What Price Beauty. I wonder what price. After that, she was given many roles as Hindu, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesians, and a friend suggested she change her surname to Loy, to sound more authentic.
When she teamed up with William Powell to do The Thin Man movies, it made her a star. God, did they drink, or what? All her life, she never received an Oscar, but you know the academy. When they smell death, they come a runnin! In 1991 she was awarded a special Oscar for lifetime achievement.
She lived in Manhattan, in an apartment building overlooking the East River.
Her address was 425 East 63rd Street.
Here is the building entrance.
A big thanks to Findadeath.com friends Stacy Weinstein and Mark Ferrara for those pics, and of Lenox Hill Hospital below. Cheers, you guys.
Her second to last film appearance was in 1978, in The End, directed by Burt Reynolds.
I am extremely (and as usual) embarrassed by how little information about Myrna’s death and funeral that I have. If anyone can share any information, please send it in. In the meantime, as a consolation prize, here is Myrna’s famous recipe for Quick Chicken Pimento Soup.
Let me know if you make it.
Findadeath.com friend NuclearClover sends us this in September of 2001: Hi there ! I got curious and decided to make it after seeing the recipe on your site, and it’s not bad at all.
Wow, more nerve than me! Thanks for the info!
On November first of 1993, she checked in to the Lenox Hill Hospital, where she died 43 days later, during surgery.
Myrna was taken to the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, and eventually she was cremated and sent back to her native Helena Montana, for burial.
Thank you to Kevin Fitzpatrick for that photograph.
Trivia: Myrna was John Dillinger’s favorite actress. When he was in Chicago, he popped into the Biograph Theater to watch Manhattan Melodrama, with a woman dressed in red.
We all know what happened when the film finished don’t we? Thanks to Findadeath.com friend Josh Perry for that picture.
More: Having grown up in Helena, Montana, one of her childhood friends was actor Gary Cooper.
Even More: Irving Thalberg tried to get Myrna to play the lead bad girl/trapeze artist, in the film Freaks. Too bad. As much as I love that film, I cannot stand that broad who got the part.
Findadeath.com friend Beca dug up this info for us: Loy served as assistant to the director of military and naval welfare for the Red Cross in World War II. She was later appointed a member-at large of the U.S. Commission to UNESCO. Her acting career by no means ended in the 1940s. She continued to actively pursue stage and television appearances in addition to films in subsequent decades.