Born Myrna Adele Williams August 2, 1905, died Dec 14, 1993.
Before she became one of the most popular actresses of the 1930s, Myrna Loy played in many silent films in various small parts, usually cast as a dark exotic, for example in Don Juan (1926), Demille's first version of The Ten Commandments (1923), and The Thief of Bagdad (1924).
William Powell and Myrna Loy in the first The Thin Man movie (1934) was such a large success that is spawned five sequels, all with Powell and Loy. The first film was a unique creation from M-G-M because it contained both screwball comedy (especially in the spontaneity between Powell and Loy) and it was also a detective procedural about the solving of a murder. The mashup of these two genres (and screwball comedies were just getting on their feet in 1934) changed the trajectory of all the comedies that came after it, as many of the other studios studied the film (directed by W. S. Van Dyke) and began utilizing what it showed was possible.
In contrast to many of the other comediennes of the 1930s, Loy's characterizations often depended on what she held back, with short comments and only slightly modulated expressions to imbue her scenes with comedy, versus the more expressive, wilder actions and reactions of other comedy actresses of the 1930s. Even after the 1930s comedy styles went out of vogue, her restrained, graceful style made her compatible with just about any genre and film type that Hollywood had in vogue, whether in comedy or in drama.
Original Page April 2014 | Updated Nov 2017
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