American Legends: The Life of Myrna Loy

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American Legends: The Life of Myrna Loy

2017 | 62 Pages | ISBN: 1542768357 | EPUB | 2 MB

*Includes pictures *Includes Loy’s quotes about her own life and career *Includes contemporary reviews of her movies *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading “I think that carrying on a life that is meant to be private in public is a breach of taste, common sense, and mental hygiene.” – Myrna Loy “Life is not a having and a getting but a being and a becoming.” – Myrna Loy A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history’s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors’ American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America’s most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. It is something of a cliche to say that an actor’s life was like a movie he or she might have starred in, but in the case of Myrna Loy, the cliche is true. It is easy to picture her as a little girl, riding the range with her rancher father, sitting around the table and participating charmingly in family discussions of current events. It is not hard to imagine the camera panning to her first and then second visits to Hollywood, her backlot tour, and starry-eyed decision to become an actress. There would have to be some drama, which the story of her father’s untimely death would provide, along with some sort of deathbed promise made to him to care for the rest of the family. Her mother would be brave but resolute as she moved her young family to California. The lighting on set would brighten and the tempo of the background would pick up as she walked down the Los Angeles streets. Perhaps the camera would spin to show the passage of time, as the now adult Myrna got a job as a dancer and was then “discovered.” There would have to be a scene of her signing her new surname, Loy, to her MGM contract, likely as several cigar smoking men looked on. Later the audience would see her fight off casting couch advances, earning her the reputation as the only good girl in Hollywood even as she was cast again and again in sultry, vampish roles. She would endure these with a positive attitude while always being on the lookout for something better. Then, her big break would come. The camera would show her first comical meeting with William Powell and then a spinning scene of ticket after ticket being sold to their new picture, The Thin Man. Her star obviously on the rise, ominous music would suddenly play, followed by booming cannons and falling bombs. A newspaper would flash on screen, “Pearl Harbor Bombed.” Then the audience would see her stride determinedly into the movie studio offices and announce to those above that her love of country superseded her career ambitions and that she would be taking the duration of the war off from making pictures. Patriotic music would play as she was shown gathering clothing and giving speeches until, once more, the boys came marching home. There would be a price to pay for her choices as she grew older, but they would not fully bother the heroine, who happily settled into several solid roles of “perfect mother.” At the same time, much would be made of her own sad love life, with four marriages that ended in with divorces instead of children. She would be seen settling cheerfully for ever smaller roles until, finally, the glamorous actress in the movie would grow older and her health would fail, finally driving those who had long admired her work to recognize and honor her talent. She would write her memoirs, a charming book that was steered away from telling it all only to tell the best. It could make for a classic Hollywood movie, but for Myrna Loy, it was life, and American Legends: The Life of Myrna Loy chronicles all of it. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Myrna Loy like never before, in no time at all.

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