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18-01-2007
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Merle Oberon
Not really a great actress, but a fascinating woman who starred in indelible classics, such as "The Private Life of Henry VIII", "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and perhaps most famously, "Wuthering Heights". She was also Oscar nominated for "Dark Angel." She was born in India on February 19, 1911 to mother who was half English and half Indian. Merle kept her Indian blood a secret all her life and claimed to just be Tasmanian. She passed her mother, who was much darker than she was, off as her maid. She even had the skin lightened in a portrait painted of her mother. Merle was married to Alexander Korda, the famous producer who helped along her career, but she also had famous torrid affairs with Leslie Howard, Clark Gable, James Cagney and David Niven. Merle married again, to cinematographer Lucien Ballard, businessman Bruno Paglai and to Robert Wolders, who later had a relationship with Audrey Hepburn.

Interestingly, Merle had skin problems her whole life-she sustained facial scars in a car accident and got cosmetic poisoining twice-which also left scars. She died in 1979

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18-01-2007
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credits, spotlight cd, crazyforcinema, leninimports, safkabareis, classicmoviefavorites




With David Niven

With Leslie Howard

With her best friend in Hollwyood, Norma Shearer

Merle's mother, Charlotte. This is the painting she had lightened re her mother's skin tone

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18-01-2007
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credit classicmoviefavorites
With Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier in London

With Joan Bennett and Claudette Colbery

With first husband, Alexander Korda




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19-01-2007
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beautiful pics!
not familiar with her at all but she has a very pretty smile.

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19-01-2007
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Check out Wuthering Heights. Here are more pics, all from Corbis






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08-02-2007
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I saw her today in Dark Angel, for which she was Oscar Nominated. Not a great actress, but her character was believable.
Credit Corbis

With lover David Niven

With co star Brian Aherne

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09-02-2007
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what do they mean by she claimedto be Tasmanian? asin Tasmania, Australia? that's the only tasmania I've ever heard of!

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09-02-2007
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She might not have been a fantastic actress (although I donīt think she was that bad) but she is so stunning, she must be one of the most beautiful women ever.

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09-02-2007
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Yes, Tasmania Australia and she claimed to be Tasmanian instead of revealing her true ethnicity, which was a third Indian.

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11-02-2007
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Oh....I'm confused. People from Tasmania aren't darker than anyone else

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20-02-2007
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I didn't say they were. I was saying that Merle was trying to cover her true origins

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02-03-2007
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I was just confused as to why she would try to hide her Indian roots by saying she was Tasmanian....it doesn't really explain very much does it.

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03-03-2007
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Because this was the 30s. No one really knew anything about Tasmania or what anyone from there looked like. That is why she said it, because she could get away with it.

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09-09-2007
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Last edited by scriptgirl; 09-09-2007 at 01:41 AM.
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22-09-2007
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I've never heard of her until now. What a face!

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