Dina Merrill

Actor, Businesswoman
Born to Wall Street financier E. F. Hutton and Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, a debutante-age Merrill gave up college after one year and moved to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic ... Read more »
Born: 12/09/1925 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (61)

Meeting Genevieve 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

What Makes Sammy Run? 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

As the World Turns 1955 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

Shade 2004 (Movie)

Dina (Actor)

Tanner on Tanner 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

100 Centre Street 2000 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Glow 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Magnificent Ambersons 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Tea With Fi 1999 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Barbara Hutton: Million Dollar Baby 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Spencer Tracy: Triumph and Turmoil 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Vengeance Unlimited 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Mighty Joe Young 1998 (Movie)

Society Woman (Actor)

Murder, She Wrote 1989 - 1992, 1995 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Open Season 1996 (Movie)

Doris Hays-Briton (Actor)

Roseanne 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Nanny 1995 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Milk and Money 1995 (Movie)

David's Mother (Actor)

Point of Betrayal 1995 (Movie)

(Actor)

Suture 1994 (Movie)

Alice Jameson (Actor)

The Player 1992 (Movie)

Celia (Actor)

True Colors 1991 (Movie)

Joan Stiles (Actor)

Night of 100 Stars III 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Music Center 25th Anniversary 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Caddyshack II 1988 (Movie)

Cynthia Young (Actor)

The Alan King Show 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Hot Pursuit 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Twisted 1985 (Movie)

Nell (Actor)

Just Tell Me What You Want 1980 (Movie)

Connie Herschel (Actor)

A Wedding 1977 (Movie)

Antoinette Goddard (Actor)

The Greatest 1976 (Movie)

Velvet Green (Actor)

Deliver Us From Evil 1974 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Meal 1974 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Letters 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

I'll Take Sweden 1964 (Movie)

Karin Grandstedt (Actor)

The Courtship of Eddie's Father 1963 (Movie)

Rita Behrens (Actor)

DuPont Show of the Month 1957 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

The Young Savages 1961 (Movie)

Karin Bell (Actor)

Butterfield 8 1960 (Movie)

Emily Liggett (Actor)

The Desilu Playhouse 1958 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

The Sundowners 1960 (Movie)

Jean Halstead (Actor)

Operation Petticoat 1959 (Movie)

Barbara Duran (Actor)

A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed 1958 (Movie)

Margie Solitaire (Actor)

Don't Give Up the Ship 1958 (Movie)

Ensign Rita Benson (Actor)

Desk Set 1957 (Movie)

Sylvia (Actor)

A Chance of Snow (TV Show)

Actor

Batman (TV Show)

Actor

Family Flight (TV Show)

Actor

Fear (TV Show)

Actor

Kingston: The Power Play (TV Show)

Actor

Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones (TV Show)

Actor

Not in My Family (TV Show)

Actor

Roots: The Next Generations (TV Show)

Actor

Seven in Darkness (TV Show)

Actor

The Letters (Movie)

Penelope Parkington (Actor)

The Lonely Profession (TV Show)

Actor

The Sunshine Patriot (TV Show)

Actor

The Tenth Month (TV Show)

Actor

Turn Back the Clock (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (1)

Ritual 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Born to Wall Street financier E. F. Hutton and Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, a debutante-age Merrill gave up college after one year and moved to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She debuted on Broadway in "The Mermaids Singing" (1945) and kept busy for the next decade with acting studies, Broadway and stock theater roles and work in early TV anthology dramas. Already in her thirties, Merrill made her film debut with a sweet performance as part of Katharine Hepburn's reference department staff in "Desk Set" (1957). Several leads soon presented themselves; the biggest hit film of these, "Operation Petticoat" (1959), cast the attractive and self-assured Merrill as one of a bevy of nurses who end up on a broken-down Naval submarine.

By 1960, though, Merrill was alternating supporting roles with occasional leads, and was spending much of her time doing tours and regional work on stage. Film work capitalized on her off screen lifestyle, as in "The Young Savages" (1961), with Merrill as crusading DA Burt Lancaster's socialite spouse, and "Butterfield 8" (1960), as the colorless, long-suffering wife that wealthy Laurence Harvey cheats on with Elizabeth Taylor. Later in the decade Merrill began acting in TV-movies, providing gracious professional turns over the years in "The Sunshine Patriot" (1968), "The Letters" (1973), "The Tenth Month" (1979), and "Fear" (1990). Merrill also racked up over 100 guest credits on various TV series, and tried one herself, "Hot Pursuit" (ABC, 1984). The premise of a couple accused of murder attempting to find the real killer themselves was a neat revamp of "The Fugitive", with Merrill as the victim's rich and vengeful widow, but the show never caught on.

Feature work resumed in the mid-70s, and Merrill gave an excellent performance as part of a well-to-do but wacky marriage party in Robert Altman's underrated satire, "A Wedding" (1978). Subsequent film work has been erratic, ranging from interesting, offbeat items (Altman's "The Player" 1992, the odd mystery "Suture" 1993) to misfires and genre fodder ("Twisted" 1986, "Caddyshack II" 1988). Stage work continued with "Angel Street" (1976) and "On Your Toes" (1983), but Merrill's primary interest became Pavilion, a film and entertainment development and production company she formed with Ted Hartley in 1988. The two married in 1989 and that same year acquired RKO Pictures, renaming their company RKO Pavilion. Merrill is vice chariman of the company.

Merrill's second husband (1966-89) was actor Cliff Robertson, Shame to her Calamity Jan in two guest spots on TV's "Batman" in the 60s.

Relationships

Stanley M Rumbough Jr

Husband
Heir to the Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste fortune married March 23, 1946 divorced in 1966

Stanley M Rumbough III

Son
Father, Stanley M. Rumbough Jr.

Ted Hartley

Husband
Married Nobermber 18, 1989 he and Merrill had become business partners in 1988, forming Pavilion (later RKO Pavilion), an entertainment and film development production enterprise has son Philippe (born c. 1955) from a relationship with a Morrocan woman

E Hutton

Father
Founder of the Wall Street brokerage firm, E F Hutton & Co Inc

Marjorie Post

Mother
Heir to the Post breakfast cereal empire born in 1887 died in 1973

Charles Post

Grandfather
Founder of Post breakfast cereal empire

Cliff Robertson

Husband
Married December 21, 1966 divorced in 1989 appeared together in a two-part episode of the campy 1960s crimefighter series, "Batman" (ABC) as Western villains Shame and Calamity Jan

Heather Robertson

Daughter
Born in 1969 father, Cliff Robertson died in May 2007 from ovarian cancer

Nina Rumbough

Daughter
Father, Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr.

David Rumbough

Son
Father, Stanley M. Rumbough Jr.

EDUCATION

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

New York , New York

George Washington University

Washington , Washington D.C.
Dropped out after her freshman year to study acting in New York

Miss Porter's School

Farmington , Connecticut

Milestones

2004

Cast in the action thriller "Shade," set in the L.A. scene of poker hustlers

2002

Co-starred in the A&E miniseries version of "The Magnificent Ambersons"

1986

Returned to features after another absence, this one of six years, to play a prominent role in the film, "Twisted"

1984

First TV series role as regular, the short-lived NBC adventure series, "Hot Pursuit"; played Estelle Modrian

1983

Returned to Broadway to play a role in the revival of the landmark Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart-scored, George Balanchine-choreographed musical, "On Your Toes"

1981

Acted in a production of the play, "The V.I.P.s"

1979

First TV miniseries, "Roots: The Next Generations"

1976

Returned to Broadway to act a leading role in the play, "Angel Street"

1975

Returned to features to play roles in "The Meal" and "Deliver Us From Evil"

1968

First TV-movie, "The Sunshine Patriot"

1965

Last feature for ten years, "I'll Take Sweden" starring Bob Hope, Tuesday Weld and Frankie Avalon

1965

Acted as part of the Shaw Festival Repertory in stage productions of "Major Barbara" and "Misalliance"

1963

Acted in a summer theater tour of the play, "Write Me a Murder"

1961

Acted in a summer theater revival tour of the John van Druten comedy-drama, "The Voice of the Turtle"

1960

Began playing mostly supporting roles in features again with the films, "Butterfield 8" and "The Sundowners"

1960

First played Shakespeare onstage in a production of "Othello"

1958

Played first leading lady role, "A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed"

1957

Made feature film debut in a supporting role in the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn romantic comedy, "Desk Set"

1944

Made Broadway debut in the play, "The Mermaids Singing"

Gained acting experience in stock companies and Broadway theater

Acted in a number of TV anthology dramas of the 1950s, including "DuPont Show of the Month" and "The Desilu Playhouse"

Bonus Trivia

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With her husband Ted Hartley, she created the Hartley Merrill International Screenwriting Prize.

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