Loy, Myrna (1905-1993)

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Loy, Myrna (1905-1993)

Myrna Loy is best remembered for her definitive screen depiction of the "Perfect Wife," opposite most of the major leading men in the 1930s and 1940s. Initially a bit player of exotic femme fatales, Loy found a more prominent niche as the witty, elegant spouse of William Powell (1892-1984) in The Thin Man films (six between 1934 and 1947). Shaping her subsequent parts and the public perception of her, this role was rather restricted (her sophistication primarily an adjunct to her husband's good taste), but it was one she played with understated aplomb and her success reflects its attractiveness more broadly, an indication of women's limited choices in this period.

—Kyle Smith

Further Reading:

Quirk, Lawrence. The Films of Myrna Loy. New Jersey, Citadel Press, 1980.

Kotsilibas-Davis, James, and Myrna Loy. Myrna Loy, Being and Becoming. London, Bloomsbury, 1987.