Merrill, Dina (1925—)
Merrill, Dina (1925—)
American actress. Born Nedenia Hutton on December 9, 1925, in New York City; youngest daughter of Marjorie Merriweather Post and E.F. Hutton (a stockbroker and founder of the Wall Street firm); cousin ofBarbara Hutton (1912–1979); attended George Washington University for one year; studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts; married Stanley F. Rumbough, Jr., in 1946 (divorced 1966); married Cliff Robertson (an actor), on December 21, 1966 (divorced 1989); married Ted Hartley (an actor and partner in their production company, RKO Pavilion), in November 1989; children: (first marriage) Stanley Rumbough; Nina Rumbough; (second marriage) Heather Robertson.
Desk Set (1957); A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed (1958); Operation Petticoat (1959); Don't Give Up the Ship (1959); Butterfield 8 (1960); The Sundowners (1960); The Young Savages (1961); The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963); I'll Take Sweden (1965); The Meal (1975); Deliver Us From Evil (1975); The Greatest (1977); A Wedding (1978); Just Tell Me What You Want (1980); Twisted (1986); Caddyshack II (1988); True Colors (1991); (cameo) The Player (1992); (cameo) Mighty Joe Young (1998).
The daughter of Marjorie Merriweather Post , heiress to the Post cereal fortune, and E.F. Hutton, who founded the Wall Street firm that bears his name, Dina Merrill dismayed her proper parents when she dropped out of college to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She appeared on television and on Broadway before making her screen debut in 1957's Desk Set, with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Often cast as an American aristocrat, in keeping with her blonde, well-bred looks, Merrill appeared in a number of other films, including Operation Petticoat (1959), with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis, Butterfield 8 (1960), for which Elizabeth Taylor won an Academy Award, and Vincente Minnelli's The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963). She also frequently appeared on television, in guest spots on weekly series and in movies of the week. Married for over 20 years to actor Cliff Robertson, Merrill divorced him in 1989 and married Ted Hartley, a former television actor and investment banker. Together they bought the venerable but shaky RKO Pictures, and, with Hartley as chair and Merrill as creative director, in 1998 released Mighty Joe Young, a successful remake of the 1949 RKO film about a huge gorilla brought from the jungle to Los Angeles; Merrill appeared in a cameo role in the film.
People Weekly. April 19, 1999, pp. 79–80.