Many historians think Merle herself didn’t know the precise details of her roots.“Tasmania was chosen as her new birthplace because it was so far from the USA and Europe and was generally considered to be “British” to its core.”. Mum & Dad named me Vanessa, but you can call me Nessy. Her father told her, ‘Remember he’s a sailor. She was his half-sister. Merle Oberon and Lucien Ballard were married for 3 years. Merle Oberon and Steve Cochran dated in 1963. Oberon’s father, Arthur Thompson, was a British mechanical engineer who worked for Indian Railways. They dated for 6 years after getting together in Jun 1933 and married on 3rd Jun 1939. She also had an on-again off-again relationship with none other than John Wayne, classic Western star, between 1938 and 1947. Comments are subject to our community guidelines, which can be viewed, Rumours continue to persist that Prince Philip, pictured with the Queen in 1947, has had alleged flings during their long marriage, Prince Philip shares a laugh with a young Lady Brabourne who was a regular guest of the Duke, The Prince once crashed drunkenly into Patricia Kirkwood's dressing room with a friend, Prince Philip has always enjoyed the company of attractive ladies as seen here during an interval at the opera, Prince Philip and Lady Brabourne watch Royal Windsor Horse Show together decades after the rumours, Lady Bradbourne is said to be the Prince’s confidante and shares his boisterous sense of humour, Three cheers and a rendition of 'For He's A Jolly Good Fellow' for Prince Philip's final public engagement. Merle Oberon and George Brent dated in 1939. They expected to immediately meet Ingram, only for him to avoid them. For the old Hollywood set she circled in, the actress was just another leading lady, a go-to choice for directors of big-budget flicks like The Private Life of Don Juan (1934) and The Dark Angel (1935), for which she received an Oscar nomination. Oberon was supposed to work with both Korda and Charles Laughton again in 1937’s I, Claudius, where she’d appear as Claudius’s wife Messalina, but the project was abruptly abandoned for an incredibly dark reason. So Estelle Thompson (her birth name), became  Merle Oberon, “a white upper class Hobart girl who moves to India from Tasmania after her distinguished father dies in a hunting accident,” then on to England, and finally, Hollywood. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Dark Angel (1935). In 1945, Oberon divorced her longtime partner Korda and married her beloved cinematographer Lucien Ballard. My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage. ... On addition to seeking medical help, Oberon’s second husband was a film cameraman and even developed a special light to compliment his wife. Ad Choices. They moved to Calcutta where Oberon received a scholarship to attend one of the finest private schools in the city. Charlotte’s 12-year-old daughter Constance was Oberon’s real mother, and the starlet’s real father is unknown to this day. However, it was hardly the overnight success of a young actress’ dreams. Oberon was raised to believe that she was Constance’s sister. In addition to Kirkwood, Philip has also been linked to other actresses, including Helene Cordet, Merle Oberon and Anna Massey. So what is the truth to all the media rumours of Prince Philip's affairs? Pat has recounted that she did spend one memorable night out dancing with Philip - and her boyfriend - with them all ending up eating scrambled eggs for breakfast. Land is security to me. Matt Bomer plays a wunderkind producer based on MGM production head Irving Thalberg. Don't Call Her the Dragon Lady: Hollywood's First Chinese American Star, She Was a Black Librarian Who Could Equal America's Most Powerful Man, Loving Monsieur Butterfly: A Tale of Espionage, Romance and the Transgender Soprano, Hollywood's Doom Book and other Tales of Blacklisting in American Cinema, A Brief Compendium of Vintage Hollywood Test Shots, 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. Nicholas Davies reports in his 2000 book Elizabeth II: Behind Palace Doors that Susan and Philip became acquainted in the late 50s/early 60s due to their mutual connection with polo - in fact, there is some truth to the lure of horsing around, but perhaps not with Philip: Susan would end up leaving Fergie's father, Major Ronald Ferguson, for Argentinian polo player Hector Barrantes. A childhood friend of the prince - he gave her away at her first wedding when she was 20 and he was only 16 - Hélène, who became a TV personality, was infamous for having had two children out of wedlock, Max (b. The Queen mostly ignored the rumour mill but her patience must have been tested to the limit by one notorious incident in October 1948. Often called “nearly insufferable” and “surprisingly vulgar,” Samantha Henman is a senior editor at Factinate. and more from, Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA,,, Norma Shearer, Edie Goetz, Mignon Winans, Greer Garson, Rosalind Russell, Alfred Vanderbilt Jr, Jeanne Vanderbilt, Joan Bennett, Claudette Colbert, Ronald Colman, Benita Hume, Phyllis Livingston Potter, Virginia Fox, Jennifer Jones, Irene Selznick, Noel Coward, Winston Churchill, Lord Beaverbrook, Edward and Wallis Simpson, Audrey Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Antonita, a Dancer of Passionate Temperament. Other women who have caused feverish chatter over the years include Hollywood actress Merle Oberon, who kept a signed photograph of Philip in a silver frame and entertained him at her estate in Mexico City. When Finney went to visit Oberon’s home and meet her mother for the first time, he broke up with her. Oberon’s career took off after a move to London at age 17, when English director Alexander Korda cast her in a small but pivotal role as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII in 1933. So how the hell could I get away with anything like that? Did the Duke of Edinburgh have affairs? That Oscar nomination she received in 1935? A dashing naval officer, he already had a string of romantic liaisons under his belt by the time he wed. The raven-haired, brown-eyed stunner, probably best known for playing Cathy opposite Laurence Olivier’s Heathcliff in the 1939 classic Wuthering Heights, spent her life hiding her biracial identity, “passing” for white. Now that's a right royal declaration of love. Enter your email and I’ll send you my latest stories. Merle Oberon is a member of the following lists: American film actors, People from Greater Los Angeles and English people of Irish descent. She asked me if she could take time to prepare [her son] Luca and Andrea, her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Then again, when she was “campaigning” to play Daphne Monet, a character with a complicated racial background, in the 1995 film Devil in a Blue Dress, director Carl Franklin told Beals that he had met with several actresses who admitted they were passing. Instead, pneumonia took his life in 1914. Philip was rumoured to have had an affair with Sarah Barrantes, the mother of Sarah Ferguson - aka Fergie, Duchess of York, who would go on to marry Prince Andrew, the middle son of Philip and Elizabeth, in 1986. The claims are reported in the 2018 book The Queen's Marriage by Lady Colin Campbell. Prince Philip and Merle Oberon had a relationship. But her frequent visits to the royal residences have sparked rumours that Penny, a butcher's daughter, is more than just carriage-driving partners with Philip. She told Franklin that she didn’t think she “should be punished for having always embraced who I am”; ultimately, Beals got the part. The “Obie,” as the device became known, went into wide use—and Oberon left Korda to marry Ballard in 1945. Merle Oberon had encounters with Greg Bautzer (1940), Stewart Granger and James Cagney.. Merle Oberon is rumoured to have hooked up with Eddie Fisher.. About. Later in life, Oberon looked back on this time and remarked that she only began acting because she couldn’t “dance or sing or write or paint.” In her own opinion, Oberon only had one thing to rely on: her extraordinarily beautiful face. It turns out that Selby was really Oberon’s grandmother; the actress’s birth mother was actually Selby’s daughter Constance, who was only 12 years old when she had Oberon. While she had a contract with Korda, her success made her an in-demand property. 2019 - 13 THINGS LTD. All rights reserved. It contained a jaw-dropping revelation: Oberon wasn’t his aunt. We want our readers to trust us. After Oberon’s birth, her biological mother, Constance, went on to marry and have four legitimate children. But Oberon was a tough cookie, and went on to do campaigns with Max Factor and Maybelline (even if many had a cringe worthy cover-up-your-exotic-features kind of angle). After her husband left her in 2010 for an affair, she became even closer with both the Queen and Philip, who she has known since she was introduced to Charles in the 70s, and has remained so, even after Norton returned to the estate. American newspapers speculated that there was a rift between the royal couple, and cruelly reported that women were being smuggled aboard the royal yacht. Merle Oberon Biography, Life, Interesting Facts Childhood And Early Life. When she saw him, Andrea came over and said, ‘You look very beautiful, you … Madame de Pompadour didn't just share King Louis XV's bed, she also shared his power. Well, it made her one of the three Indians in history to be nominated in the Acting category, and the only Indian woman to this day to be nominated for “Best Actress in a Leading Role.” In other words, Oberon’s is a story worth retelling in an industry where success for minorities is a double-edged sword. Despite these setbacks, this difficult time had one enormous silver lining: This was when Oberon fell in love with performing. You will receive mail with link to set new password. He isn’t like that.”. Merle Oberon (born Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson; 19 February 1911 – 23 November 1979) was a Eurasian actress who began her film career in British films as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). All Rights Reserved. But could it be true? As the years wore on, more and more people began to question her cover story—including the press, and even some members of her own family. Hepburn takes a moment to enjoy an ice cream cone during her Italian adventure in. Sadly, they were doomed to a sad end. Age at her death was 68 years. Her devastating beauty propelled her to stardom, but the scandalous circumstances of her birth haunted her throughout her life.

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