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Myrna Loy Was the Nicest Actress in Hollywood, but She Was No Saint

Myrna Loy is a Golden Age actress that appeared in a number of classic films, including The Thin Man and The Best Years of Our Lives. Despite being regarded as an iconic actress, Myrna was never recognized during her lifetime by the Academy. Myrna was considered to be one of the nicest girls in Hollywood, but you didn’t want to get on her bad side! Join Facts Verse as we explore how Myrna Loy was the nicest actress in Hollywood, but she was no saint.

Myrna Loy Was Typecast Early On

Myrna Loy was born on the second of August, 1905, in Helena, Montana. Helena, Montana, couldn’t contain the burgeoning star, however, and she soon found herself on the way to Los Angeles at the age of only 13. Myrna could be found working in the role of a chorus girl during her teenage years is what eventually led her down the path to Hollywood stardom, though success didn’t come overnight. In the beginning, Myrna Loy found herself typecast in the role of exotic villains, which was odd given actress’s American heritage. Producers said that the slight slant to Myrna’s eyes made her perfect for playing Asian stereotypes, and once these roles started coming in they didn’t stop! Thankfully, Myrna was able to break out of this box and take on more serious roles.

Myrna certainly didn’t enjoy being typecast due to her appearance, and she would go on to fight discrimination like this over the course of her career. As time went on, Myrna became a woman who knew what she wanted in Hollywood, and she wasn’t willing to be pushed around! Still, her generally nice demeanor and moral behavior made her a standout amongst much of her contemporaries. Myrna garnered a reputation of being the nicest girl in Hollywood, though she wasn’t afraid to speak up if she thought that things weren’t going the way that they should.

After years of being typecast in villainous roles, it was Myrna’s turn in the movie The Thin Man that finally allowed her to stretch out and try new things. The film was a success, and meatier roles for Myrna followed. Myrna’s career lasted for many decades, and she received quite a bit of acclaim over the course of it. However, the actress was never recognized with an Academy Award. Some have suggested that Myrna may have been the most talented Old Hollywood actress never to be given such recognition.

Myrna Loy’s Breakout Role Was in The Thin Man

Myrna Loy’s career started out in silent film, and she ended up being one of the few silent film actresses that found success once sound became the new normal. In fact, Myrna found more success in talkies than she did in silent features! Throughout her career, she appeared in dozens and dozens of films, some of which remain more popular than others. Besides The Thin Man, some of Myrna’s other popular films included Libeled Lady and The Best Years of Our Lives. The Best Years of Our Lives ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Pictures at the ceremony following it’s release, though no awards recognition came for Myrna personally. Still, it can’t be denied that the actress was a huge star that was adored by the public.

Some have suggested that one of the reasons that Myrna Loy never received any awards recognition was because of her outspoken politics. Some might find it hard to believe nowadays, but there was a time where being an outspoken liberal in the entertainment industry was to the detriment of stars’ popularity. Myrna’s story stands as proof of this, though the actress was still able to work consistently due to her otherwise professional demeanor and the fact that she was in demand. Some of the many ways that Myrna chose to espouse her liberal beliefs in the entertainment industry was by lobbying for the hiring of more colored actors.

Later on in her career, Myrna Loy found herself a critic of the Vietnam War. However, by the late 1960s, being critical of the American government wasn’t quite as radical as it had been previously. More notable, then, is the fact that Myrna was one of few Old Hollywood stars that was outspoken in their opposition of the House Un-American Activities Committee. For those that don’t know what the House Un-American Activities Committee, it was a committee formed during Hollywood’s Second Red Scare in order to finger out Communists in the entertainment industry and have them blacklisted. Myrna opposed the committee on the basis that it was a violation of the stars’ freedom as Americans.

Myrna was certainly a nice girl who stood up for what she believed in, but you didn’t want to get on her bad side! If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

Myrna Loy vs. Adolph Hitler

While Myrna always seemed to know what she wanted in her career, she was never quite sure what she wanted when it came to love. The actress was married four times over the course of her life and died single after deciding that marriage was no longer for her. When Myrna decided to give up her romantic life, she became that much more passionate about her Hollywood career and her activism. Before being a vocal critic of the House Un-American Activities Committee, Myrna was one of the first people in Hollywood to speak up against the dangers of Adolph Hitler. Some may not believe it, but there was a time when Hollywood was actually on Hitler’s side. Before World War II begun, Germany was seen as a lucrative film market, and studios could be found pandering to people and politicians in the country with their output.

Of course, Adolph Hitler didn’t come out of the gate committing the great atrocities that he would become most known for, but there was still signs that the political leader was bad news. Myrna’s outspoken criticism of Adolph Hitler at a time when studio’s were trying to pander to the political leader caused trouble for the actress in the entertainment industry, though she didn’t let that stop her from continuing to advocate for Hollywood to boycott Germany altogether.

Later in her career, in addition to her aforementioned activism in opposition to the Vietnam War, Myrna also used her Hollywood clout to endorse political leaders and work as a spokesperson for the United Nations. You could definitely say that Myrna was ahead of her time when it came to politics, and the actress certainly suffered for this! Even so, the actress remains best known nowadays for her work in Golden Age classics such as The Thin Man and The Best Years of Our Lives, and not for her progressive activism.

Myrna Loved William Powell… as a Friend

Myrna Loy didn’t just star in The Thin Man, but she also starred in the classic films numerous sequels. Myrna played the female lead, while actor William Powell played the main character. When all was said and done, Myrna and William worked together on over a dozen pictures. Myrna and William worked together so much that fans even began spreading rumors that the two were carrying on a secret affair. However, both of the stars remained adamant in the years leading up to their deaths but they were nothing but great friends and adoring coworkers. The two certainly had a great deal of respect for each other, though Myrna claimed that if she had been carrying on a romantic relationship with her costar then she wouldn’t have been able to get any work done! William Powell was Myrna’s favorite William to work with, and her second favorite was William Wyler. William Wyler directed Myrna in the aforementioned The Best Years of Our Lives, which most people believe contains the Golden Age actress’s all-around best acting performance.

Myrna Loy may have been the nicest woman in Hollywood and one of the few good girls in the entertainment industry, but she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself. The actress didn’t just stand up for civil-rights causes, but she also made sure she got treated right in the industry. Early on in her career, Myrna could be found striking against MGM because she believes that she was getting paid too little. Her striking ended up being successful, with the actress ending up being paid more by the studio for her work on subsequent films.

Other Notable Things Myrna Loy Did

During World War II, Myrna Loy worked for the Red Cross. Her work saw the actress helping to arrange for popular performers to visit hospitalized soldiers that had been wounded in battle. One of the many political candidates that Myrna passionately endorsed over the course of her career was John F. Kennedy. By the time that John F. Kennedy was elected president, Myrna was on the verge of retirement. The actress stop working following the 1960s, and remained in retirement up until her death a few decades later.

Besides speaking up against Adolph Hitler before anyone else, Myrna’s most notable activism in Hollywood was her aforementioned work in opposition to the House Un-American Activities Committee. In opposition to the committee, her and several of her friends started up a committee of their own. Those friends included John Huston and the previously mentioned William Wyler, and it went by the name of the Committee for the First Amendment. As one might imagine, the committee advocated for political freedoms. Following Myrna’s starting of the committee, The Hollywood Reporter criticized her by suggesting that she was, in fact, a Communist. Myrna then threatened to sue the publication for a million dollars, and they followed up by publishing a retraction as soon as possible.

Myrna Loy may have been the nicest actress in Hollywood, but she wasn’t afraid to speak up when she felt that things weren’t going the way that they should. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Myrna Loy was one of the first people in Hollywood to speak up against Adolph Hitler, and that she also fought against blacklisting during Hollywood’s Red Scare? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

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