Baker & Taylor
A biography of the actress from her early dance training, to being typecast as Hollywood's "exotic," to her success in her most famous role, Nora Charles.University of California Press
From the beginning, Myrna Loy’s screen image conjured mystery, a sense of something withheld. Who is she?” was a question posed in the first fan magazine article published about her in 1925. This first ever biography of the wry and sophisticated actress best known for her role as Nora Charles, wife to dapper detective William Powell in The Thin Man, offers an unprecedented picture of her life and an extraordinary movie career that spanned six decades. Opening with Loy’s rough-and-tumble upbringing in Montana, the book takes us to Los Angeles in the 1920s, where Loy’s striking looks caught the eye of Valentino, through the silent and early sound era to her films of the thirties, when Loy became a top box office draw, and to her robust postWorld War II career. Throughout, Emily W. Leider illuminates the actress’s friendships with luminaries such as Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Joan Crawford and her collaborations with the likes of John Barrymore, David O. Selznick, Sam Goldwyn, and William Wyler, among many others. This highly engaging biography offers a fascinating slice of studio era history and gives us the first full picture of a very private woman who has often been overlooked despite her tremendous star power.
"Myrna Loy has found an ideal biographer in Emily Leider, a gifted writer who loves film history and knows how to mine the field for the kind of details that help her paint a full and rounded picture of her subject." --Leonard Maltin, film critic/historian
"A masterful tribute to MGM's subtlest star."--David Stenn, author of Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow
"Finally, a biography worthy of Myrna Loy--a smart, fascinating book about a smart, fascinating woman."--Eve Golden, author of Platinum Girl: The Life and Legends of Jean Harlow
"This first biography of Myrna Loy is so conscientiously researched, so closely written in detail and intelligent style that there will be no need for a second. Emily Leider documents both the woman and the actress: the early years in Montana and the multiple and sometimes foolish marriages of the former, and the development of the latter from exotic silent player to sophisticated lead in the Thin Man series to everyone's image of a proud, understanding middle-class wife in the 1940s and beyond."--Anthony Slide, author of Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine: A History of Star Makers, Fabricators, and Gossip Mongers