Happy 125th Birthday, William Powell!

The delightful William Powell was born 125 years ago today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Of all the stars who shone during Hollywood’s Golden Age, it is Powell we would choose to model ourselves after. He came off as suave, sophisticated, elegant, witty, warm and decent. Happy birthday, Mr. Powell, wherever you may be!

Here are 10 things you should know about William Powell…

Happy 111th Birthday, Myrna Loy!

Myrna Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams 111 years today in Helena, Montana. She ranks very highly indeed in our personal pantheon of Hollywood stars, so her birthday is always, in our view, cause for celebration. Here are some ML Did-You-Knows:

  • Loy was of Welsh, Scottish and Swedish descent.
  • Though Gary Cooper also grew up in and around Helena, he and Loy never met until they had both moved to Hollywood.
  • Her father was a rancher and a politician—the youngest person ever elected the Montana State legislature. He died of influenza when Loy was just 13, after which her family moved to Los Angeles.
  • She began acting in school plays at 15; some of those productions were staged in Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
  • Loy attended Venice High School, where the speech and drama awards are now called “Myrnas.” There’s a statue outside the school that bears her likeness. It’s titled “Inspiration.”
  • Loy, who spoke out early and often against Hitler and the Nazi regime, saw her films blacklisted in Germany.
  • She was John Dillinger‘s favorite movie star. He had just seen her in Manhattan Melodrama (1934) when he was gunned down by police as he left the theatre.
  • Frequent costar and close friend William Powell‘s nickname for Loy was “Minnie.”
  • Her father got her first name from the name of a train station he passed through, and it was pulp writer Paul Cain who suggested she changed her name from Williams to Loy.
  • Loy moved to Manhattan in 1960 and remained there for the rest of her life. As she wrote of the Big Apple in her autobigraphy, “If you’re bored in New York, it’s your own fault. Something’s always happening. But in Hollywood, if you’re no longer reigning, you simply don’t matter.”

Happy birthday, Myrna Loy, wherever you may be!

Myrna Loy

Happy 124th Birthday, William Powell!

William Powell was born William Horatio Powell 124 years ago today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Of all the actors of the Cladrite Era, it is Powell we would choose to model ourselves after. He came off as suave, sophisticated, elegant, witty, warm and decent. Here are 10 WP Did-You-Knows:

  • Though their marriage lasted just over two years, ending in divorce in 1933, Powell and Carole Lombard remained close friends until her death in 1942.
  • Powell and legendary baseball manager Casey Stengel attended Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri, together.
  • Harlean Carpenter, who would be known years later as Jean Harlow, lived just a few blocks away from Powell in Kansas City, but the two would not meet until they were both working actors in Hollywood.
  • Powell had been romantically involved with Harlow for two years at the time of her death and he paid for her funeral, spending $30,000.
  • William Powell made 13 pictures with Myrna Loy—14, if you count her cameo in The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947).
  • Politically, Powell was a Republican.
  • Powell’s favorite singer was Jo Stafford.
  • Powell had cancer of the rectum in 1938. An unconventional treatment that involved inserting platinum needles containing radium pellets into his body caused the cancer to go into remission and he lived for another 46 years.
  • Powell’s career was not threatened by the advent of talkies; on the contrary, they caused his star to rise.
  • Though Powell was nominated three times for the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar, he never won.

Happy birthday, William Powell, wherever you may be!

William Powell