Not really. She was actually maimed in an automobile accident requiring the creation of a special light called the Obie to conceal the deformity. Further aggravating her condition was a pioneer experiment in dermabrasion that caused her pores to collapse like sinkholes.
She was hideous to her mother, who was Indian. When she was with Merle in California the star would tell people the old woman was her maid, because she didn't want anyone to know she wasn't a pristinely white lady.
Well, her mother played along, didn't she.
R7 even if her mother played around if Oberon did what R6 says that she did then she was probably an absolute cunt. How vulgar of her, if it's true!
Try being half Indian in Hollywood or Britain in the 30's / 40's. You would probably do the same. Try being being that even today and see how loved you are by the general public!
She looks 100% Indian to me. How could people not tell? And her nosejob was hideous. Had to have a nosejob to look whiter? That was terrible!
"Try being half Indian in Hollywood or Britain in the 30's / 40's. You would probably do the same"
Boris Karloff (nee Henry Pratt) was also part Indian, and kept it quiet. Actors did that in those days, because Hollywood reserved all the major roles for white actors.
It is one thing to be Boris Karloff and quite another to be Merle Oberon.
Merle always was a fucking bore.
She once married one of the Korda brothers, too. I remember Michael Korda wrote a book about her. They called her Queenie I think.
I thought Merle was a beauty, but I preferred Hedy Lamarr. later Ava Gardner. But yes, Merle was one of the top beauties of her day.
To hide the Indian heritage angle, they/she claimed to come from Tasmania!
Just her and Errol. Imagine her surprise 40 years later, when visiting Australia, they whisked her down to Tassie and asked her about her " memories ".
Her face was a picture!!
In the 1930s, when she was at the top of her game, Merle had an affair with David Niven. Niven was sharing a house with Errol Flynn, who really WAS from Tasmania!
I wonder if the two met then, and if so, I wonder how awkward the conversation was.
I loved her dearly. We were very close. Like sisters.
Larry Olivier, sarcastically
Rob Wolders was really an A-List COCKsman. He married Merle (who it's said she left her fortune to),jumped over to Audrey Hepburn, after Merle's death, and then dated Leslie Caron. He was a big piece-o-handsome when he was young.
She was also one of the last to get ahold of Steve COCHran, or Stevie's big cock, which has been much mentioned here on DL - one of Hollywood's biggest. Merle had him /it just before he went on a boat trip, scouting locations in South America. Got sick,on board, and died. Merle spent thousands of $$$ to investigate his death. Big weiners linger in the mind (and elsewhere).
Mamie Van D. however what she did to her mother (if she did that) was monstrous. You believe she did that? Then...she was a fake bitch. Sorry!
Two of her films were on TMC today, "Til We Meet Again" with George Brent and Pat O'Brien and now "Wuthering Heights" with Lawrence Olivier. I'd never seen the first film before, an uneven remake of Kay Francis' 1932 classic "One-Way Passage". The film had some odd elements in it for a Hays Code movie - there was an Eurasian drag queen in the opening scene in a Hong Kong bar. Merle's character had a terminal heart condition which she treated with poppers! And now Wuthering Heights is on. Merle was a gorgeous creature, but this was not her best performance. I liked her better as the campily butch George Sand in "A Song to Remember". Olivier is as hammy as always.
Dorothy Lamour was another mixed-race star who hid it.
Her Wiki states she was "Born Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton in New Orleans, the daughter of Carmen Louise (née LaPorte) and John Watson Slaton, both of whom were waiters. Lamour was of French Louisianan, Spanish, and Irish descent."
In other words, Creole.
Lamour? Really? Looking at her facial features, I can believe it. But celebs went thru great lengths to hide that stuff.
That version of Wuthering Heights with her and Olivier is supposed to be a classic, but it's really pretty lame. It only covers something like a third of the story.
The director hated the sappy tacked on ending with the lovers walking through the clouds, together forever. In the book, it's implied that the lovers are forever doomed to walk the earth together as restless ghosts.
I read the book, and I've seen several versions of Wuthering Heights. It's considered by most to be a love story but in actuality it's more of a HATE story, hate and mental illness. Most of the characters are truly fucked up, especially Cathy and Heathcliff. Cathy wants to have her cake and eat it too; she wants her both dark gypsy Heathcliff and her rich husband Edgar, and expects them both to be ok with that arrangement. Heathcliff is a sociopath; a vengeful, violent, crazy malignancy. Only Cathy really loves him, because they are truly cut out of the same piece of cloth: "I AM Heathcliff." Cathy and Heathcliff are both truly awful. A "love story", my ass!
William Wyler couldn't stand her, yet she showed up at his AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony and sat at the head table, but he pretty much ignored her.
Robert Wolders, Maurice Templesman and Claus von Bulow sure could sniff $$$.
Merle Oberon was the poor man's Dolores Del Rio.
Merle made an anti-war film called "First Comes Courage" with Brian Aherne. It was directed by lesbian director Dorothy Arzner. Supposedly there is a picture of the cast on the set of the film, and Dorothy is standing near Merle, staring at her soulfully, and Merle is looking uncomfortable. I'd love to see it. Merle was a sexual adventuress, but she definitely liked bones in her fish.