Cinema’s Forgotten Legends Series: Merle Oberon

“Without security, it is difficult for a woman to look or feel beautiful.”-Merle Oberon

My next chapter into the Cinema’s Forgotten Legends Series pays tribute to the Indian-born British Oscar nominated actress Merle Oberon (b. Estelle Merle O’Brien Thompson on February 19th, 1911-d. on November 23rd, 1979)1An immensely talented & profoundly gifted individual of the silver screen affectionately nicknamed Obie & Queenie by her many peers. I’ve had the honor of viewing her classics from the incomparable film career of Ms. Oberon when she was TCMs Star of the Month for March 2016: The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) starring Charles Laughton in the Oscar winning title role of the English kin along with Elsa Lanchester, Robert Donat, Wendy Barrie, John Loder & Binnie Barnes, The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) with Leslie Howard, Wuthering Heights (1939) starring Miles Monder (who also co-starred with Oberon in The Private Life of Henry VIII) , The Lodger (1944), The Private Life of Don Juan (1934), The Dark Angel (1935), These Three (1936), The Cowboy and the Lady/The Divorce of Lady X (both from 1938), The Lion Has Wings (1939), Till We Meet Again (1940), That Uncertain Feeling (1941), Lydia (1941), A Song to Remember (1945), Night Song/Berlin Express (1948), Désirée (1954), Deep In My Heart (also from 1954) and finally Hotel (1967) starring Michael and Cary Grant. Oberon received her sole Academy Award nomination for her tour-de-force performance as Kitty Vane in 1935s The Dark Angel during the 8th Annual Academy Awards held on March 5th, 1936; despite losing the coveted golden statuette to Bette Davis for her portrayal of Joyce Heath in Dangerous, Merle Oberon’s films continued to flourish with her captivating earthy persona, a dark, mystifying but incredibly exotic beauty and a raw, passionate, distinctive and masterful depiction of impassioned & truly enigmatic characters (as vividly portrayed in some of her films). Though she only made 39 films in her film career, to me Merle Oberon emanated a cinematic fascination with her awe-inspiring talents, compelling portraits of benevolent individuals & a picturesque aura of sheer determination, courage, inner strength, adoration, love, respect and immense appreciation for her passion/craft. I’ve deeply enjoyed watching Merle Oberon in the classic movies via TCM/Netflix and I plan to continue viewing her films whenever possible; even though the classic film world lost a living legend from a massive stroke on November 23rd, 1979 at the age of 68, the emblematic legacy that Merle Oberon left behind will never be forgotten. Generations of classic movie lovers still have a place in their hearts for individuals like Merle Oberon & countless others genuinely mentioned in the Cinema’s Forgotten Legends Series. I’m very grateful for Turner Classic Movies in regards to introducing actress Merle Oberon and her films into my life; the films of yesteryear will live on forever in the hearts, minds and souls of classic film fans everywhere so long as television channels like TCM exists & multi-talented actresses like Merle Oberon remain as timeless and beloved as their immortalizing presence on the silver screen via The Golden Age of Hollywood! I loved the countless film roles that she’s starred in & to me, Oberon was a huge favorite actress of mine to view on TCM!BeFunky Collage


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