LINDA DARNELL .COM />




Linda Darnell .com


BAD GIRL GONE GOOD:
LOVELY LINDA DARNELL

The beautiful sultry actress known as Linda Darnell was born (as Monetta Eloyse Darnell) in Dallas, Texas on October 16, 1923. One of five children, her father was a postal worker. Her mother encouraged her to model, already recognizing her beauty even at the early age of 12.

By 1934, Linda was modeling clothes for an area department store. Sometimes officials would think that she was 15 or 16 because she looked much older than she was. At age 13, she was appearing with local theater companies. Hollywood scouts, on a routine visit to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, were impressed enough to set up a screen test for her, but they soon discovered she was too young.

They told her to check back in a couple of years or so, which is exactly what she did. Linda used that time to further build up her acting chops through more local theater appearances, returning to California in 1939 to debut in A Hotel For Women. Her next film came later that same year, and it was one of her very best - Daytime Wife.

Film number three, made in 1940, marked her signature hit, Star Dust. More classic films were produced, such as Blood And Sand, and Rise And Shine. In 1945 Linda played Netta Longdon in Hangover Square, which performed solidly at the box-office. She followed that up with an appearance opposite Lillian Gish in Centennial Summer.

Her best parts were usually those that projected the personality of a woman skilled at scheming her way to the top, but when she finally gets there her qualities of basic honesty and decency take over, so she emerges as a hustler with a heart of gold.

Other fan favorites followed, including My Darling Clementine with Henry Fonda and Victor Mature, Forever Amber with Cornel Wilde, Blackbeard The Pirate with Robert "Long John Silver" Newton, and the bittersweet A Letter To Three Wives opposite Paul Douglas.



But the demands of a successful career led to a rocky personal life for her, resulting in three divorces over the years.

Known as the "girl with the perfect face," irony followed her. She played the TV character of Dora Gray (female for Dorian Gray) in two episodes of Wagon Train in 1958, and, also ironically, appeared in a 1957 episode of Climax entitled "Trial By Fire."

Her last movie was Black Spurs, in 1965. On April 10 of that same year she visited a friend in Chicago who had once been her secretary, and fell asleep while smoking in bed, causing a fire that killed her. For yet more irony, at the time she had been watching a TV rerun of her own film, Star Dust.

But although Linda may be gone, cruel fate will not be permitted to have the last laugh. Thanks to DVDs and the internet, her memory will now electronically live forever.




Darling Darnell's Best:

Black Spurs (1965)
Second Chance (1953)
No Way Out (1950)
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
Forever Amber (1947)
My Darling Clementine (1946)
The Great John L. (1945)
Fallen Angel (1945)
Buffalo Bill (1944)
Blood and Sand (1941)
Chad Hanna (1940)
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Brigham Young (1940)
Star Dust (1940)
Daytime Wife (1939)




Relevant Reading:



Hollywood Beauty: Linda Darnell
And The American Dream


Biography By Ronald L. Davis (1991)



Special Thanks:
Linda "Tweedles" Darnell video from the incredible Movie Legends series by Basil Nelson,
featuring tasteful tributes to many classic stars from Hollywood's golden age.
LINDA DARNELL PHOTO GALLERY
Linda Darnell On The Internet Movie Data Base


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