Myrna Loy: Being&becm

Myrna Loy, Author, James Kotsilibas-Davis, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (372p) ISBN 978-0-394-55593-5
Kotsilibas-Davis (The Barrymores, etc.) and others contribute here to the story of a remarkable woman, but it's told mainly in her own words. Of pioneer ancestry, all-American Myrna Williams was born in 1905 on a Montana farm. As a young dancer, she was cast in ""native'' vamp roles in films and named Loy to suit the image. It was in the Thin Man series of the 1930s that the actress's quicksilver wit made her the ideal Nora to the late William Powell's Nick Charles. Loy continued to shine in memorable films with Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Gable et al., all of whom she recalls fondly here, as she does her women friends. There are spirited defenses, for instance, of Jean Harlow and Joan Crawford with critical views of the latter's daughter Christina, author of Mommie Dearest. Loy became a political activist during World War II and has kept working for human rights, primarily on UNICEF and UNESCO committees. The reader discovers a great deal in this story of a person who seems to have learned early on what Matthew Arnold too observed: ``Life is . . . a being and a becoming.'' Photos not seen by PW. (October 14)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
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