cover image Myrna Loy: 
The Only Good Girl in Hollywood

Myrna Loy: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood

Emily W. Leider. Univ. of California, $34.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-520-25320-9

In this well-researched and comprehensive biography, Leider (Dark Lover) shows Loy as an accomplished actress (The Perfect Wife; The Thin Man; and The Best Years of Our Lives) and a humanitarian. Loy was discovered by Rudolph Valentino, and her striking looks initially cast her in exotic roles, playing the daughter of Fu Manchu, a Mexican spitfire, and a gypsy seductress; but once MGM teamed her with William Powell, her comedic ease and style sense made her a box office hit. Leider studies Loy’s work and examines the development of the studio system, offering insight into the careers of co-stars Powell, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Montgomery Clift. Proud of her work with the Red Cross, the United Nations mission, and UNESCO, she championed artists as ambassadors of peace. Leider’s portrait nicely details Myrna Loy as not only a movie star but also an ardent activist. (Oct.)