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 Dina Marjorie Hutton Merrill  (1925 - )

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Lived/Active: California/New York      Known for: watercolor painting, florals, birds, acting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Dina Merrill, born December 9, 1925, is an American actress and socialite.  Merrill was born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton in New York City, New York, the only child of Post Cereals heiress, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street stockbroker, Edward Francis Hutton.  She was educated at Miss Porter's School and studied at George Washington University. But she suddenly dropped out after only a year (to the chagrin of her disapproving parents) after sensing a strong desire to perform, and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In April of 2005 she received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

When Merrill informed her father that she wanted to become an actress on the New York stage, he was outraged. He did not want the "good name" of Hutton paraded on the Great White Way. She asked her father whom he disliked more than anyone else in the world, and he replied Charlie Merrill, founder of Wall Street competitor Merrill Lynch. Out of spite, Nedenia Hutton became Dina Merrill.

Merrill has thus far acted in twenty-two motion pictures including 1957's Desk Set, 1959's; Operation Petticoat (with Cary Grant, who was married to her cousin, Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton); 1960's The Sundowners and Butterfield 8; 1961's The Young Savages; 1963's The Courtship of Eddie's Father; 1977's A Wedding; 1991's True Colors; and 1992's The Player.

Merrill appeared regularly as a guest star on numerous television series in the 1960s, notably as villainess Calamity Jan in a 1966 episode of Batman alongside her then-husband, Cliff Robertson.

Merrill's theater credits include the 1983 Broadway revival of the Rogers & Hart musical On Your Toes, starring Russian prima ballerina Natalia Makarova. In 1991, she appeared in the rotating cast of the off-Broadway staged reading of Wit & Wisdom.

Merrill has been married three times. In 1946, she wed Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr., an heir to the Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste fortune and an entrepreneur. They had three children: Stanley, David (1950–1973) and Nedenia ("Nina"). They divorced in 1966. Later that year, she wed Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson. In 1969, Merrill gave birth to their daughter, Heather, who died of cancer in 2007.

In 1989, Merrill married former actor Ted Hartley. In 1991, the couple merged their company, Pavilion Communications, with RKO to form RKO Pictures (which owns the copyright to the films and intellectual property of RKO Radio Pictures movie studio).

Merrill is a presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a trustee of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Foundation, and a vice president of the New York City Mission Society. She served on the board of directors and the compensation committee of Lehman Brothers for over 18 years.

Source:
"Dina Merrill", Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dina_Merrill, (Accessed 3/9/2013)

Biography from Lighthouse ArtCenter Museum and School of Art:
She is a bona fide movie star, but when Dina Merrill-Hartley paints, she simply signs her work as Nedenia.

She shows a sensitive eye in her watercolors of birds and flowers. Mrs. Hartley shows a sensitive eye in her watercolors of birds and flowers. "Dina has a very unique perspective in her art making as she views the world around her," said noted artist Ted Matz, a Lighthouse ArtCenter instructor who teaches Mrs. Hartley.

Mrs. Hartley, the daughter of Marjorie Merriweather Post and E.F. Hutton, came of age at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, and still has a home on the island.


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