Publicity photo of Merrill in 1968
|Born||Nedenia Marjorie Hutton
December 29, 1923
New York, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr.
|Children||4 total (2, David and Heather) predeceased Merrill|
|Relatives||Barbara Hutton (cousin)|
Merrill was born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton in New York City on December 29, 1923, although for many years her year of birth was given as 1925. She is the only child of Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and her second husband, the Wall Street stockbroker Edward Francis Hutton. Merrill had two older half-sisters, Adelaide Breevort Close, later Adelaide Breevort Hutton (July 26, 1908 – December 31, 1998) and Eleanor Post Close, later Eleanor Post Hutton (December 3, 1909 – November 27, 2006), by her mother's first marriage, to Edward Bennett Close (grandfather of actress Glenn Close).
She was educated at Miss Porter's School and she studied at the George Washington University but dropped out after a year and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She made her debut in to society at age sixteen. In April 2005, she received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Merrill has acted in 22 motion pictures, including 1957's Desk Set, 1959's Operation Petticoat (with Cary Grant, who had been 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, 1965's I'll Take Sweden, 1977's A Wedding, 1980's Just Tell Me What You Want, 1988's Caddyshack II, 1990's Fear, 1991's True Colors, 1992's The Player, 1993's Suture and 1996's Milk and Money.
Merrill appeared regularly as a guest star on numerous television series in the 1960s, notably as a campy villain, "Calamity Jan," in a 1968 episode of Batman alongside then-husband Cliff Robertson. She also made a guest appearance in Bonanza in the two-part episode ("The Pursued") in 1966.
Her stage credits include the 1983 Broadway revival of the Rodgers & 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 (Nedenia Colgate Rumbough, David Post Rumbough (deceased), Stanley Rumbough III), but divorced in 1966. Later that year, she wed Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson. In 1969, Merrill gave birth to a daughter, Heather, who predeceased her parents. In 1989, she married former actor Ted Hartley. Two of Merrill's four children (David, Heather) predeceased their mother.
In 1991, Merrill and Hartley 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). She 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 Center, 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.
- Dina Merrill Net Worth, CelebrityNetWorth.com; accessed August 13, 2014.
- Gingrich, Arnold (May 1960). Coronet. D. A. Smart. p. 13.
- Hamilton, George; Stadiem, William (October 14, 2008). Don't Mind If I Do. Simon and Schuster. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-4165-9450-5.
- Date of birth given as December 29, 1923; hillwoodmuseum.org; accessed December 31, 2013.
- Date of birth given as December 29, 1923, paulbowles.org; accessed December 31, 2013.
- Dina Merrill profile ar FilmReference.com
- Major, Nellie Leitch (January 1, 1963). C.W. Post - the hour and the man: A biography with genealogical supplement. Washington, DC: Press of Judd & Detweiler, Inc. p. 173. ASIN B0006AYYIS.
- "DINA MERRILL: A STAR ON HER TOES". The New York Times. April 3, 1983. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Wit & Wisdom, theatermania.com; accessed December 27, 2013.
- Gillespie, John (2010-01-12). Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions. Free Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-4165-5993-1.
- Dina Merrill at the Internet Movie Database
- In Step with: Dina Merrill, news.google.com; accessed July 9, 2014.