Publicity photo of Merrill in 1968
Nedenia Marjorie Hutton
December 29, 1923
New York City, U.S.
|Died||May 22, 2017 (aged 93)|
|Education||George Washington University|
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
|Occupation||Actress, socialite, businesswoman, philanthropist|
(m. 1946; div. 1966)
(m. 1966; div. 1986)
|Parent(s)||Edward Francis Hutton|
Marjorie Merriweather Post
|Relatives||Eleanor Post Close (half-sister)|
C. W. Post (grandfather)
Barbara Hutton (cousin)
Merrill was born in New York City on December 29, 1923, although for many years, her date of birth was given as December 9, 1925. She was the only child of Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and her second husband, Wall Street stockbroker Edward Francis Hutton, founder of E. F. Hutton & Co. Merrill had two older half-sisters, Adelaide Breevort (Close) Hutton (July 26, 1908 – December 31, 1998) and Eleanor Post (Close) Hutton (December 3, 1909 – November 27, 2006), by her mother's first marriage to Edward Bennett Close, grandfather of actress Glenn Close.
Merrill attended George Washington University in Washington, DC, for one term, then dropped out and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She studied acting at HB Studio under Uta Hagen. She received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in April 2005.
On advice from her half-sister's (then) husband, she adopted the stage name Dina Merrill, borrowing from Charles E. Merrill, a famous stockbroker like her father. Merrill made her debut on the stage in the play The Mermaid Singing in 1945.
Merrill's film credits included Desk Set (1957), A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed (1958), Don't Give Up the Ship (1959), Operation Petticoat (1959, with Cary Grant, who had been married to her cousin, Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton), The Sundowners (1960), Butterfield 8 (1960), The Young Savages (1961), The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963), I'll Take Sweden (1965), The Greatest (1977), A Wedding (1978), Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), Anna to the Infinite Power (1983), Twisted (1986), Caddyshack II (1988), Fear (1990), True Colors (1991), The Player (1992), Suture (1993), and Shade (2003). She also appeared in made-for-TV movies, such as Seven in Darkness (1969), The Lonely Profession (1969), Family Flight (1972), and The Tenth Month (1979).
Merrill appeared in numerous television series in the 1960s, such as playing the villain "Calamity Jan" in two 1968 episodes of Batman alongside then-husband Cliff Robertson. She also made guest appearances on two Bonanza episodes as Susannah Clauson, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode "Bonfire" (1962), The Investigators, The Bold Ones, The Love Boat; Quincy, M.E.; Murder, She Wrote; Roseanne, and The Nanny, as Maxwell Sheffield's disapproving and distant British mother. In 1971, Merrill appeared as Laura Duff in The Men From Shiloh (rebranded name for the TV Western The Virginian) in the episode titled "The Agnus Killer".
Her stage credits include the 1983 Broadway revival of the Rodgers and 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.
In 1991, Merrill and her third husband, Ted Hartley, merged their company, Pavilion Communications, with RKO to form RKO Pictures, which owns the intellectual property of the RKO Radio Pictures movie studio.
Merrill was 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. In 1980, Merrill joined the board of directors of her father's E. F. Hutton & Co., continuing on the board of directors and the compensation committee of Lehman Brothers when it acquired Hutton, for over 18 years.
Personal life and death
Merrill was married three times. In 1946, she wed Stanley M. Rumbough Jr., an heir to the Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste fortune and entrepreneur. They had three children, Nedenia Colgate Rumbough, David Post Rumbough, and Stanley Rumbough III  before divorcing in 1966. Later that year, she wed future Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson, with whom she had a daughter, Heather Robertson (1968–2007). The couple divorced in 1986.
|1957||Desk Set||Sylvia Blair|
|1958||A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed||Margie Solitaire|
|1959||Don't Give Up the Ship||Ensign Rita J. Benson|
|Operation Petticoat||Second Lieutenant Barbara Duran, NC, USAR|
|Catch Me As You Can|
|1960||BUtterfield 8||Emily Liggett|
|The Sundowners||Jean Halstead|
|1961||The Young Savages||Karin Bell|
|Twenty Plus Two||Nicki Kovacs|
|1963||The Courtship of Eddie's Father||Rita Behrens|
|I'll Take Sweden||Karin Granstedt|
|1970||Aru heishi no kake||Kelly Allen|
|1974||Throw Out the Anchor!||Lindy Baker|
|1975||The Meal||Kelly Fielding|
|1977||The Greatest||Velvet Green|
|1978||A Wedding||Antionette Goddard|
|1980||Just Tell Me What You Want||Connie Herschel|
|1983||Anna to the Infinite Power||Sarah Hart|
|1988||Caddyshack II||Cynthia Young|
|1991||True Colors||Joan Styles|
|1995||Open Season||Doris Hays-Britton|
|Point of Betrayal||Mother|
|1996||Milk & Money||Ellen - David's Mother||Executive Producer|
|1998||Mighty Joe Young||Society Woman|
|1999||The Other Sister||Pucky||Uncredited|
|2000||Meeting Genevieve||Mother||Short movie|
|2009||Beyond a Reasonable Doubt||Woman in Courtroom||Uncredited|
|1961||Westinghouse Presents: The Dispossessed||Annette DeGrande|
|1962||"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" Bonfire||Laura|
|1968||The Sunshine Patriot||Brancie Hagen|
|1969||Seven in Darkness||Emily Garth|
|The Lonely Profession||Beatrice Savarona|
|1971||Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones||Vivian Greher|
|1972||Family Flight||Florence Carlyle|
|1973||The Letters||Penelope Parkington|
|Running Wild||Whit Colby|
|1979||The Tenth Month||Cele|
|1983||The Brass Ring||Mother|
|1986||The Alan King Show||Nan Cooper|
|1989||Turn Back the Clock||Maureen Dowd|
|1993||Not in My Family||Claire Worth|
|1997||Something Borrowed, Something Blue||Lydia D'Arcy - Monique's Mother|
|1998||A Chance of Snow||Merilee Parker|
|2002||The Magnificent Ambersons||Mrs. Johnson|
|The Glow||Phoebe Janusz|
|1955||Four Star Playhouse||Marcia||Episode: "A Place Full of Strangers"|
|1956||Playwrights '56||Sarah / Mrs. Neville||Episode: "The Center of the Maze"
Episode: "Return to Cassino"
|The Phil Silvers Show||Lieutenant Roxberry /
|Episode: "Bilko's Rest Cure"
Episode: "Bilko's War Against Culture"
|Matinee Theatre||Episode: "One for All"
Episode: "Day of Discoveries"
|1958||Playhouse 90||Mary||Episode: "The Time of Your Life"|
|Climax!||Iris Farrar||Episode: "Spider Web"|
|1959||Sunday Showcase||Laurette Harrington||Episode: "What Makes Sammy Run?: Part 1"
Episode: "What Makes Sammy Run?: Part 2"
|The DuPont Show of the Month||Laura Hudson / Julie||Episode: "The Fallen Idol"
Episode: "Men in White"
|1960||Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse||Aline Lincoln||Episode: "Murder Is a Private Affair"|
|1961||The Investigators||Valerie Corbin||Episode: "Style of Living"|
|The United States Steel Hour||Lisa Muller||Episode: "Brandenburg Gate"|
|Hong Kong||Helen Rowan Randolph||Episode: "Lady Godiva"|
|1962||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Laura||Episode: "Bonfire"|
|The Dick Powell Theatre||Mrs. Eve Emerson /
|Episode: "The Court Martial of Captain Wycliff"
Episode: "Obituary for Mr.X"
|The New Breed||Ruth Kingman||Episode: "So Dark the Night"|
|Dr. Kildare||Evelyn LeFevre||Episode: "Oh, My Daughter"|
|Checkmate||Laura Hammond||Episode: "A Very Rough Sketch"|
|1963||Burke's Law||Barrie Coleman||Episode: "Who Killed Mr. X?"|
|The Eleventh Hour||Rita Hall||Episode: "Everybody Knows You Love Me"|
|Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Maralise / Joan Cowley||Episode: "The Candidate"
Episode: "The Game"
|1964||Kraft Suspense Theatre||Jo Andrews||Episode: "The Gun"|
|Mickey||Angela||Episode: "Seaside Westside"|
|Rawhide||Lisa Temple||Episode: "Incident of the Gilded Goddess|
|The Rogues||Clothilde Bonheur /
|Episode: "The Personal Touch"
Episode: "A Daring Step Backward"
|1965||Daniel Boone||Madeline Lorne||Episode: "The Tamarack Massacre Affair"|
|The F.B.I||Christine Minton /
|Episode: "The Monsters"
Episode: "The Franklin Papers"
|1966||Bonanza||Susannah Clauson||Episode: "The Pursued: Part 1"
Episode: "The Pursued: Part 2"
|Daktari||Janet Lorne||Episode: "Trail of the Cheetah"|
|12 O'Clock Heights||Capt. Patricia Bates||Episode: "Which Way the Wind Blows"|
|1967||Run for Your Life||Caroline Willins||Episode: "East of the Equator"|
|A.B.C Stage 67||Ginny Weldon||Episode: "The Trap of Solid Gold"|
|1968||Batman||Calamity Jan||Episode: "Penguin's Clean Sweep" (uncredited)
Episode: "The Great Escape"
Episode: "The Great Train Robbery"
|1969||Mission: Impossible||Meredyth||Episode: "The Controllers Part 1"
Episode: "The Controllers Part 2"
|The Name of the Game||Maggie Payden /
|Episode: "The Incomparable Connie Walker"
Episode: "The Glory Shouter"
|1971||The Bold Ones: The New Doctors||Madeline Calvert||Episode: "Angry Man"|
|Medical Center||Ruth Marlowe||Episode: "Perfection of Vices"|
|The Virginian||Laura Duff||Episode: "The Angus Killer"|
|1973||Cannon||Doris Hawthorne||Episode: "Murder By the Numbers"|
|Marcus Welby, M.D.||Dr. Carol Brooks||Episode: "A Cry in the Night"|
|Night Gallery||Ruth Wilson||Episode: "Hatred Until Death / How to Cure the Common Vampire"
Segment: "Hatred Unto Death"
|1974||The Odd Couple||Anita||Episode: "Oscar in Love"|
|1975||Ellery Queen||Harriet Manners||Episode: "The Adventure of the 12th Floor Express"|
|Switch||Luciana||Episode: "Kiss of Death"|
|1976||Quincy M.E.||Claire Garner||Episode: "Who's Who In Neverland"|
|Hawaii Five-O||Dr. Barbara Dalton||Episode: "Nine Dragons"|
|Kingston: Confidential||Helen Martinson||Episode: "Kingston"|
|1977||The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries||Thelma March||Episode: "A Haunting We Will Go"|
|1979||The Love Boat||Helen Ames||2 Episodes|
|Roots: The Next Generation||Mrs. Hickinger||TV Mini-Series
Episode: "Part V"
|1980||Matt and Jenny||Adelaide Alcott||Episode: "The Actress"|
|Hotel||Jessica Cabot /
|Episode: "Queen's Gambit"
Episode: "Opening Moves"
Episode: "The Wedding"
|1984||Hot Pursuit||Estelle Mordian||12 Episodes|
|Murder, She Wrote||Monica Douglas /
|Episode: "Always a Thief"
Episode: "The Monte Carlo Murders"
|1995||The Nanny||Elizabeth Sheffield||Episode: "The Two Mrs. Sheffields"|
|1996||Roseanne||Doris||Episode: "Hoi Polloi Meets Holti Toiti"|
|1998||Vengeance Unlimited||Ellen Hayworth||Episode: "Ambition"|
|2001||100 Centre Street||Judge Helen Randolph||Episode: "Bottlecaps"|
- 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. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014.
- Dina Merrill date of birth: December 29, 1923, paulbowles.org; accessed December 31, 2013.
- "Dina Merrill Biography". filmreference.com. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- HB Studio Alumni
- "A Touch Of Class". Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- 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. pp. 173. ASIN B0006AYYIS.
- Rowes, Barbara (May 12, 1980). "An Actress Turns to Finance: History Proves That Both Dina Merrill and Her Daddy Knew Best". People. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
- Bernstein, Adam (May 22, 2017). "Dina Merrill, actress and philanthropist of aristocratic poise, dies at 93". Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 24, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- "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 (January 12, 2010). 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.
- Harmetz, Aljean (May 22, 2017). "Dina Merrill, Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "Dina Merrill: Performer". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "Fortune, fame...and tragic deaths". Chicago Tribune. November 17, 1975. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
- "Deaths Robertson, Heather Merriweather". The New York Times. May 2, 2007. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dina Merrill.|
- Dina Merrill on IMDb
- In Step with: Dina Merrill, news.google.com; accessed 2014-07-09.
- Cliff Robertson & Dina Merrill Take (summer) Stock and Are Bullish on the Outcome People Magazine 1981-07-31