SECRETS & LIES: On this day in 1911, Merle Oberon was born out of wedlock to a 12-year-old Indian mother and an unknown British father in Bombay. To avoid scandal, her grandmother passed off Merle as her mother's sister. Children born in subsequent years to Merle's mother believed their half-sister to be their aunt ... a facade which continued for years. When she became a movie star, Merle Oberon claimed to have been born in Tasmania, her birth records destroyed in a fire. From growing up in poverty in India, Oberon became a global star. Her cameo role as Anne Boleyn in THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII (1933) sealed her fame, and she went on to marry the film's producer/director Alexander Korda, becoming Lady Korda upon his knighthood in 1942. Merle Oberon is probably best remembered as Cathy in WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) opposite Laurence Olivier, although her sole Oscar Nomination was for THE DARK ANGEL (1935). A serious car accident in 1937 almost ruined her career, causing facial damage. The scars were concealed by make-up and her second husband, cinematographer Lucien Ballard, invented a special camera light to conceal this, naming it the "Obie". Her birth origins remained secret until well after her death in 1979, and provided the basis for the novel and subsequent 2013 movie WHITE LIES.
#merleoberon #wutheringheights #classichollywood #classichollywoodactress #oldhollywood #oldhollywoodglamour #oldhollywoodglam #vintagehollywood #gay #instagay #gayicon #academyawards #oscars #samuelgoldwyn #alexanderkorda #anneboleyn #henryviii #davidniven #laurenceolivier #obie #bombay #tasmania #britishfilm #hollywood #whitelies