Tags: dina merrill | dies | actress-heiress | mar-a-lago

Dina Merrill Dies: Actress-Heiress Grew Up at Mar-a-Lago

Image: Dina Merrill Dies: Actress-Heiress Grew Up at Mar-a-Lago

Actress-heiress Dina Merrill in 1966. (AP Photo)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 May 2017 05:30 AM

Dina Merrill, the heiress and 1950-60s actress who grew up at Mar-a-Lago in Florida – now owned by President Donald Trump – died Monday. She was at 93.

Merrill was the daughter of Wall Street broker E.F. Hutton and Post Cereals heir Marjorie Merriweather Post, said The Hollywood Reporter.

When Merrill was a young girl, her family spent their winters at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, long before Trump purchased the 115-room estate in 1985 and converted it into a private club, said National Public Radio.

She made her film debut in Katharine Hepburn's comedy "Desk Set" in 1957, appeared with Cary Grant in 1959 in "Operation Petticoat," and played opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Laurence Harvey in 1960's "Butterfield 8," said The Hollywood Reporter. She performed in "The Young Savages" with Burt Lancaster and with Glenn Ford in 1963's "The Courtship of Eddie Father."

The New York Times said Merrill's father wanted her to practice law and then run for Congress, but she had the acting bug and made her Broadway debut in 1945 in "The Mermaids Singing." Even though her family made millions, she supported herself by modeling clothes for Vogue.

"It never occurred to me to ask my father or mother to pay for something they didn't believe in," Merrill said in a 1979 interview, per the Times. "My ambitions were my own — not exactly the ones they had for me."

Her brother-in-law suggested she change her name, with her new last name inspired by one of her father's Wall Street colleagues, Charles E. Merrill, of Merrill Lynch.

In 1946, Merrill married Stanley M. Rumbough Jr., an heir to the Colgate-Palmolive fortune, and had three children with him, Nina, David and Stanley III, before divorcing in 1966.

Later that year, Merrill wed actor Cliff Robertson. They had one daughter, Heather before divorcing in 1989. She then married Ted Hartley, who became chief executive of RKO Pictures. The Hollywood Reporter said Merrill would go on to purchase 51 percent of the studio in 1991 and serve as vice chair.

At the time of her death, Merrill lived in East Hampton, New York.

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Dina Merrill, the heiress and 1950-60s actress who grew up at Mar-a-Lago in Florida – now owned by President Donald Trump – died Monday. She was at 93.
dina merrill, dies, actress-heiress, mar-a-lago
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Wednesday, 24 May 2017 05:30 AM
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