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Dina Merrill

in The Sundowners (1960)
Born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton
December 9, 1925 (1925-12-09) (age 84)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active 1955–2003
Spouse(s) Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr.(1946–1966) (divorced) 3 children
Cliff Robertson
(1966–1986) (divorced) 1 child
Ted Hartley

Dina Merrill (born December 9, 1925) is an American actress and socialite.


Early life

Merrill was born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton in New York City, the only child of Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and her second husband, Wall Street stockbroker Edward Francis Hutton.[1] She was educated at The George Washington University.


Merrill acted in twenty-two motion pictures, including Desk Set with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, The Sundowners, Don't Give Up the Ship, Caddyshack II, I'll Take Sweden with Bob Hope, The Young Savages with Burt Lancaster, A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed with Mickey Rooney, Catch Me If You Can, Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant (who had previously been married to her cousin, Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton) and Tony Curtis, The Courtship of Eddie's Father with Glenn Ford and Ron Howard, Butterfield 8 with Elizabeth Taylor, A Wedding with Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Carol Burnett, True Colors with John Cusack and The Player with Tim Robbins and Whoopi Goldberg.

Merrill appeared regularly on television in the 1960s, including a guest role in James Franciscus's The Investigators on CBS in 1961 and on the NBC medical drama The Eleventh Hour in the role of Rita Hall in the 1962 episode entitled "Everybody Knows You Left Me". Another NBC medical drama Dr. Kildare (1961-1966) saw her guest star as the adult daughter of series regular Raymond Massey in his role as Dr. Gillespie, mentor to the eponymous Dr. Kildare, played by Richard Chamberlain. In 1966, she appeared as extra special guest villainess Calamity Jan on Batman alongside husband Cliff Robertson as her on-screen husband Shame. She also did a stint as one of the What's My Line? Mystery Guests on the popular Sunday night CBS program.

Merrill, Bobby Short & Dick Sheridan in New York City (1970)

Her legitimate theater credits include the 1983 Broadway revivial of the Rogers & Hart musical On Your Toes starring Russia prima ballerina and emmigree, Natalia Makarova.

The actress has been married three times. Her first husband was Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr., an heir to the Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste fortune and entrepreneur (married 1946, divorced 1966). They had three children, Stanley Hutton Rumbough, David Post Rumbough (1950–1973) and Nedenia ("Nina") Colgate Rumbough. Her second husband was the American actor Cliff Robertson (married 1966, divorced 1986); they had one child, Heather Merriweather Robertson (1969–2007). She has six grandchildren: Denia and Welyn Craig, David Colgate (Cole), Allegra Hutton, Siena Post, and Kiera Basten Rumbough. In 1989, she married the former actor Ted Hartley. 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 the former 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, 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 18 years until 2007.[2]


  1. ^ Dina Merrill Biography (1925-)<
  2. ^ Gillespie, John (2010-01-12) (Hardcover). Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions. Free Press. pp. 13. ISBN 978-1416559931. 

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