Linda Darnell (The Girl With The Perfect Face)


"Rumors don't bother me. I learned long ago to disregard them." ~ Linda 

 Linda Darnell was born Monetta Eloyse Darnell on October 16, 1923, in Dallas, Texas. During her childhood she worked as a model and appeared in local stage productions. Her mother became obsessed with making her a star. A Hollywood talent scout got Linda a screen test in 1937 but when the studio discovered that she was only thirteen they sent her home. Two years later she was offered a contract with 20th Century Fox. Her first starring role was in the 1940 drama Star Dust, a movie loosely based on her own life. Over the next decade she appeared in many successful films including Blood And Sand, Centennial Summer, The Mark Of Zorro. She became known as the "girl with the perfect face". Linda married forty-three year old cameraman J. Peverell Marley in 1944 and they adopted a daughter named Lola. In 1947 Linda was given the lead role in the highly anticipated film Forever Amber. The movie got a lot of publicity but it failed to live up to expectations.


While making the 1949 drama A Letter To Three Wives she began a tumultuous affair with director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. She divorced J. Peverell in 1952 and her second marriage, to brewery heir Phillip Liebmann, lasted only a year. In 1957 she married Merle Robertson, an airline pilot, and decided to take a break from acting. Linda made occasional appearances on television shows like What's My Line. Her marriage to Merle ended in 1962. By this time she had a serious drinking problem and was close to bankruptcy. She wanted to make a comeback and landed a role in the 1965 western Black Spurs. In the spring of 1965 Linda went to Illinois to visit a friend. On April 9 she watched Star Dust on television and went to sleep. During the night the house caught on fire and Linda was burned over eighty percent of her body. She died the next day from her injuries. Linda was just forty-one years old. She was cremated and her ashes were buried at Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.




The room where Linda died