Toby Wing (1930s Starlet)


"Because I'm a vivid blonde and people think of me as a chorus girl they won't believe I'm any more than just that." ~ Toby

Toby Wing was born Martha Virginia Wing on July 14, 1915, in Amelia Courthouse, Virginia. Her father worked as an assistant director and helped Toby get her first acting job at the age of nine. When she was a teenager she was hired as one of the Goldwyn Girls along with Betty Grable and Paulette Goddard. Toby started to get supporting roles in films like School For Girls and Murder At The Vanities. In 1934 she announced her engagement to actor Jackie Coogan but they broke up soon after. With her platinum blonde hair and voluptuous figure Toby became a popular sex symbol. Her high-profile romances with Maurice Chevalier, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr, and singer Pinky Tomlin kept her in name in the gossip columns.


Although she played leading roles in The Marines Came Through and With Love And Kisses Toby never became a big star. In 1938 she married aviator Dick Merrill. Toby toured with several stage productions but eventually she quit acting. Her first son Henry died from crib death in 1940. That same year her second son Ricky was born. Toby and Dick eventually settled in Virginia and she began a new career as a real estate agent. Tragically in 1982 their son Ricky was murdered in their home. Just one month later Dick died from a heart attack. Toby remained in Virginia with her two granddaughters. She passed away on March 22, 2001 at the age of eighty-five. Toby is buried with her husband and sons in Christ Church Kingston Parish Cemetery in Mathews, Virginia.