Oberon, Merle

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Oberon, Merle Gender: F
Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson
born on 19 February 1911 at 06:40 (= 06:40 AM )
Place Bombay, India, 18n58, 72e50
Timezone IST h5e30 (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating DD
Collector: March
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 29°17' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 06°19 Asc.s_aqucol.18.gif 20°40'

Merle Oberon


Eurasian-American actress who appeared in over 20 films including "The Private Life of Henry VIII," 1933, "Over The Moon," 1937, "The Divorce of Lady X," 1938 and who was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress in "Dark Angel," 1935. Best known for her role as Cathy in the Hollywood film "Wuthering Heights," she also played opposite Lawrence Olivier's 'Heathcliff,' in 1939.

Due to the prejudices of the time, young Estelle Thompson was forced to conceal her mixed ancestry in order to make her way in society or show business. Raised in India, she was a local beauty at age 16. She moved to London the following year to launch a career as a cabaret singer under the name Queenie O'Brien while she appeared in bit parts in several films.

After her cinematic debut in England as Anne Boleyn in "The Private Life of Henry VIII," director Alexander Korda convinced her to change her name, to get a Hollywood contract and to be his wife. When Oberon agreed on all conditions, she spent the next 12 years under contract to MGM and divided her time between England and Hollywood, appearing in over 12 films. She flaunted her classic beauty and rewrote her background under the successful camouflage of being the well-bred daughter of a British army officer in Tasmania. "It was exceedingly clever of Merle to pick Tasmania as her birthplace, but then she was an extremely intelligent woman - no one had ever been there and no one was likely to go there. Although I understand and sympathize with Merle, the childhood she really had must have been infinitely more interesting than the one she invented." When her nephew Michael Korda wrote his family memoir "Charmed Lives" in 1979 and revealed Oberon's roots, she cut him out of her will.

Oberon made four marriages. The first, to British director-producer Alexander Korda in 1939 ended in divorce six years later. She next wed cameraman Lucien Ballard from 1945 - 1949, followed by industrialist Bruno Pagliai, from 1957-1963. Her fourth marriage in 1975 was to 15-year-younger Robert Wolders. At the time, she already had two kids from previous marriages. Friendly, good-natured and generous, she was also a poor businesswoman.

When screen roles became sporadic in the '50s, Oberon debuted on TV, hosting the series "Assignment Foreign Legion." After her final film, "Interval," in 1973, Oberon retired to a quiet life in Malibu, CA, where she died of a massive stroke on 11/23/1979.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Relationship : Marriage 1975 (Fourth marriage, Robert Wolders)

Source Notes

Marion March quotes an article by her ex-husband, Korda, in which he said B.C. (Sabian Symbols No.731 gives 6:00 AM, Bombay. Biographer Charles Higham, "Princess Merle," Pocket Books 1985, p.15, says that her folks arrived in Bombay in October 1910. Some accounts give Hobart, Tasmania as her birth place.)

Sy Scholfield writes, October 2002, "Usually her date of birth is given as 19 February 1911 in Bombay (now

Mumbai), India. However, the documentary television show, "True Stories: The Trouble with Merle" by Maree Delofski (screened on the ABC, Australia, 29 August 2002, 10pm, video copy in hand), shows her birth certificate with a birth date of "18 February 1911" ("Estelle Merle Thompson," born in "Bombay" to "Arthur Thompson" and "Constance Thompson," registered "21 March 1911," number "#U792").


  • Traits : Body : Appearance gorgeous
  • Traits : Personality : Gracious/ sociable (Friendly and good natured)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke (Terminal)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Age difference more than 15 yrs (Husband 15 years younger)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Four)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : On the edge (Financially inept)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Moved to England, U.S.)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : Profiles Of Women