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Carmel Myers

Carmel Myers
Personal information
Birth dateApril 4, 1899
Place of birthSan Francisco, California,
United States
Date of deathNovember 9, 1980(age 81)
SpouseIsidore Kornblum (1919 1923) (divorced)
Ralph H. Blum (1929 1950) (his death)
Alfred Schwalberg (1951 1974) (his death)

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Carmel Myers (April 4, 1899 November 9, 1980) was an American actress who worked chiefly in silent movies.Myers was born in San Francisco, the daughter of an Australian rabbi and Austrian Jewish mother. Her father became well-connected with California's emerging film industry, and introduced her to film pioneer D. W. Griffith, who gave Carmel a small part in Intolerance (1916). Myers also got her brother Zion Myers into Hollywood as a writer/director.From this beginning, Myers left for New York, where she acted mainly on stage for the next two years. She was signed by Universal, where she emerged as a popular actress in vamp roles. Her most popular film from this period is probably the romantic comedy All Night, opposite Rudolph Valentino. By 1924 she was working for MGM, making such films as Broadway After Dark, which also starred Adolphe Menjou, Norma Shearer and Anna Q. Nilsson.

In 1925, she appeared in arguably her most famous role, that of the Egyptian vamp Iras in Ben-Hur, who tries to seduce both Messala (Francis X. Bushman) and Ben-Hur himself (Ramón Novarro). This film was a boost to Myers' career, and she appeared in major roles throughout the 1920s, including Tell It to the Marines in 1926 with Lon Chaney, Sr., William Haines and Eleanor Boardman. Myers appeared in Four Walls and Dream of Love, both with Joan Crawford in 1928; and in The Show of Shows (1929), a showcase of popular contemporary film actors.

Myers had a successful sound career, mostly in supporting roles due to her age. Amongst her popular sound films are Svengali (1931) and The Mad Genius (1931), both with John Barrymore and Marian Marsh, and a small role in 1944's The Conspirators, a sort-of Casablanca remake which included Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet. In the latter film, Myers was billed far below the female lead, Hedy Lamarr.

Myers surfaced in the entertainment world again briefly in 1951, with a short-lived DuMont Television Network show called The Carmel Myers Show, which followed the interview format. After its cancellation, Myers focused on a career in real estate and her own perfume distribution company.

Myers died in 1980 at the age of 81 and was buried near her parents at Home of Peace Cemetery in East Los Angeles.

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