British actress Merle Oberon (born Estelle Merle O’Brien Thompson on February 19, 1911 in Bombay, British India) is the daughter of American parents.

Queenie is a nickname given to Merle in honor of Queen Mary, who visited India in 1911 at the invitation of King George V. Arthur Thompson enrolled in the British Army when Merle was only three years old. Later, he died of disease on the Western Front during the Battle of the Somme. Merle and Charlotte stayed in Bombay for a few years, when they endured extreme poverty in dilapidated dwellings.

merle oberon parents

The Calcutta Amateur Dramatic Society was where Oberon made his acting debut. She also loved going to the movies and the club scene. Sunanda K. Datta-Ray, an Indian journalist, said that before Merle began her film career, she had worked as a telephone operator in Calcutta under the name Queenie Thomson and won a contest at Firpo’s Restaurant.

Profession of Merle Oberon

Oberon first visited England in 1928, when he was 17 years old. She hosted nightclubs under the name Queenie O’Brien and had little parts in several films without receiving any credit.

Her cinematic career was launched when, under the name Merle Oberon, she was cast as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), starring alongside Charles Laughton in a small but crucial role.

merle oberon parents

As a result of the film’s financial success, she was immediately given leading roles, such as Lady Blakeney opposite Leslie Howard in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934).

Her relationship with Korda as a friend and then as a wife was beneficial to Oberon’s success. Producer Samuel Goldwyn gave him “shares” of her contract in exchange for him chauffeuring her about in style.

Oberon’s only Oscar nomination was for Best Actress for the Goldwyn production The Black Angel (1935), but she ultimately won’t win. She was in a serious relationship with David Niven around this time, and rumors have it that they planned to marry. However, he was unfaithful.

She was chosen to play Messalina in Korda’s 1937 film I, Claudius, but the production was canceled owing to her injuries received in a car accident.

Later, she starred with Laurence Olivier as Cathy in the highly famous 1939 film Wuthering Heights, in which she portrayed Catherine Earnshaw (1954).

Oberon’s complexion apparently declined circa 1940 as a result of cosmetic poisoning and an unfavorable response to sulfa treatments, according to Princess Merle, the biography by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley.

Under Alexander Korda’s advice, she visited a New York City dermatologist’s practice for a series of dermabrasion procedures. Her cosmetic efforts were only partially effective because her face now featured obvious pits and indents.

What are the names of Merle Oberon’s parents?

Charlotte Selby and Arthur Terence O’Brien Thompson had a son named Oberon. Her sister, Constance Thompson, and her have the same parents.

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