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Minna Gombell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Died in Santa Monica, California, USA
Birth NameMinna Marie Gombel
Nicknames Winifred Lee
Nancy Gardner
Nancy Carter

Mini Bio (1)

A doctor's daughter, the versatile actress Minna Gombell had a successful career on the stage from 1912 to the end of the 1920's, appearing often in comedic roles, almost always in leads. She had a reputation as a fast learner, capable of reading and comprehending a script in a matter of hours. This ability served her well as an understudy early in her career. She made her Broadway debut in 1913 in 'Madam President' and later appeared in several productions of her stage director husband Myron C. Fagan (for instance,'Nancy's Private Affair',1930).

Minna began her film career in 1929. Although her specialty was street-wise, tough-talking blondes, she displayed quite a repertoire of varied characters during her movie career. She was best friend and steadying influence on Sally Eilers in Bad Girl (1931), a conflicted and unhappy mother in After Tomorrow (1932), the cold wife of The Thin Man (1934), a waspish wife in Babbitt (1934), brassy burlesque performers in Stepping Sisters (1932), a spunky wagon-line owner in Doomed Caravan (1941), and a tough nurse presiding over The Snake Pit (1948). She also had occasional leads, for instance as the gold-digger Stella in Bachelor's Affairs (1932), a comedy with Adolphe Menjou. An underrated actress, she enlivened many a film with her presence.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (3)

Joseph W. Sefton, Jr. (1881-1966) (1933 - 1947) ( divorced)
Howard Chesham Rumsey (9 March 1916 - 1921) ( divorced)
Myron C. Fagan (? - 12 May 1972) ( his death)

Trivia (6)

Started her movie career under the name Nancy Gardner.
The 1900 census lists her family as living at 835 W. Fayette St. in Baltimore (MD) and the 1910 census shows them owning and residing at 1704 W. Madison St., also in Baltimore.
Her father William was a prominent German-born Baltimore physician and her mother Emma was a first-generation American whose parents were also from Germany.
She and Duncan McRae both made their Broadway debuts in the same production of the play "Miss President" by Jose G. Levy, Maurice Hennequin and Pierre Veber. The production ran from September 15, 1913, to some time in January 1914, at the Garrick Theatre. Fannie Ward was also in the cast.
Was in four Oscar Best Picture nominees Bad Girl (1931), The Thin Man (1934), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and The Snake Pit (1948) with The Best Years of Our Lives winning Best Picture of 1946.
Buried at Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore with her parents.

See also

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