1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

William Powell

He enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and began his career on the stage with many lean years performing in vaudeville and stock companies, then appearing in silent films: ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ ‘Romola’ and ‘Beau Geste.’ Finally on to great success in sound films: “The Great Ziegfield,” “My Man Godfrey” (Academy nomination), “Life With Father” (Academy nomination), “How to Marry a Millionaire” and his final movie before complete retirement in 1955, “Mister Roberts.” Teamed with Myrna Loy, they combined in a series of five films called the “Thin Man Series.” The first “Thin Man” movie earned him an Academy nomination. Over a 14 year period, William and Myrna were a screen team appearing together in a total of 14 movies. Powell had a track record of marriages to leading actresses from the movies in which he appeared. His second wife, Carole Lombard, who when parting company commented, ‘That S.O.B. is always acting, even when he takes off his pajamas.’ A near miss of marriage to Jean Harlow was nullified because of her untimely death but he was corralled into paying the burial bill. A crypt was reserved for him in the Harlow burial room at Forest Lawn but it remains empty. He met his match in Diana Lewis an MGM starlet, a union that lasted 44 years until his death. In 1938 he survived a bout with cancer and still went on to complete an amazing fifty year career in show business starting from the stage, to silent movies and finally ‘the talkies.’ He knew when to retire, when his sophisticated debonair appearance started declining, William Powell called it quits at age 63 settling in Palm Springs where he enjoyed more then 25 years of blissful life. He resisted offers of ‘comeback’ roles, even though tempted, Powell declined them all. He was cremated and his ashes buried, without fanfare, beside his only son who had tragically committed suicide years before in Desert Memorial Park near his home in Palm Springs.