New York Times
Dina Merrill, Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93
Dina Merrill, the actress and heiress to two fortunes who wintered at her family’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., as a child before becoming a leading lady in movies, most often in upper-class roles, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.
Her death was confirmed by her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, who said she had Lewy Body dementia.
An elegant presence in most of her 30 or so mid-20th-century movies, Ms. Merrill played the betrayed wife who loses both her husband, Laurence Harvey, and her mink coat to Elizabeth Taylor in “Butterfield 8” (1960); the chic fashion consultant who loses Glenn Ford to Shirley Jones in “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” (1963); and the steadfast socialite wife of an assistant district attorney played by Burt Lancaster in “The Young Savages” (1961). ...
With an inheritance from her parents estimated at more than $50 million, Ms. Merrill became a philanthropist. A liberal Republican, she was vice chairwoman of the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition, an advocate on women’s health issues and vice president of the New York Mission Society. After her son David, who had diabetes, died in a boating accident at age 23 in 1973, Ms. Merrill created a yearly award for scientific excellence in his name for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.