Quick Facts of

  • First NameDina Merrill

How Rich Was Actress Dina Merrill At The Time Of Her Death?   

American actress Dina Merrill was best known for playing the role of Sylvia Blair in the film Desk Set. Similarly, she was also recognized for playing various roles in Operation Petticoat, The Player, and Mighty Joe Young, The Lonely Profession, Family Flight, The Young Savages, and others. 

As of May 2017, Dina Merrill had an estimated net worth of $5 billion. In 1914, as an heiress of an entrepreneur Marjorie Merriweather Post, she received $250 million and became the richest woman in the United States.     

Acting Career

Dina Merrill started her acting career with the stage performances in the broadway, The Mermaids Singing. Eventually, her talent helped her to get roles for numerous plays in theatres for a complete decade. 

After that, Dina made a big-screen debut playing Sylvia Blair with the romantic comedy film Desk Set in 1957. Similarly, she acted in films like Don’t Give Up the Ship, The Young Savages, I’ll Take Sweden, True Colors, Shade, and many more. 

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In 1959, Merrill played the role of Lt. Barbara Duran RN in the World War II submarine comedy movie Operation Petticoat starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. The actress also worked in films such as The Player, The Lonely Profession, Family Flight, The Tenth Month, and others.  

Furthermore, Desk Set actress is also a notable part of the films like True Colors, Shade, Caddyshack II, Just Tell Me What You Want, The Sundowners, Butterfield 8, Father, A Wedding, and others.  

Philanthropic Works

Dina is remembered for her charities the same way she is for her acting. She contributed over 5 decades of her life, providing the service to the New York City Mission Society as the former chairman of the board and director.

Additionally, Merrill also started the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and after her son, David was diagnosed with diabetes. 


There is no doubt that the late billionaire lived all her life in luxury. She was the owner of the Mar-a-logo house until she sold it to Donald Trump in March 1985. She earned $8 million from the mansion featuring 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms. 


Dina Merrill was born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton on December 29, 1923, in New York City, New York, the United States. 

Her mother, Marjorie Merriweather Post, was a businesswoman while her father, Edward Francis Hutton, was a financier. She had 2 half-siblings by her mom’s first marriage, Adelaide Breevort Hutton and Elanor Post  Hutton

Dina attended George Washington University and dropped out just before joining the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Similarly, she enrolled at HB Studio and learned acting under Uta Hagen

How Was Her Personal Life?

Dina was married three times during her lifetime. After 2 unsuccessful marriages, she exchanged vows to Ted Hartley (Fighter pilot) on November 18, 1989. They were together until Dina’s death. 

Previously, Merrill walked down the aisle with Cliff Robertson (Actor) on December 22, 1966. The couple together had a son, Heather Robertson and separated in 1989.  

Prior to both weddings, the late actress Dina tied the knot with Stanley Maddox Rumbough, Jr. (former civic leader of Colgate-Palmolive) on March 23, 1946. The duo had 3 children together: Nedenia Rumbough, David Rumbough, and Stanley Rumbough


Dina had dementia with Lewy bodies. She died at the age of 93 years in her house located in East Hampton, New York, on May 22, 2017.