Dina Merrill has died at the age of 93.
Dina Merrill has died at the age of 93.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

Philanthropist and actor Dina Merrill Hartley died May 22 at the age of 93.

Born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton on December 29, 1923, she was the only child of Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and her second husband, Wall Street broker Edward Francis "E.F." Hutton.

Adopting her stage name from distant relative Charles E. Merrill, she made her Broadway debut in 1945 in The Mermaids Singing, and served as part of the Moss Hart USO troupe, performing throughout the Pacific Theatre. On Broadway, she starred in the 1975 revival of Angel Street and the 1983 revival of the musical On Your Toes.

On screen, Merrill's credits include The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Player, The Young Savages, and countless other films. She appeared on more than 100 television shows, from The Magnificent Ambersons to What's My Line?

Merrill was chairman of the board and director emeritus of the New York City Mission Society, and also founded the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation after her son, David, was diagnosed with the disease. She was a founding trustee of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and an early director of the Paley Media Center. She served for 12 years as presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Married three times, she is survived by her husband, Ted Hartley, son Stanley Hutton Rumbough, daughter Nedenia Rumbough Roosenburg, and six grandchildren. She is predeceased by her son David Rumbough and daughter Heather Robertson.