Merle Oberon

Birth Name: Estelle Merle O’Brien Thompson

Date of Birth: 19 February, 1911

Place of Birth: Bombay, British India

Date of Death: 23 November, 1979

Place of Death: Malibu, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, Irish, Indian, Māori

Merle Oberon was a British actress.

She was born in Bombay, British India. She was born outside of marriage, with her mother being twelve years old. Her mother was named Constance. The identity of Merle’s biological father is not known.

Merle’s biological maternal grandfather was named Henry Alfred Selby. Harry was Irish, and was a foreman at a tea plantation.

Merle’s biological maternal grandmother was named Charlotte. Charlotte was from Ceylon, with Indian and Māori ancestry.

Merle’s birth certificate lists her parents as Charlotte Selby, who was her maternal grandmother, and Arthur Terrence O’Brien Thompson, a British mechanical engineer from Darlington, who worked in Indian Railways, and who was actually Merle’s grandmother’s partner. His name was misspelled Arther on the record.

Merle was raised believing that her mother was her sister, and that her maternal grandmother was her mother. The truth about her parentage was not publicly established until the 2000s. Merle was raised in Calcutta.

Merle hid her ancestry for her entire life, fearing discrimination from Hollywood.

Merle was married to Dutch actor Robert Wolders, until her death. She had two children, who were adopted, with her former husband, Italian-born industrialist Bruno Pagliai.

Source: Genealogy of Merle Oberon (focusing on her mother’s side) –


ethnicity obsessed :)

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