Born Mary Anderson in Chicago on May 22, 1932, beautiful Merry Anders aspired to be an actress, even as a child. By the late 1940s, she and her mother made their way to California, where Anders soon began acting and modeling lessons. While appearing in a small play in the early 1950s, Merry Anders was spotted by a 20th Century-Fox talent scout. After a screen test, she was put under contract by 20th Century-Fox in 1951.

Merry AndersMerry AndersMerry Anders

Cheesecake photos

Although Anders was under contract to 20th Century-Fox, her film career did not exactly flourish at the studio. During this time, she took several small roles in Fox films, but Fox dropped her contract in 1954. She had more luck on television, where she was featured in two television series: The Stu Erwin Show (Anders was a regular during the show's last season in 1954-1955) and How to Marry a Millionaire (syndicated 1957-1959). Interestingly, Anders had a small role in the film version of How to Marry a Millionaire while under contract at Fox. In 1955, Anders married casting director/producer John G. Stephens; the marriage lasted just a few months, but in the middle of the divorce, Anders learned that she was pregnant. Her daughter was born in 1956.

Without a studio contract, Anders began freelancing at other studios. She used this newfound freedom to her advantage, chalking up an amazing eight film releases in 1957 alone. Also, she began making numerous guest appearances on popular TV programs, including Cheyenne, Bronco, Perry Mason, and The Addams Family.

the films of merry anders

The Stu Erwin Show (1950-1955 ABC TV Series)

Merry Anders and Stu Erwin

With Stu Erwin from his series The Stu Erwin Show

Death in Small Doses (1957)

Merry Anders and Peter Graves

Government agent Peter Graves shakes down Merry Anders in a scene from the Allied Artists release Death in Small Doses

Hear Me Good (1957)

Joe E. Ross, Hal March, and Merry AndersMerry Anders and Hal March

From the Paramount comedy Hear Me Good. LEFT: With Joe E. Ross and Hal March. RIGHT: With Hal March

No Time To Be Young (1957)

Merry Anders

Poster from Columbia's No Time To Be Young

How to Marry a Millionaire (1957-1959 Syndicated TV Series)

Barbara Eden, Lori Nelson, and Merry AndersLori Nelson, Barbara Eden, and Merry Anders

Promotional photos from the series How to Marry a Millionaire with Lori Nelson and Barbara Eden

The Hypnotic Eye (1960)

Merry Anders

Anders is cruelly scarred by acid in The Hypnotic Eye

The Walking Target (1960)

Merry Anders

Promotional still from the crime drama The Walking Target

Young Jesse James (1960)

Merry Anders and Ray Stricklyn

From the western Young Jesse James with Ray Stricklyn

20,000 Eyes (1961)

Merry Anders and James Brown

With James Brown in the crime drama 20,000 Eyes, released by 20th Century Fox

When the Clock Strikes (1961)

Merry Anders

From the low budget noir When the Clock Strikes, released by United Artists

Beauty and the Beast (1962)

Michael Pate, Walter Burke, and Merry Anders

With Michael Pate and Walter Burke in Beauty and the Beast, released by United Artists

Police Nurse (1963)

Ken Scott and Merry Anders

With Ken Scott in the low-budget crime drama Police Nurse

House of the Damned (1963)

Richard Crane, Ronald Foster, and Merry Anders

From the 20th Century-Fox horror release House of the Damned with Richard Crane and Ronald Foster

The Time Travelers (1964)

John Hoyt, Dennis Patrick, Philip Carey, and Merry Anders

From American International's The Time Travelers with John Hoyt, Dennis Patrick, and Philip Carey

Raiders from Beneath the Sea (1964)

Ken Scott and and Merry Anders

From the 20th Century-Fox crime drama release Raiders from Beneath the Sea with Ken Scott

Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966)

Kam Tong, Merry Anders, and Wendell Corey

With Kam Tong and Wendell Corey in the low-budget sci-fi flick Women of the Prehistoric Planet

Dragnet (1967-1970 NBC TV Series)

Merry Anders and Jack Webb

Anders as Policewoman Dorothy Miller from her recurring role on Jack Webb's Dragnet series

later years

By the mid 1960s, film roles began to dry up for Merry Anders. After a stint on Dragnet 1967, a few more films, and a few guest shots on other TV programs, she retired from the screen as she could not makes ends meet. She went to work for Litton Data Systems in 1969 but on occasion tackled roles in films such as Blood Legacy (1971; with Faith Domergue and Jeff Morrow). Anders remarried in 1986 and retired from Litton in the 1994. Her second husband left her a widow in 1999. Sadly, Merry Anders passed away on October, 28, 2012, at the age of 80. She was survived by her daughter, Tina.

merry anders dvds available from


Legacy of Blood (1971) with Faith Domergue, John Russell, Jeff Morrow, John Smith, Richard Davalos, and John Carradine
Airport (1970) with Dean Martin, Barbara Hale, Burt Lancaster, Jean Seberg, Jacqueline Bisset, George Kennedy, and Helen Hayes
Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966) with John Agar, Keith Larsen, Wendell Corey, and Suzie Kaye
Young Fury (1965) with Rory Calhoun, John Agar, Lon Chaney Jr., Jody McCrea, William Wellman Jr., and Virginia Mayo
Tickle Me (1965) with Elvis Presley, Julie Adams, Bill Williams, Allison Hayes, and Francine York
Raiders from Beneath the Sea (1964) with Ken Scott and Russ Bender
The Quick Gun (1964) with Audie Murphy and James Best
A Tiger Walks (1964) with Brian Keith, Vera Miles, Sabu, and Peter Brown
The Time Travelers (1964) with Philip Carey, John Hoyt, Joan Woodbury, Dennis Patrick, and Preston Foster
FBI Code 98 (1963) with Ray Danton, Jack Kelly, William Reynolds, Philip Carey, Andrew Duggan, and Jack Cassidy
House of the Damned (1963) with Ron Foster, Richard Crane, and Richard Kiel
Police Nurse (1963) with Ken Scott
Beauty and the Beast (1962) with Mark Damon
Air Patrol (1962) with Robert Dix, Lee Patterson, Willard Parker, and Russ Bender
The Shame of Patty Smith (1962) with Bruno VeSota
20,000 Eyes (1961) with Gene Nelson, Bruno VeSota, James Brown, and Barbara Parkins
The Gambler Wore a Gun (1961) with Jim Davis
The Police Dog Story (1961) with James Brown and Barry Kelley
Secret of Deep Harbor (1961) with Barry Kelley and Billie Bird
When the Clock Strikes (1961) with James Brown
The Hypnotic Eye (1960) with Allison Hayes, Marcia Henderson, and Jacques Bergerac
Spring Affair (1960) with Coleman Francis
The Walking Target (1960) with Joan Evans
Young Jesse James (1960) with Robert Dix and Willard Parker
Five Bold Women (1960) with Jeff Morrow and Irish McCalla
Violent Road (1958) with Brian Keith, Dick Foran, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and Ann Doran
Calypso Heat Wave (1957) with Joel Grey, Johnny Desmond, and Darla Hood
The Night Runner (1957) with Ray Danton and Colleen Miller
Desk Set (1957) with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Gig Young, Joan Blondell, and Dina Merrill
The Dalton Girls (1957) with John Russell, Penny Edwards, and Lisa Davis
Death in Small Doses (1957) with Peter Graves, Mala Powers, and Chuck Connors
Escape from San Quentin (1957) with Johnny Desmond
Hear Me Good (1957) with Hal March and Joe E. Ross
No Time to Be Young (1957) with Robert Vaughn, Roger Smith, and Tom Pittman
All That Heaven Allows (1955) with Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead, Gloria Talbott, Virginia Grey, William Reynolds, Charles Drake, and Leigh Snowden
Princess of the Nile (1954) with Jeffrey Hunter, Debra Paget, Michael Rennie, Lee Van Cleef, and Jack Elam
Phffft! (1954) with Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak, and Jack Carson
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun, Cameron Mitchell, William Powell, and David Wayne
The Farmer Takes a Wife (1953) with Betty Grable and Dale Robertson
Les Miserables (1952) with Debra Paget, Michael Rennie, Edmund Gwenn, Sylvia Sidney, Cameron Mitchell, and Elsa Lanchester
Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952) with Jean Peters, Hugh Marlowe, Albert Dekker, and David Wayne
Belles on Their Toes (1952) with Jeffrey Hunter, Debra Paget, Myrna Loy, Jeanne Crain, Martin Milner, and Barbara Bates

Dragnet '67, 1967-1970 NBC TV series. Anders had a recurring role as policewoman Dorothy Miller.
How to Marry a Millionaire, 1957-1959 syndicated TV series. Anders portrayed Mike McCall. Also in the cast were Barbara Eden, Lori Nelson, and Lisa Gaye. 64 episodes.
It's Always Jan, 1955-1956 CBS TV series. Also in the cast were Janis Paige and Arte Johnson
The Stu Erwin Show , 1950-1955. Anders replaced Ann Todd for the show's final season. The cast included Stu Erwin, June Collyer, Martin Milner, and Sheila James.

Gunsmoke, episode Waste: Parts One and Two, originally aired September 27 and October 4, 1971
The Addams Family, episode Fester's Punctured Romance, originally aired October 2, 1964
The Virginian, episode A Man Called Kane, originally aired May 6, 1964
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Garrulous Go-Between, originally aired March 12, 1964
The Jack Benny Show, episode Jack Is Kidnapped, originally aired March 12, 1963
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Glamorous Ghost, originally aired February 3, 1962
Maverick, episode Three Queens Full, originally aired November 12, 1961
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode Maria, originally aired October 24, 1961
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Blind Man's Bluff, originally aired March 11, 1961
Surfside 6, episode Yesterday's Hero, originally aired January 23, 1961
Letter to Loretta, episode Enter at Your Own Risk, originally aired January 8, 1961
Bronco, episode Ordeal at Dead Tree, originally aired January 2, 1961
Maverick, episode Destination: Devil's Flat, originally aired December 25, 1960
Cheyenne, episode The Long Rope, originally aired October 3, 1960
Maverick, episode The Town that Wasn't There, originally aired October 2, 1960
Bronco, episode Winter Kill, originally aired May 31, 1960
Bonanza, episode Bitter Water, originally aired April 9, 1960
Maverick, episode The People's Friend, originally aired February 7, 1960
Richard Diamond, Private Detective, episode Bookie, originally aired October 19, 1959
Broken Arrow, episode Smoke Signal, originally aired December 10, 1957
Cheyenne, episode Big Ghost Basin, originally aired March 12, 1957
Letter to Loretta, episode He Always Comes Home, originally aired April 10, 1955

merry anders links

Merry Anders at Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen
This site contains photos of Merry Anders and an interesting bulleted biography.

merry anders now showing

Watch Merry Anders in a 1960 episode of Bonanza titled Bitter Water
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This page premiered April 4, 2000.
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