Married Dick Merrill twice in 1938 - first wedding in Tijuana, Mexico upset her mother. A second wedding was performed at the home of Sidney Shannon (an early backer of Eastern Airlines and close personal friend of both Dick and Eddie Rickenbacker) in June, 1938 in Fredericksburg, VA. This second ceremony went unnoticed until another friend of Dick's, Walter Winchell broadcast the news. Although Toby appeared in two local stage productions (one with Pat O'Brien at the Coconut Grove Playhouse) she essentially retired from acting to a life as a Miami Beach housewife (where her husband was based on his Miami to NYC EAL flight route) on Di Lido Island in late 1938. At the time of her marriage Toby was 22 and Dick was 43 and they'd known each other for six months. Despite nearly everyone's predictions, they remained together happily for the rest of their lives. (imdb.com)
Daughter of Paul Wing (imdb.com)
One of the most engaged starlets in Hollywood. She was engaged to Jackie Coogan for most of 1935 (during the time he discovered his parents had spent his childhood fortune, hit the bottle and they broke up). She claimed to be engaged to pilot John Helm at the time of his death and then was briefly engaged to actor/singer/composer (and one-time co-star) Pinky Tomlin in November, 1936. Despite all the engagements, she married only once - to world-famous pilot Dick Merrill, whom she met in 1938. After their wedding she appeared on Broadway in the Cole Porter flop, 'You Never Know' and retired. (imdb.com)
Named Martha after her maternal grandmother, Toby was born at 'Right Oaks,' a plantation of her maternal grandfather, John T. Thraves (a veteran of the 44th VA Company H, Amelia Minutemen, CSA), on the banks of the Appomatox River, near Richmond, Virginia. (imdb.com)
Her husband, Henry 'Dick' Merrill, was the first Aviator to fly the Transatlantic route round-trip. Their first son died in his crib in 1940. Their second son, Richard, was murdered in 1982. (imdb.com)
Her 41-year old son Ricky was murdered in their Miami home on August 12th or 13th 1982. At the time of his death, Ricky was separated from his wife Hella and out on bond awaiting sentencing after being convicted in federal court of smuggling 1,525 lbs of Columbian marijuana in New Orleans. A co-defendant, Gary "Butch" Merritt survived an attempt on his life after his van was blown up the previous June near Deland, Florida. Ricky's new Jeep Scrambler truck was found at the Miami International Airport on Aug. 16th. The Merrills were living in Virginia at the time and the nature of Ricky's death could not be withheld from her husband, Dick. Sadly, he died shortly thereafter. Ricky's murder is still unsolved. (imdb.com)
In biographies of her husband, Toby is mentioned to have appeared in "Our Gang" comedies as a child. Detailed series cast records show no record of her ever appearing in the series and based on her father's position at Paramount (and where former Roach star Harold Lloyd was under contract) it would be extremely unlikely that Hal Roach would have hired her. (imdb.com)
Biographers often claim Toby's "Marines Come Through" as a 1943 production. This picture was actually produced in 1937 and was re-released by Astor Pictures in 1943 as "Fight on Marines!" to capitalize on the patriotic fervor of WW2. Toby's film career ended with her marriage to pioneer aviator Dick Merrill in 1938. She retired to Di Lido Island and became a Miami Beach housewife, traveling, dabbling in real estate investing and supporting her husband's significant contributions to aviation history. A remarkable couple, Toby and Dick (who retired from Eastern Airlines in 1961) sadly outlived both their children; their youngest son Ricky was murdered (unsolved) in Miami in August, 1982 shortly before Dick's death. She was survived by two granddaughters. (imdb.com)
Toby`s sister, Patricia Wing, was also an actress. Patricia`s son, William Perry (1936-2006), Toby`s nephew, was a former actor who appeared in touring musical productions of "My Fair Lady" and "Take Me Along". He also performed as half of the comedy team of "Joanie and Bill" -- the Joanie being none other than Joan Rivers. William later retired from show business and became a real estate agent.
It was actor/comedian Jack Oakie who introduced Toby to Samuel Goldwyn. She became a Goldwyn Girl at the same time as Paulette Goddard, Anita Louise and Betty Grable.
One of the most engaged starlets in Hollywood
Her second son, Richard, was murdered in 1982.
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