The Heartbreaking Story of Edna Muriel Pickles

Edna Muriel Pickles was the first wife of American and Canadian actor Walter Pidgeon. She married Walter in 1919, and they lived together for two years. Edna Muriel Pickles died on October 19, 1921, while giving birth to her first child with Walter. The child, Edna Pidgeon Atkins, survived and was cared for by Walter’s mother.

Did Walter Pidgeon Remarry After Edna’s Death?

It was tough for Walter Pidgeon to cope with his wife’s loss and even tougher raising an infant on his own. But with the help of his mother, their daughter grew up and got married, giving him grandchildren. Edna’s husband would not stay single for the rest of his life, so he met Ruth Walker, his secretary, and they started a relationship.

Ruth and Walter got married in 1931, 10 years after the death of Edna, and they stayed in marriage until 1984, when Walter died. They did not have any children together.

Her Husband

Edna’s husband never completed his college studies as they were interrupted by the first world war. He joined the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery as a lieutenant, but he never went to war, having suffered severe injuries after being crushed by gun carriages. Walter spent over a year in a hospital nursing his wounds, after which he moved to Boston.

Edna’s husband studied at a private art conservatory while working as a bank runner in Boston to be able to pay his bills.

Walter’s Acting Career

Edna Muriel’s husband started performing in theatres in Boston in the early1920s. While acting in one of his plays, he met Elsie Janis, who helped him to move to New York City. In New York, Walter met Broadway producer E.E. Clive who hired him, and he started making appearances on Broadway.

Walter featured his first credited Broadway show in 1925, Puzzles of 1925. Afterward, he was featured in many exhibits of Elsie Janis and found success, they started having arguments, and Edna’s husband had to leave. After heading to Hollywood, Walter appeared in Mannequin, his first film, after which he found more acting roles.

In the late 1920s, Edna’s husband appeared in several films, including Woman Wise, The Gorilla, The Heart of Salome, The Girl from Rio, Melody of Love, Her Private Life, and The Voice Within. Walter appeared in several other movies and shows but gained more recognition in 1941 when he portrayed Mr. Gruffydd in How Green Was My Valley.

After that, Edna’s husband appeared in Julia Misbehaves, The Red Danube, The Miniver Story, If Winter Comes, and White Cargo, where he played Harry Witzel. In the 1950s, he appeared in more Broadway shows than in films. After years of success in the acting industry, Walter retired in 1977, having featured in over 100 shows.

The Death of Edna’s Husband

In his last days, Edna Muriel’s husband had many heart problems; he suffered several strokes. Walter died on September 25, 1984, aged 87. His body was donated to the University of California, Los Angeles Medical School for learning purposes.


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