Linda Darnell (born Monetta Eloyse Darnell, October 16, 1923 – April 10, 1965) was an American film actress. Darnell progressed from modeling as a child to acting in theater and film as an adolescent. At the encouragement of her mother, she made her first film in 1939, and appeared in supporting roles in big-budget films for 20th Century Fox throughout the 1940s. She rose to fame with co-starring roles opposite Tyrone Power in adventure films, and established a main character career after her role in Forever Amber (1947). She won critical acclaim for her work in Unfaithfully Yours (1948) and A Letter to Three Wives (1949).
She is also known as Monetta Eloyse Darnall.
Darnell died on April 10, 1965, from burns she received in a house fire in Glenview, Illinois early the day before. She had been staying at the home of her former secretary and former agent. She was trapped on the second floor of the home by heat and smoke, as the fire had started in the living room.
The women urged the young girl to jump from the second-floor window. After her daughter had jumped, Darnell's secretary stood on the window ledge, calling for help. She had lost track of Darnell and insisted the firefighters rescue her before she was taken from the window ledge. Darnell was found next to the burning living room sofa; she was transferred to the burn unit at Chicago's Cook County Hospital with burns to 80% of her body.
After her death, a man who said he was Darnell's fiance identified her body. A coroner's inquest into her death ruled that Darnell's death was accidental and that the fire had begun in or near the living room sofa and was caused by careless smoking; both adult women were smokers.