Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Madge Bellamy (1899-1990) - I'm A Crack Shot

This is a real sweatie !! eyes like that could melt anyones heart !!! But was she ??

Madge Bellamy was an American film actress who was a popular leading lady in the 1920s and early 1930s. She was born in Texas as Margaret Derden Philpott with her family being of English and Irish ancestry. At the age of 17 she ran away to New York to become a actress and dancer on Broadway and as early as 1918 she played the lead role in "Pollyanna" on Broadway and in the touring show. She also appeared in "Dear Brutus", "Dream Girl", and in "Peg O' My Heart on Broadway".

In November 1920, she signed an exclusive contract with Thomas H. Ince's newly formed Triangle film company to appear in the film called "Passing Thru" which was released in 1921. After this film debut she transfered to the Fox Film Corporation where she acted her most memorables film; Love Never Dies (1921), Lorna Doone (1922), and The Iron Horse (1924). Unlike many early film goddesses she was able to make a successful transition talkie films, especial noted for White Zombie [1932]

An etching aquatint of Madge by Frank Martin - titled "The Enchanted Lake"

She was known for her lavish life style and complex love life ! which included a brief marriage. The incident generated much publicity and effectively ended her already fading career occurred in 1943 when she was accused of assault with a deadly weapon after shooting her wealthy lover Stanwood Murphy. The facts of the case remain somewhat cloudy.

What a character !! after the shooting, Madge said
"I only winged him, which is what I meant to do. Believe me, I'm a crack shot".

Some fine commercial art from film fanzines.

Madge made her last screen appearance in 1945 and sadly lived in poverty for much of her post-screen life, working ina shop selling tools and failing to become a novelist. She died of heart failure in Upland, California, aged 90. Her autobiography; "A Darling of the Twenties" was published shortly after her death.

A fine portrait signed "Usabai" ? Possibly the art work for a postcard or trading card.
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