Madeleine Carroll

Madeleine Carroll

Infobox actor
bgcolour = silver
name = Madeleine Carroll

imagesize = 200px
caption = in "The 39 Steps" (1935)
birthdate = birth date|1906|2|26|mf=y
location = West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England
deathdate = death date and age|1987|10|2|1906|2|26|mf=y
deathplace = Marbella, Spain
birthname = Edith Madeleine Carroll

Madeleine Carroll (February 26, 1906 – October 2, 1987) was a British actress, immensely popular in the 1930s and 1940s, who was renowned for her great beauty.

Early life

She was born as Edith Madeleine Carroll [General Register Office index Volume 6b page 638] at 32 Herbert Street (now number 44) West Bromwich, England. She graduated from the University of Birmingham, England.

Acting career

Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful women in films, Carroll's aristocratic blonde allure and sophisticated style were first glimpsed by British movie audiences in "The Guns of Loos" in 1928. Rapidly rising to stardom in England, she graced such popular films of the early '30s as "Young Woodley", "Atlantic", "The School for Scandal" and "I Was A Spy". Abruptly, she announced plans to retire from films to devote herself to a private life with her husband, the first of four.

She attracted the attention of Alfred Hitchcock and, in 1935, starred as one of the director's earliest prototypical cool, glib, intelligent blondes in "The 39 Steps" based on the seminal espionage novel by John Buchan. The film became a sensation and with it, so did Carroll. Cited by the "New York Times" for a performance that was "charming and skillful",Fact|date=February 2007 Carroll became very much in demand thanks, in part, to director Hitchcock, who later admitted that he worked very hard with her to bring out the vivacious and sexy qualities she possessed offscreen, but which sometimes vanished when cameras rolled.Fact|date=August 2007 Of Hitchcock's heroines, as exemplified by Carroll, film critic Roger Ebert once wrote that they "reflected the same qualities over and over again: They were blonde. They were icy and remote. They were imprisoned in costumes that subtly combined fashion with fetishism. They mesmerized the men, who often had physical or psychological handicaps."Fact|date=February 2007

The director wanted to re-team Carroll with her "39 Steps" co-star Robert Donat the following year in "Secret Agent", a spy thriller based on a work by W. Somerset Maugham. However, Donat's recurring health problems prevented him from accepting the role and, instead, Hitchcock paired Carroll with John Gielgud.

Poised for international stardom, Carroll was the first British beauty to be offered a major American film contract; she accepted a lucrative deal with Paramount Pictures. She starred opposite Gary Cooper in the adventure "The General Died at Dawn" and with Ronald Colman in the 1937 box-office hit "The Prisoner of Zenda". She tried a big musical "On The Avenue" (1937) opposite Dick Powell, but others of her films, including "One Night in Lisbon" (1941), and "My Favorite Blonde" (1942) with Bob Hope, were less prestigious. She made her final film for director Otto Preminger, "The Fan", adapted from Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan", in 1949.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Madeleine Carroll has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6707 Hollywood Blvd. A commemorative monument and plaques were unveiled in her birthplace, West Bromwich, to mark the centenary of her birth.

Personal life

After her only sister Marguerite was killed in the Blitz, she radically shifted her priorities from acting to instead working in field hospitals as a Red Cross nurse during World War II. She served in the 61st Field Hospital, Bari, Italy in 1944, where many wounded American airmen flying out of air bases around Foggia were hospitalized. She was awarded the Legion d'Honneur for bravery in France.

She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943.

Madeleine Carroll was married four times:
#Captain Philip Astley (1931–1940)
#Sterling Hayden (1942–1946)
#Andrew Heiskell (1950–1965)
#Henri Lavorel

Madeleine Carroll died on October 2, 1987 from pancreatic cancer in Marbella, Spain aged 81, exactly one week after "The Prisoner of Zenda" co-star, Mary Astor. She was initially interred in Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain but in 1998 was reburied in the cemetery of Sant Antoni de Calonge in Catalonia, Spain. [ [ Madeleine Carroll (1906 - 1987) - Find A Grave Memorial ] ]

Partial filmography

*"Atlantic" (1929)
*"The World Moves On" (1934)
*"The 39 Steps" (1935)
*"Secret Agent" (1936)
*"The General Died at Dawn" (1936)
*"Lloyd's of London" (1936)
*"On the Avenue" (1937)
*"The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937)
*"Northwest Mounted Police" (1940)
*"My Favorite Blonde" (1942)
*"The Fan" (1949)


External links

* [ Madeleine Carroll at IMDB]
*Screenonline name|id=447662|name=Madeleine Carroll biography and filmography
* [ BBC: "Bid to honour film star war nurse"]
* [ Madeleine Carroll - Official Tribute Website]
* [ Photographs of Madeleine Carroll]

NAME= Carroll, Madeleine
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Carroll, Edith Madeleine
DATE OF BIRTH= 1906-2-26
PLACE OF BIRTH= West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England
DATE OF DEATH= 1987-10-2
PLACE OF DEATH= Marbella, Spain

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