July 1, 1909
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 26, 1981
Oakland, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Sidney Kingsley (1939-1981) (her death)|
Child model and stage actress
Born as Margherita Evans, Madge Evans was featured in print ads as the 'Fairy Soap girl' as an infant. She made her professional debut at the age of six months, posing for artist's models. As a youth, her playmates included Robert Warwick, Holbrook Blinn, and Henry Hull. When she was four years old, Evans was featured in a series of child plays produced by William A. Brady. She worked at the old Long Island, New York movie studio. Her success was immediate, so much so that her mother loaned her daughter's name to a hat company. Evans posed in a mother and child tableau with Anita Stewart, then 16, for an Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company calendar, and as the little mountain girl in Heidi of the Alps.
At the age of 8 in 1917, Evans appeared in the Broadway production of Peter Ibbetson with John Barrymore, Constance Collier and Laura Hope Crews. At 17, she returned to the stage and appeared as the ingenue (stock character) in Daisy Mayme. Some of her best work in plays came in productions of Dread, The Marquis, and The Conquering Male. Her last appearance was in Philip Goes Forth produced by George Kelley. Evans' mother took her to England and Europe when she was 15.
As a child film actress, Evans had quite a prolific career appearing in dozens of films, including with Marguerite Clark in The Seven Sisters (1915), a film with a large female ensemble that had been played on stage with Clark's rival Mary Pickford and Laurette Taylor in the cast. She was featured with Robert Warwick in Alias Jimmy Valentine (1915), a still extant film that has seen release on home video/DVD. At 14, she was the star of J. Stuart Blackton's rural melodrama On the Banks of the Wabash (1923). She co-starred with Richard Barthelmess in Classmates (1924).
She was working on stage when she signed with Metro Goldwyn Mayer in 1927. As with theater, she continued to play ingenue parts, often as the fiancé of the leading man. She played the love interest to both Al Jolson and Henry Morgan in the 1933 film Hallelujah, I'm a Bum.
Working for MGM in the 1930s, she appeared in Dinner at Eight (1933), Broadway to Hollywood (1933), Hell Below (1933), and David Copperfield (1935). In 1933, she starred with James Cagney in a melodrama entitled The Mayor of Hell, playing a pretty nurse who solicits the aid of a tough politician, played by Cagney. Other notable movies in which she appeared are Beauty for Sale (1933), Grand Canary (1934), What Every Woman Knows (1934), and Pennies From Heaven (1936).
In 1939, she married playwright Sidney Kingsley, best known for his plays Dead End and Detective Story which were later turned into popular films. The couple owned a 250-acre (1,000,000 m2) estate in Oakland, New Jersey. Following her marriage to Kingsley, Evans left Hollywood and moved to the New Jersey home.
Radio and television
Later, she worked in radio and television in New York City. Evans performed on the Philco Television Playhouse (1949–1950), Studio One (1954), Matinee Theater (1955), and The Alcoa Hour (1956). She refused repeated offers to return to Hollywood. She retired in 1971.
Madge Evans died at her home in Oakland, New Jersey from cancer in 1981, aged 71.
|1915||Alias Jimmy Valentine||Child locked in vault||Uncredited|
|The Seven Sisters||Clara|
|The Master Hand||Jean as a child|
|The Little Church Around the Corner||Child|
|1916||The Devil's Toy||Betty|
|Sudden Riches||Little Emily|
|Husband and Wife||Bessie|
|The Revolt||Nannie Stevens|
|The Hidden Scar||Dot|
|The New South||Georgia Gwynne as a child|
|1917||The Web of Desire||Marjorie|
|Beloved Adventuress||Francine at age 7|
|The Little Duchess||Geraldine Carmichael|
|The Corner Grocer||Mary Brian at age 8|
|Adventures of Carol||Carol Montgomery|
|The Little Patriot||Undetermined role||Uncredited|
|1918||Woman and Wife|
|The Gates of Gladness||Beth Leeds|
|Wanted: A Mother||Eileen Homer|
|True Blue||Girl child||Uncredited|
|Vengeance||Young Nan as a girl|
|Stolen Orders||Ruth Le Page as a child|
|The Golden Wall||Madge Lathroop|
|Heredity||Nedda Trevor as a child|
|The Power and the Glory||Deanie Consadine|
|The Love Net||Patty Barnes|
|1919||The Love Defender||Dolly Meredith|
|Three Green Eyes||Child|
|Home Wanted||Madge Dow|
|1923||On the Banks of the Wabash||Lisbeth|
|1931||Son of India||Janice Darsey||First film for MGM|
|Sporting Blood||Miss 'Missy' Ruby|
|Guilty Hands||Barbara 'Babs' Grant|
|Heartbreak||Countess Vima Walden|
|West of Broadway||Anne|
|1932||Lovers Courageous||Mary Blayne|
|The Greeks Had a Word for Them||Polaire|
|Are You Listening?||Laura O'Neil|
|1933||Hallelujah, I'm a Bum||June Marcher|
|Hell Below||Joan Standish|
|Made on Broadway||Claire Bidwell|
|The Nuisance||Dorothy Mason|
|The Mayor of Hell||Dorothy Griffith|
|Dinner at Eight||Paula Jordan|
|Broadway to Hollywood||Anne Ainsley|
|Beauty for Sale||Letty Lawson|
|Day of Reckoning||Dorothy Day|
|1934||Fugitive Lovers||Letty Morris|
|The Show-Off||Amy Fisher Piper|
|Stand Up and Cheer!||Mary Adams|
|Grand Canary||Lady Mary Fielding|
|Paris Interlude||Julia 'Julie' Bell|
|Death on the Diamond||Frances Clark|
|What Every Woman Knows||Lady Sybil Tenterden|
|Age of Indiscretion||Maxine Bennett|
|Calm Yourself||Rosalind Rockwell|
|Men Without Names||Helen Sherwood|
|The Tunnel||Ruth McAllan|
|1936||Exclusive Story||Ann Devlin|
|Moonlight Murder||Antonia 'Toni' Adams|
|Piccadilly Jim||Ann Chester|
|Pennies from Heaven||Susan Sprague|
|The Thirteenth Chair||Nell O'Neill|
|1938||Sinners in Paradise||Anne Wesson|
|Army Girl||Julie Armstrong|
- Los Angeles Times, Marriages In Hollywood Exceed Divorces In 1939, January 2, 1940, Page A1.
- Los Angeles Times, Child Film Star, Ingenue Madge Evans Dies at 71, April 27, 1981, Page A1.
- Oakland, California Tribune, Two Wise Young Maidens, January 10, 1937, Page 80.
- San Mateo Times, A Defence of Youth, January 18, 1936, Page 15.
- Syracuse Herald, Madge Evans, Joan Marsh, and Jackie Coogan head Sextet Surviving, Sunday Morning, July 19, 1931, Section 3, Page 11.
- Zanesville, Ohio Signal, Madge Evans Has Role With James Cagney, July 16, 1933, Page 12.
- Obituary Variety, April 29, 1981.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Madge Evans.|
- Madge Evans at the Internet Movie Database
- Madge Evans at the Internet Broadway Database
- Pictures at SilentLadies.com
- Photos at Virtual-History.com
- Madge Evans at Find a Grave