February 8, 1939 |
New York City
Linda Marsh, an American actress of film, stage, and television, was born in New York City on February 8, 1939. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Elia Kazan's 1963 film America, America. The following year she played Ophelia in John Gielgud's celebrated Broadway production of Hamlet starring Richard Burton. Among her early television appearances she played Elizabeth Bacio, daughter of the title character, in the 1965 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Sad Sicilian."
Marsh became one of the attractive young actresses who were regularly romanced by the stars of popular TV series, including The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West, It Takes a Thief, Hawaii Five-O, and I Spy. In an unusual turnabout from the pattern typical for ingenues, Marsh underwent a series of rhinoplasties following her early successes rather than changing her appearance before starting her career. Already a pretty woman, the ultimate result was exceptionally dramatic and opened the door to more glamorous parts in the later 1960s. She was a frequent guest star on television into the 1970s; her last credited roles were in 1979.
Marsh's few film appearances included Che! (1969), Homebodies (1974), Freebie and the Bean (1974) and The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978). In 1970 she starred in a notorious unreleased X-rated film called Stop! that was written and directed by Bill Gunn, having told the press the year before that "…most young Hollywood actresses will do anything to get the right part – trade their charms, pose in the nude. But I can't separate my body from my mind. Cheesecake is a promotion device to get men to undress a girl optically. What I want is for people to accept all of me, the entire personality, not Linda Marsh from the neck down. Any other way, I don't want it." 
Marsh won acclaim in Kazan's adaptation of his book America, America as a young woman who is betrothed to the story's ambitious main character but abandoned in his quest to emigrate from Greece to the United States. To play the characters in the epic film, which was loosely based on his uncle's life, the director said he chose actors who were Jewish (naming Marsh among them) or Greek because "all of them know oppression, they all have uncles from the 'Old World' and have an affectionate relationship towards their forebears."  Her Ophelia received mixed notices, but Gielgud liked her performance and resisted efforts to recast the part despite holding more auditions during rehearsals.
- Lost and Still Not Found (Case File #5) Retrieved on 15 January 2009.
- Ciment, Michel (1974). Kazan on Kazan. The Viking Press. p. 152.
- Gielgud, John (2004). Sir John Gielgud: A Life in Letters. Arcade Publishing. p. 308. ISBN 1-55970-729-1.