Margo (actress)

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Margo
Margo Albert.jpg
Born María Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O'Donnell
(1917-05-10)May 10, 1917
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Died July 17, 1985(1985-07-17) (aged 68)
Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.
Other names Margo Albert
Margarita Alonso y Castilla
Margo Bolado
Occupation Actress
Years active 1934–1965
Spouse(s)
Children Edward Albert

Margo (May 10, 1917 – July 17, 1985), sometimes known as Margo Albert, was a Mexican-American actress and dancer.[1] She appeared in many American motion pictures and television productions, including Lost Horizon (1937), The Leopard Man (1943), Viva Zapata! (1952), and I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955).

Family[edit]

Born María Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O'Donnell in Mexico City, the Mexican-American actress and dancer known as Margo became a naturalized United States citizen on November 9, 1942.[2][3] Margo was married twice. She was married to her first husband, actor Francis Lederer, from 1937 until their divorce in 1940. She was married a second time to actor Eddie Albert, on December 5, 1945, and they remained together for 40 years, until her death from brain cancer in 1985. Margo and Albert had two children, a son (actor Edward Albert) and a daughter (Maria Carmen Zucht, who served as her father's business manager).[4]

Career[edit]

As a young child, Margo trained as a dancer with Eduardo Cansino, the father of Rita Hayworth.[5] At the age of nine, she began dancing professionally with her uncle, Xavier Cugat and his band, in performances at Mexican nightclubs.[6] While accompanying her uncle's band during a performance at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, Margo was noticed by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur and cast as the lead in their film Crime Without Passion.[6] Reviewers described her performance as "excellent".[7] Margo also played the character of Miriamne Esdras both on stage and in the 1936 film version of Winterset, which was called a "cinemagoer's must".[8] Other notable roles in the 1930s include parts in the 1937 film Lost Horizon and Broadway productions of Maxwell Anderson's Masque of Kings (1937) and Sidney Kingsley's The World We Make (1939).

Blacklisting[edit]

While Margo continued to act in films until the 1960s, her career was influenced by the blacklist in television that began in 1950, with the targeting of Gypsy Rose Lee, Jean Muir, Hazel Scott, and Ireene Wicker. Although Margo was known for her progressive politics, she was not a member of the Communist Party.[9] In 1950, her name and that of her husband were published in Red Channels, an anti-Communist pamphlet that purported to expose Communist influence within the entertainment industry.[10][11] She was identified in the pages of Red Channels for her support for the Hollywood Ten, peace, and refugees.[12]

Albert's son spoke of his parents' blacklisting in an interview published in December 1972, crediting Albert's service during World War II with ultimately saving his career.

My mom was blacklisted for appearing at an anti-Franco rally; she was branded a Communist, was spat upon in the streets, and had to have a bodyguard. And my dad found himself unemployable at several major studios, just when his career was gathering momentum. During the second World War, dad joined the Navy and saw action at Tarawa, and because he came back something of a hero, he was able to get work again. But he never got as far as he should have gotten.[13]

Eddie Albert's career survived the blacklist, but Margo was blacklisted by the major Hollywood studios.[6]

Arts activism and engagement[edit]

Following the blacklist, Margo pursued a new career as a supporter of the arts. In 1970, along with Frank Lopez, a trade union activist, Margo founded Plaza de la Raza (Place of the People) in East Los Angeles.[14] Her work with Plaza de la Raza included serving as the artistic director and as chairperson of the board.[15] A cultural center for arts and education, Plaza de la Raza remains in operation today, providing year-round programming in arts education.[15] Albert's commitment to the arts extended beyond her work in East Los Angeles: she served as a steering committee member on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and was a member of the board of the National Council of the National Endowment for the Arts.[5]

Stage work[edit]

  • September 25, 1935 – March 1936: Winterset
  • February 8, 1937 – April 24, 1937: The Masque of Kings
  • November 20, 1939 – January 27, 1940: The World We Make
  • February 4, 1941 – February 23, 1941: Tanyard Street
  • December 6, 1944 – October 27, 1945: A Bell for Adano

Filmography[edit]

This filmography of theatrical features is believed to be complete.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary Variety, July 24, 1985.
  2. ^ Source Information: Ancestry.com. New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.
    Original data: Soundex Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts located in New York City, 1792-1989. New York, NY, USA: The National Archives at New York City.
  3. ^ Copy of approved naturalization certificate, ancestry.com; accessed June 14, 2016.
  4. ^ "Actress Margo Albert, wife of actor Eddie Albert, died..." UPI. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  5. ^ a b "Margo Is Dead at 68; Film and Stage Actress". Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  6. ^ a b c Price, Victoria. Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, Open Road Media, 2014. [1]
  7. ^ "Movie Review - Claude Rains in the First Hecht-MacArthur Production, "Crime Without Passion," at the Rialto". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  8. ^ "Movie Review - THE SCREEN; ' Winterset,' at the Music Hall, Is a Courageous, Absorbing Photoplay, a Cinemagoer's Must". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  9. ^ Lawrence, Greg. Dance with Demons: The Life Jerome Robbins. Penguin, 2001
  10. ^ Walker, William T. McCarthyism and the Red Scare: A Reference Guide pp. 24-25, ABC-CLIO, 2011[ISBN missing]
  11. ^ DiMare, Philip C. Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1 p. 973, ABC-CLIO, 2011[ISBN missing]
  12. ^ The American Business Consultants (1950). Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television. New York, NY: Self-published. pp. 107–8. 
  13. ^ Brown, Gene. The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film: 1972-1974, Time Books, 1984.
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ a b SEILER, MICHAEL (1985-07-18). "Margo Albert, Head of Latino Center, Dies". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Margo". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  17. ^ "Diary of a Mad Housewife". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 

External links[edit]