Her B-movie experience included playing the female lead in seven Ellery
Ellery Queen, Master Detective
"Nikki" Lindsay met Ellery over the body of John
Braun. The amorous relationship between Ellery and Nikki
dignity as the series progressed.
According to author James Robert Parish "Columbia's one inspired
touch in their Ellery Queen series was the addition of Nikki Porter
as a freelance mystery writer who goes to work for Ellery as his secretary.
She added a bubbling note of pretty distraction, since more often than not
the plots called for her to do some amateur sleuthing to help out boss
The "master" sleuth is turned into a buffoon in this initial series entry,
centering on the murder of a millionaire at a health spa. Lindsay has some good moments as Nikki Porter,
but there's too much talk and too little intrigue.
In that same year together with
Bellamy Lindsay also made Meet the Wildcat but her standout role came
in the classic House of
Seven Gables, with George Sanders and Vincent Price.
By the next EQ entry
Queen's Penthouse Mystery
the influence of MGM's successful "Thin Man" series was obvious, as
Ellery and Nikki engage in more comic squabbling than in sleuthing.
Above left: In 1941, for the first time in seven years, Margaret
Lindsay was reunited with three sisters. The girls, natives of Dubuque,
Iowa, are L to R; (standing) Mrs.John Page Bueheler, wife of a USA officer
stationed at the Panama Canal; Mrs. Fredrick C. Keuline of Chicago; Miss
Lindsay and Mary Kies, youngest daughter.
Above right: With Ralph Bellamy Ellery Queen and the
Perfect Crime (1941).
The following picture was
Queen and the Perfect Crime (1941).
This is probably the
best of the Columbia Queens, since it played fairly straight with the
storyline of the novel, even while totally changing its setting and
characters. Still too much Thin Manning, however, to satisfy mystery fans.
Ralph Bellamy made his fourth and final appearance as literary sleuth
Queen and the Murder Ring
Loosely adapted from
The Dutch Shoe Mystery, this bastardization is painful to watch.
Above left: A Tragedy at Midnight (1942) with John Howard, Margaret
Lindsay and Keye Luke.
Above right: Margaret Lindsay as Nikki Porter in A Close Call for
Ellery Queen (1942).
In 1942 she got a part in Republic's A Tragedy at Midnight next to John Howard. In the same
year she made the three next entries in the Ellery Queen serial along
William Gargan who took over from Ralph Bellamy. In
Close Call for Ellery Queen a more sober approach was
adopted, much to the overall benefit of the film.
Desperate Chance for
was the next entry and should
mostly be remembered for the dead of the
The last entry
Agents Meet Ellery Queen is easily the best of the
Columbia called it quits for Ellery Queen.
Margaret was being romantically linked
William Gargan ...
A prolific year as she also teamed up with John Wayne in The Spoilers
After she quit the EQ movie series Margaret Lindsay was again cast in a
adaptation of a popular radio show Crime Doctor
the first of the series, establishes the Crime Doctor's
It is still regarded by many as one of the better detective serials.
This venture did become a success, but Lindsay's contract came up for
renewal and it was decided to drop her.
Above left: John Wayne and Margaret Lindsay in "The Spoilers" (1942).
Above right: With
William Gargan in No Place for a Lady (1943).
Another déjà-vu for Margaret as she was cast again opposite
in No Place for a Lady (1943). Gargan plays private eye Jess Arno, while Lindsay is Jess'
ever-faithful, long-suffering fiancée June Terry (above
to a HR news item, the picture was to be the first entry in a new
series that was to replace Columbia's Ellery Queen films
of which James Hogan directed many. The
picture failed to spawn a series.
Above left: As Roxie, a sexy saloon girl in Alaska (1944).
Above middle: Louisiana (1947) a rags-to-riches bio-pic that tells
the story of Jimmie Davis . Lindsay played the role of Alvern Adams.
Above right: Margaret Lindsay is cast as a sultry Gay Nineties
showgirl in Universal's Vigilantes Return, exciting saga of the
Montana frontier (1947).
By 1947, looking tired and overweight, Lindsay had segued into supporting
roles. Occasionally appearing as a supporting role in MGM films like Cass
with Spencer Tracy, her film career was in decline
with roles in films at Poverty Row studios like Monogram Pictures and PRC.
Stage provided refuge and she co-starred with Franchot Tone in The
television in 1950 in The
Importance of Being Earnest,
called upon her ability to produce a
British accent. Somewhat
a false note since some sources report her scenes were deleted.
Above left: With John Archer for Emergency Hospital (1956) Dr.
Janet Carey (Margaret Lindsay) is romanced by wealthy Ben Caldwell (Byron
Palmer), who may or may not be a dangerously reckless motorist.
Above right: Jane Wyatt, Jane Wyman and Margaret Lyndsay at Shriner's
Tribute to Pat'O Brien (1974).
Lindsay appeared in only four films during the 1950s and two in the 1960s.
She retired from the movies with a release,
when she was only 53,
Tammy and the Doctor
a nurse in love with doctor Macdonald Carey.
On television she
an unsuccessful 1974 TV pilot with Fred MacMurray.
Margaret was relatively open about her
lesbian sexuality within
the Hollywood community. Although being romantically linked
to several male stars she was also linked to Janet Gaynor. Her close
companion was actress Mary McCarty.
in Los Angeles on Friday May
1981 of emphysema.