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argaret Lindsay (Sept 19,1910 May 9,1981)

Margaret Lindsay in 1941


 



Height:
5' 5" (1.65 m)
Partner: Mary McCarty
Second of 6 children.
5 Sisters and 1 brother John: The eldest Helen (with whom she lived for a while) married John Page Bueheler, Jane Gilbert (Jane Kies) which was married to actor William Hopper. Lorranie was married to Fredrick C. Keuline (Chicago), Mary (Mickie) was the youngest sister who later in life lived with Margaret.


Lindsay appeared in about 80 movies, usually as the "other woman," a debutante, socialite or best friend. She bounced between A and B pictures, playing leads in some and supporting roles in others, and working with such top leading men as Paul Muni, James Cagney, William Powell, Errol Flynn, and even the up-and-coming Humphrey Bogart. The only thing she lacked was star quality. Her B-movie experience included playing the female lead in seven Ellery Queen films. After leaving Warners she continued to appear mostly in B-movies, and later moved into character roles.
Born
in Dubuque, Iowa as Margaret Kies, Margaret Lindsay was the daughter of a druggist, who died in 1930. She was the oldest of five children.  "Peg" was a tomboy who liked to climb pear trees. She was a self-confessed "roller-skate fiend" who loved the circular sidewalk at Visitation Convent, "where I skated 'round and 'round till I was dizzy." She graduated from Visitation Academy in 1930 and later from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She noticed that American actors were playing second fiddle to their British counterparts.

Margaret Lindsay supposedly vacationing at Lake Arrowhead Margaret Lindsay supposedly vacationing at Lake Arrowhead

Unable to find roles in America, she went to London and gained stage experience there. She studied and mastered upper-class speech patterns, then returned and tricked ship reporters into thinking she was a British actress. She got her big break, a small but showy part in Fox's 1933 Oscar-winning "John Warburton as Edward Marryot and Margaret Lindsay as Edith Harris.Cavalcade" by convincing a casting director that she was British-when, in reality, she had come to Fox directly from the set of a Tom Mix Western!  As part of the supposedly all-British cast, she played a bride honeymooning on the Titanic.
We see her having a conversation with John Warburton on the deck of the ship, followed by the revelation of the ship's name on the life preserver after they walk away. "Cavalcade" records the years between 1899 when Robert Marryot leaves for England to serve in the Boer War and some 30 years, another war and several personal tragedies later. It was one of the few serious plays written by the usually urbane and comedic Noel Coward. This movie was the biggest money-maker of 1933 and won the Academy Award and rave noticies in both the United States and, surprisingly, Britain.
Signed by Warner Bros. later that year, the attractive, raven-haired actress became one of the studio's workhorses, appearing in three dozen films between 1933 and 1940.
E.g. in 1933 she already co-starred with William Powell in "Detective Detective 62" (aka "Man Killer")
In 1935 she played the bride in "The Case of the Curious Bride" a Perry Mason mystery where we see Errol Flynn making his screensdebut as corpse. Actually Flynn doesn't speak at all since his part only required a flashback scene with narration by Donald Woods.

Co-starring with William Powell, Margaret Lindsay in "Detective Detective 62" (aka "Man Killer") (1933)Devil Dogs of the Air (1935) where Lindsay portraits Betty Roberts, a nurse.
G-Men (1935) Lindsay again with Cagney playing a G-Men (FBI) Lindsay played the bride in "The Case of the Curious Bride" (1935) a Perry Mason mystery where we see Errol Flynn making his screensdebut as corpse. Actually Flynn doesn't speak at all since his part only required a flashback scene with narration by Donald Woods.

She was at a dinner given in honor of, her good friend, actress Thelma Todd, the night of Todd`s mysterious death from carbon monoxide poisoning. Totally distraught Margaret had to bow out of a picture she was filming Murder by an Aristocrat (1936). In 1937 she playes a devoted nurse Frances Ogilvie in "The Green Light" again opposite Eroll Flynn as Newall Paige, a young doctor.
She appeared in the Bette Davis films "Fog Over Frisco," "Bordertown," "Dangerous" and "Jezebel," in which she played Henry Fonda's Northern bride and Davis' rival.

In "Public Enemy's Wife" (1936) Margaret Lindsay stars in the title role, playing a young woman imprisoned for a crime which she didn't commit. The real culprit is her jailbird husband (Cesar Romero) Anita Lousie, Eroll Flynn and Margaret Lindsay in "The Green Light" (1937)
Again in 1937 in the movie "Slim". Tensions arise when Fonda falls in love with Blayd's gal Cally (Lindsay) Bette Davis, Henry Fonda en Margaret Lindsay. A scene from "Jezebel" (1938)

In "Ellery Queen, Master Detective" (1940) Margaret 'Nikki' Lindsay met Ellery over the body of John Braun. The amorous relationship between Ellery and Nikki got more 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 Ellery."
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 "Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery" (1941) the influence of MGM's successful "Thin Man" series was obvious, as Ellery and Nikki engage in more comic squabbling than in sleuthing.

Ralph Bellamy "Ellery Queen" finds Margaret Lindsay "Nikki Porter" for the first time in Ellery Queen, Master Detective (1940)"Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime"(1941). This is probably the best of the Columbia Queens

The following picture was "Ellery 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 Ellery Queen in "Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring" (1941) Loosely adapted from The Dutch Shoe Mystery, this bastardization is painful to watch.

"A Tragedy at Midnight" (1942) with John Howard,  Margaret Lindsay and Keye Luke William Gargan and Margaret Lindsay 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 "A Close Call for Ellery Queena more sober approach was adopted, much to the overall benefit of the film. "A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen" was the next entry and John Wayne and Margaret Lindsay in "The Spoilers"  (1942) should mostly be remembered for the dead of the serial's producer Larry Darmour. The last entry 'Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen' is easily the best of the undistinguished series. 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"
(1942)

After the EQ movie series Margaret Lindsay was again cast in a adaptation of a popular radio show "Crime Doctor" (1943)


After
she quit the EQ movie series Margaret Lindsay was again cast in a adaptation of a popular radio show "Crime Doctor" (1943). It's the first of the series, establishes The Crime Doctor's background. 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.

 

Another deja-vu for Margaret as she was cast again opposite William Gargan in "No Place for a Lady"  (1943). Gargan plays private eye Jess Arno, while Lindsay is Jess' ever-faithful, long-suffering fiancee June Terry..  According 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. 

As 'Roxie', a sexy saloon girl in "Alaska" (1944)Louisiana (1947) a rags-to-riches bio-pic that tells the story of Jimmie Davis . Lindsay played the role of Alvern Adams.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.

By 1947, looking tired and overweight, Lindsay had segued into supporting roles. Occasionally appearing as a supporting role in MGM films like "Cass Timberlane" (1947) 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 Second Man".
She debuted on television in 1950 in "The Importance of Being Earnest", which called upon her ability to produce a British accent.  Somewhat a false note since some sources report her scenes were deleted .

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" (1963). Lindsay played a nurse in love with doctor Macdonald Carey. On television she appeared as Elly in "The Chadwick Family", an unsuccessful 1974 TV pilot with Fred MacMurray. 

Margaret was relatively open about her lesbian sexuality within the Hollywood community. Although being romanticly linked to several male stars she was also linked to Janet Gaynor. Her close companion was actress Mary McCarty.

Lindsay died in Los Angeles on 9. May 1981 of emphysema.

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