Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Scream Queen: Madge Bellamy

Born in 1899, Madge Bellamy had an interest in showbusiness from a young age. She ran away from home at the age of 17 and she was soon working on Broadway as an actress and dancer. In 1921, she made the move to film and within just a few years she was one of the popular stars appearig in silent movies.

Unlike many of her contemparies, Bellamy made a successful transition to Talkies with a starring turn in the hit movie Mother Knows Best. However, a dispute with studio bosses at Fox in 1929 brought her star crashing down to Earth. After a few years of not being able to find any work at all, in 1932 she resurfaced in low-budget pictures from "Poverty Row" studios.

Today, Bellamy is best remembered today for her haunting performance in "White Zombie" (1932), where she co-starred with several other silent movie actors who had fallen on hard times and horror movie giant Bela Lugosi. As it turned out that wuold be her final major film role.

In 1943, after a decade of smaller and smaller parts, Bellamy's flagging career was effectively ended by scandal when she was accused assaulting her wealthy and married lover. She spent the next several decades in relative poverty until she sold her property during the California real estate boom during 1980s. She is reported to have said that she made more money on that land sale than she did during her 20-year film career.

Bellamy passed away in 1990.

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