MAY 8: Margaret Lindsay (1910-1981)


Most known for her work in films such as The House of the
Seven Gables
and Jezebel, the hit lesbian actress of the 1930s and 1940s,
Margaret Lindsay, passed away on this day in 1981.

Between 1932 and 1948, Margaret appeared in a total on 75 films (x). 

Margaret Kies was born on September 19, 1910 in Dubuque,
Iowa. She was the oldest of her pharmacist father’s six children. Little is
known about her early days except for the fact that “Peg,” as she was
nicknamed, was a notorious tomboy; she loved to climb the pear trees around her
neighborhood and was a “roller skating fiend.” Despite the fact that they had
five other children to support, Margaret was able to convince her parents to
send her to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City to study
acting. By the age of 22, she had signed her first Hollywood contract and had
changed her name to Margaret Lindsay.  

One of the title screens from Fog Over Frisco reads “Margaret Lindsay as Val.” Released in 1934, Margaret appeared alongside Bette Davis in the popular Pre-Hayes Code film (x). 

Throughout her career, Margaret starred in several
successful B-Movies. She was a consistent background actress throughout the
1930s and worked alongside such big names as Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Barbara
Stanwyck, and Humphrey Bogart. She ultimately migrated to London and was able
to have a robust career starring in stage plays thanks to her extraordinarily
accurate British accent. In the 1950s and 60s, she began to take on roles in television, as TV shows began to increase in popularity. Margaret never married and spent the majority of her life with her
partner Mary McCarty, who was a fellow actress and appeared in musical theater,
television, and film roles as well. In their later years, the two lived
together in Los Angeles until Mary’s death in 1980. Margaret passed away a year
later at the age of 70.