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Margo (1918–1985)

Margo (1918–1985)

Mexican-American actress who starred in the film version of Winterset. Born Marie Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O'Donnell in Mexico City, Mexico, on May 10, 1918; died from a brain tumor on July 17, 1985, at her home in Pacific Palisades, California; married Francis Lederer (an actor), in 1937 (divorced 1940); married Eddie Albert (an actor), on December 6, 1945; children: (second marriage) Edward Albert (later an actor) and one adopted daughter.

Selected films: Crime Without Passion (1934); Rumba (1935); The Robin Hood of Eldorado (1936); Winterset (1936); Lost Horizon (1937); A Miracle on Main Street (1940); Gangway for Tomorrow (1943); Behind the Rising Sun (1943); The Leopard Man (1943); The Falcon in Mexico (1944); Viva Zapata (1952); I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955); From Hell to Texas (1958); Who's Got the Action? (1962).

Mexican-American actress Margo was born in Mexico City, Mexico, on May 10, 1918, as Marie Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O'Donnell. She was groomed for stardom from an early age, being coached as a dancer by Rita Hayworth 's father, Eduardo Cansino, and was dancing professionally when she was nine years old. When her aunt married the then little-known bandleader Xavier Cugat, Margo joined him, dancing with his band. At the age of 12, she moved to New York when invited to perform with Cugat at the Waldorf Astoria. Cugat quickly gained popularity

in the United States as the "Rhumba King," and Margo, dancing the rhumba that became the craze of the time, soon attracted the attention of filmmakers.

In 1934, Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht chose Margo to star in the film Crime Without Passion. After receiving excellent reviews for her performance, she tried the stage, starring on Broadway in Winterset in 1935. Although critics praised her, RKO Radio Pictures required her to do a screen test before she was chosen for the same role in the film version of Winterset (1936), now considered to be one of her best roles. In 1937, she was chosen over Rita Hayworth by director Frank Capra for one of the leads in Lost Horizon, a part that required her to portray her character from adolescence to old age.

Margo appeared in numerous films and on stage during her career as an actress. Other film roles included Miracle on Main Street (1940), The Leopard Man (1943), Viva Zapata (1952), I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), and Who's Got the Action? (1962). Along with Winterset, her credentials on Broadway included Masque of Kings (1937) and A Bell for Adano (1944).

In 1937, Margo married actor Francis Lederer, from whom she was divorced in 1940. She became an American citizen in 1942, and on December 6, 1945, she married actor Eddie Albert (later of the television show "Green Acres"). After the birth of their son Edward Albert in 1951, Margo devoted more time to her family, which grew to include an adopted daughter, and less to her career, although she performed in nightclub revues with her husband during the 1950s. She also taught acting classes for a number of years. Making her home in Pacific Palisades, California, she became deeply involved with the Chicano Cultural Center, Plaza de la Raza, in Los Angeles, and was a member of the Board of the National Council of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). Margo died in 1985.

Kari Bethel , freelance writer, Columbia, Missouri

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