Margaret Lindsay, tell us more, about the “Crosby Shelvadoor” — Remember that one?

Yes, like many vintage movie stars in the 1950s, Lindsay became a spokesman on TV — She promoted refrigerators. (Little did the sponsors at that time know; see below.)

During her busy career, which spanned from 1932 to 1974, seven years before she died, Lindsay (seen above as the solicitous nurse caring for James Cagney) was notable for never having married.  This at a time when multiple marriages for Hollywood personalities of all stripes were hardly unheard of.

Fact is that for most of her life, Lindsay was bisexual or, as one internet blogger puts it, “a comparatively out lesbian for most of her life.” Her longtime companion was stage and tv actress Mary McCarty, known for her appearances in such screen titles as 1959’s Pillow Talk (as Nurse Resnick) and on tv’s All My Children and Trapper John, M.D.

McCarty, who predeceased Lindsay (she died of a heart attack in 1980), was 13 years Lindsay’s junior.  The two have been repeatedly described as having been “very close.”

Lindsay played Hepzibah in The House of the Seven Gables in 1940, and appeared opposite Ralph Bellamy and William Gargan in the Ellery Queen movie series in the 1940’s. One of her last movies was 1963’s Sandra Dee vehicle, Tammy and the Doctor, as the head nurse. (Lindsay seemed to specialized in efficient caregiver roles.)

Ok, let’s get to the answers to our Margaret Lindsay Quiz.  To review the questions, just scroll down to the blog below.  Here we go:

1) Answer: a) True.  After moving to New York to study acting, Iowa-born Lindsay faced a predictable challenge:  finding work.  So, she decided to make the journey across the pond to further her acting studies in London. (She actually made her professional stage debut there.) She subsequently came to the attention of Universal Studios in Hollywood, who seemed intrigued with “that British stage actress.” Lindsay initially went with it, and took full advantage of that early “English tea rose” reputation.

2) Answer:  Lindsay had a complicated friendship with Thirties comedienne Thelma Todd, whose death in 1935 at 29 — by carbon monoxide poisoning in a garage near a Hollywood- area hot spot she owned — upset Lindsay.  Nonetheless, she  was caught dating Todd’s ex-husband just prior to her death, which upset Todd. The answer is (b).

3) Answer:  d) Bela Lugosi.  Lindsay’s favorite role was opposite George Sanders and Vincent Price in Gables, and she appeared with Paul Muni in 1935’s Bordertown.

4) Answer:  a) Mary McCarty. (See intro above.)

5) Answer:  d) 1945’s Scarlett Street, costarring Joan Bennett, Edward G. Robinson and Dan Duryea.  It’s a beauty, a must-see.


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