Bette Davis said a terrible thing about Margaret Lindsay.
She didn’t mention her by name but said that William Wyler, the director of 1938’s Jezebel, couldn’t get the actress to deliver her lines properly so he just took a shot of her hand wearing a wedding ring to denote that she, not Davis’ character, was married to the character portrayed by Henry Fonda.
Margaret Lindsay made four pictures with Davis at Warners in the 1930s. She was an excellent actress, and starred opposite the top leading men of the day including Errol Flynn, James Cagney and Bogart. Maybe Davis was just jealous.
Frankly, if you’ve never heard of Lindsay, the pride and joy of her birthplace, Dubuque, Iowa, you are hardly alone. Although she was extolled for her picture-pretty beauty, and was a workhorse in the 1930’s, she was too often stuck in sweet-natured ingenue roles and failed to make the grade as a front-ranked star.
Having said that, Linsday got around in Hollywood of the Thirties, appearing in some very interesting pictures of that decade and in the 1940’s. In all she logged a lengthy, 42-year career packing in some 95 movie and tv credits (her last was in 1974, seven years before death of emphysema at age 70).
Ok, let’s see how much you know about this beguiling actress, who successfully flew all those years under Hollywood’s star radar. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: In order to land her first Hollywood studio contract, Lindsay, a solid American Midwesterner, had to pass herself off as a British actress. a) True; or b) False?
2) Question: Although Lindsay never married, she got around romantically speaking during the 1930’s much to the consternation of her “friend,” doomed movie comedienne Thelma Todd. What did Lindsay do to alienate Todd? a) Slept with her husband; b) Caroused with her ex-husband; c) Aced out Todd for a big movie role; or d) none of the above.
3) Question: Which of the following did Lindsay NOT costar with? a) George Sanders; b) Vincent Price; c) Paul Muni; or d) Bela Lugosi.
4) Question: Lindsay and this character actress were longtime friends and were very close personally. Can you put a name to this person? a) Mary McCarty; b) Judy Canova; c) Martha Raye; or d) Jane Withers.
5) Question: Although she most often appeared in lighter fare, Lindsay turned up in this renowned film noir directed by Fritz Lang. Name the title: a) Ministry of Fear; b) Hangmen Also Die; c) Man Hunt; or d) Scarlett Street.