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María Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O'Donnell
May 10, 1917
|Died||July 17, 1985 (aged 68)|
|Other names||Margo Albert|
Margarita Alonso y Castilla
Margo (born María Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O'Donnell, May 10, 1917 – July 17, 1985) was a Mexican-American actress and dancer. She appeared in many American film, stage, and television productions, including Lost Horizon (1937), The Leopard Man (1943), Viva Zapata! (1952), and I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955). She married actor Eddie Albert in 1945 and was later known as Margo Albert.
Early life and career
Margo was born into a musically talented family in Mexico City in 1917. As a child, she trained as a dancer with Eduardo Cansino, the father of Rita Hayworth. At the age of nine, she began dancing professionally with her uncle Xavier Cugat and his band in performances at Mexican nightclubs. Margo travelled to the United States as a child, living in New York City with her aunt, singer Carmen Castillo. While accompanying her uncle's band during a performance at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, Margo was noticed by producer and director Ben Hecht and screenwriter Charles MacArthur, who cast the 15-year-old performer as the lead in their film Crime Without Passion. Margo also played the character of Miriamne Esdras both on stage and in the 1936 film version of Winterset, which one critic called a "cinemagoer's must." Other notable roles in the 1930s include parts in the 1937 film Lost Horizon and Broadway productions of Maxwell Anderson's Masque of Kings (1937) and Sidney Kingsley's The World We Make (1939).
While Margo continued to act in films until the 1960s, her career was curtailed by the television blacklist that began in 1950, with the targeting of Gypsy Rose Lee, Jean Muir, Hazel Scott, and Ireene Wicker. Margo was known for her progressive political views, but she was not a member of the Communist Party. In 1950, her name and that of her husband were published in Red Channels, an anti-Communist pamphlet that purported to expose Communist influence within the entertainment industry. Red Channels labeled her a communist because of her support for the Hollywood Ten, her advocacy for peace, and her support for refugees.
In 1964 she played the role of Selena in the Rawhide episode "A Man called Mushy."
Albert's son spoke of his parents' blacklisting in an interview published in December 1972, crediting Albert's service during World War II with ultimately saving his career.
My mom was blacklisted for appearing at an anti-Franco rally; she was branded a Communist, was spat upon in the streets, and had to have a bodyguard. And my dad found himself unemployable at several major studios, just when his career was gathering momentum. During the second World War, dad joined the Navy and saw action at Tarawa, and because he came back something of a hero, he was able to get work again. But he never got as far as he should have gotten.
Eddie Albert's film career survived the blacklist, but Margo was blacklisted by the major Hollywood studios.
Arts activism and engagement
In the years after the blacklist, Margo pursued her advocacy for arts and education. In 1970, along with Frank Lopez, a trade union activist, Margo founded Plaza de la Raza (Place of the People) in East Los Angeles. A cultural center for arts and education, Plaza de la Raza remains in operation today, providing year-round programming in arts education. Her work with Plaza de la Raza included serving as the artistic director and as chairperson of the board. Albert's commitment to the arts extended beyond her work in East Los Angeles: she served as a steering committee member on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and was a member of the board of the National Council of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Personal life and death
Margo was married twice. In 1937 she wed actor Francis Lederer, but they divorced in 1940. In December 1945, three years after she became a naturalized citizen of the United States, she married actor Eddie Albert. She and Albert had two children, a son (actor Edward Albert) and a daughter (Maria Carmen Zucht, who served as her father's business manager). The couple remained together for 40 years, until 1985, when she died from brain cancer at age 68 in their home in Pacific Palisades, California. Her gravesite is in Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
- September 25, 1935 – March 1936: Winterset
- February 8, 1937 – April 24, 1937: The Masque of Kings
- November 20, 1939 – January 27, 1940: The World We Make
- February 4, 1941 – February 23, 1941: Tanyard Street
- December 6, 1944 – October 27, 1945: A Bell for Adano
This filmography of theatrical features is believed to be complete.
- 1934: Crime Without Passion
- 1935: Rumba
- 1936: The Robin Hood of El Dorado
- 1936: Winterset
- 1937: Lost Horizon
- 1939: El Milagro de la calle mayor
- 1939: Miracle on Main Street
- 1943: The Leopard Man
- 1943: Behind the Rising Sun
- 1943: Gangway for Tomorrow
- 1952: Viva Zapata! as Soldadera
- 1955: I'll Cry Tomorrow as Selma
- 1958: From Hell to Texas as Mrs. Bradley
- 1962: Who's Got the Action? as Roza
- 1970: Diary of a Mad Housewife as Valma
- Obituary Variety, July 24, 1985.
- "Margo Is Dead at 68; Film and Stage Actress", obituary, digital archives of The New York Times, July 18, 1985. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
- Price, Victoria. Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, Open Road Media, 2014. 
- SEILER, MICHAEL (1985-07-18). "Margo Albert, Head of Latino Center, Dies". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
- "Movie Review - THE SCREEN; ' Winterset,' at the Music Hall, Is a Courageous, Absorbing Photoplay, a Cinemagoer's Must". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
- Lawrence, Greg. Dance with Demons: The Life Jerome Robbins. Penguin, 2001
- Walker, William T. McCarthyism and the Red Scare: A Reference Guide pp. 24-25, ABC-CLIO, 2011[ISBN missing]
- DiMare, Philip C. Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1 p. 973, ABC-CLIO, 2011[ISBN missing]
- The American Business Consultants (1950). Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television. New York, NY: Self-published. pp. 107–8.
- Brown, Gene. The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film: 1972-1974, Time Books, 1984.
- SEILER, MICHAEL (1985-07-18). "Margo Albert, Head of Latino Center, Dies". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
- Source Information: Ancestry.com. New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.
Original data: Soundex Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts located in New York City, 1792-1989. New York, NY, USA: The National Archives at New York City.
- Copy of approved naturalization certificate, ancestry.com; accessed June 14, 2016.
- "Actress Margo Albert, wife of actor Eddie Albert, died ..." UPI. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
- "Margo". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
- "Diary of a Mad Housewife". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
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