Madge Evans

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Madge Evans
Madge Evans - still.jpg
c. 1935
BornMargherita Evans
(1909-07-01)July 1, 1909
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 26, 1981(1981-04-26) (aged 71)
Oakland, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active1914-1971
Spouse(s)Sidney Kingsley (1939-1981) (her death)
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Madge Evans
Madge Evans - still.jpg
c. 1935
BornMargherita Evans
(1909-07-01)July 1, 1909
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 26, 1981(1981-04-26) (aged 71)
Oakland, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active1914-1971
Spouse(s)Sidney Kingsley (1939-1981) (her death)

Madge Evans (July 1, 1909 – April 26, 1981) was an American stage and film actress.[1] She began her career as a child performer and model.


Child model and stage actress[edit]

Born as Margherita Evans, Madge Evans was featured in print ads as the 'Fairy Soap girl' as an infant. She made her professional debut at the age of six months, posing for artist's models. As a youth, her playmates included Robert Warwick, Holbrook Blinn, and Henry Hull. When she was four years old, Evans was featured in a series of child plays produced by William A. Brady. She worked at the old Long Island, New York movie studio. Her success was immediate, so much so that her mother loaned her daughter's name to a hat company. Evans posed in a mother and child tableau with Anita Stewart, then 16, for an Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company calendar, and as the little mountain girl in Heidi of the Alps.

At the age of 8 in 1917, Evans appeared in the Broadway production of Peter Ibbetson with John Barrymore, Constance Collier and Laura Hope Crews. At 17, she returned to the stage and appeared as the ingenue (stock character) in Daisy Mayme. Some of her best work in plays came in productions of Dread, The Marquis, and The Conquering Male. Her last appearance was in Philip Goes Forth produced by George Kelley. Evans' mother took her to England and Europe when she was 15.

Film career[edit]

As a child film actress, Evans had quite a prolific career appearing in dozens of films, including with Marguerite Clark in The Seven Sisters (1915), a film with a large female ensemble that had been played on stage with Clark's rival Mary Pickford and Laurette Taylor in the cast. She was featured with Robert Warwick in Alias Jimmy Valentine (1915), a still extant film that has seen release on home video/DVD. At 14, she was the star of J. Stuart Blackton's rural melodrama On the Banks of the Wabash (1923). She co-starred with Richard Barthelmess in Classmates (1924).

She was working on stage when she signed with Metro Goldwyn Mayer in 1927. As with theater, she continued to play ingenue parts, often as the fiancée of the leading man.

Working for MGM in the 1930s, she appeared in Dinner at Eight (1933), Broadway to Hollywood (1933), Hell Below (1933), and David Copperfield (1935). In 1933, she starred with James Cagney in a melodrama entitled The Mayor of Hell, playing a pretty nurse who solicits the aid of a tough politician, played by Cagney. Other notable movies in which she appeared are Beauty for Sale (1933), Grand Canary (1934), What Every Woman Knows (1934), and Pennies From Heaven (1936).


In 1939, she married playwright Sidney Kingsley, best known for his plays Dead End and Detective Story which were later turned into popular films. The couple owned a 250-acre (1,000,000 m2) estate in Oakland, New Jersey. Following her marriage to Kingsley, Evans left Hollywood and moved to the New Jersey home.

Radio and television[edit]

Later, she worked in radio and television in New York City. Evans performed on the Philco Television Playhouse (1949–1950), Studio One (1954), Matinee Theater (1955), and The Alcoa Hour (1956). She refused repeated offers to return to Hollywood. She retired in 1971.

Madge Evans died at her home in Oakland, New Jersey from cancer in 1981, aged 71.


1914Shore AcresMildred
1915Alias Jimmy ValentineChild locked in vaultUncredited
The Seven SistersClara
The Master HandJean as a child
The Little Church Around the CornerChild
1916The Devil's ToyBetty
Sudden RichesLittle Emily
Husband and WifeBessie
The RevoltNannie Stevens
The Hidden ScarDot
SeventeenJane Baxter
The New SouthGeorgia Gwynne as a child
1917The Web of DesireMarjorie
Beloved AdventuressFrancine at age 7
The Little DuchessGeraldine Carmichael
The BurglarEditha
The Corner GrocerMary Brian at age 8
Adventures of CarolCarol Montgomery
The Little PatriotUndetermined roleUncredited
1918Woman and Wife
The Gates of GladnessBeth Leeds
Wanted: A MotherEileen Homer
True BlueGirl childUncredited
VengeanceYoung Nan as a girl
Stolen OrdersRuth Le Page as a child
The Golden WallMadge Lathroop
NeighborsClarissa Leigh
HeredityNedda Trevor as a child
The Power and the GloryDeanie Consadine
The Love NetPatty Barnes
1919The Love DefenderDolly Meredith
Three Green EyesChild
Home WantedMadge Dow
1923On the Banks of the WabashLisbeth
1930EnvyHelenShort film
1931Son of IndiaJanice DarseyFirst film for MGM
Sporting BloodMiss 'Missy' Ruby
Guilty HandsBarbara 'Babs' Grant
HeartbreakCountess Vima Walden
West of BroadwayAnne
1932Lovers CourageousMary Blayne
The Greeks Had a Word for ThemPolaire
Are You Listening?Laura O'Neil
HuddleRosalie Stone
Fast LifeShirley
1933Hallelujah, I'm a BumJune Marcher
Hell BelowJoan Standish
Made on BroadwayClaire Bidwell
The NuisanceDorothy Mason
The Mayor of HellDorothy Griffith
Dinner at EightPaula Jordan
Broadway to HollywoodAnne Ainsley
Beauty for SaleLetty Lawson
Day of ReckoningDorothy Day
1934Fugitive LoversLetty Morris
The Show-OffAmy Fisher Piper
Stand Up and Cheer!Mary Adams
Grand CanaryLady Mary Fielding
Paris InterludeJulia 'Julie' Bell
Death on the DiamondFrances Clark
What Every Woman KnowsLady Sybil Tenterden
1935HelldoradoGlenda Wynant
David CopperfieldAgnes
Age of IndiscretionMaxine Bennett
Calm YourselfRosalind Rockwell
Men Without NamesHelen Sherwood
The TunnelRuth McAllan
1936Exclusive StoryAnn Devlin
Moonlight MurderAntonia 'Toni' Adams
Piccadilly JimAnn Chester
Pennies from HeavenSusan Sprague
1937EspionagePatricia Booth
The Thirteenth ChairNell O'Neill
1938Sinners in ParadiseAnne Wesson
Army GirlJulie Armstrong



  1. ^ Obituary Variety, April 29, 1981.

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