With her ladylike aura of British gentility, blonde actress Madeleine Carroll was among the first English leading ladies to find a career in Hollywood. Prior to becoming an actress, she worked as a French teacher and hat model, then in 1927 made her London stage debut; she began appearing in British films (at first silents) in 1928, going on to become England's biggest female star. She made 22 films in England, including the two Hitchcock films The 39 Steps, (1935), and Secret Agent (1936) that brought her to Hollywood's attention. She moved there in 1936 to sign a contract with 20th Century-Fox. She became an American citizen in 1943. Following her sister's death during the London blitz of WW II, Carroll largely abandoned films to work in England for war relief. She participated in USO and war-bond drives, and served as a Red Cross volunteer in Italy and France; such work led her to receive France's Legion of Honor and the U.S. Medal of Freedom. Carroll appeared in three more films before retiring, her final film being The Fan (1949). She then went on to work for UNESCO while also occasionally appearing on stage, radio, and TV. Her four husbands included actor Sterling Hayden and French film producer Henri Lavorel.