Margaret Leahy

Born - Aug 17, 1902   |   Died - Feb 17, 1967   |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

A former beauty contest winner from Great Britain, Margaret Leahy came to Hollywood courtesy of silent screen star Norma Talmadge who claimed her to be "the most ravishing girl in England." Leahy was hardly that and neither had she played "in both French and English cinemas on the continent," as her publicity boldly stated. In fact, Leahy was no actress at all and director Frank Lloyd had her dismissed from Within the Law (1922), her highly touted would-be debut. "She couldn't walk naturally, or stand, or sit," the exhausted director explained. Having signed the girl for three years, producer Joseph Schenck, Talmadge's husband, made sure she was voted a WAMPAS Baby Star of 1923 and then pawned her off to his brother-in-law Buster Keaton, because, as he boldly stated, "comic leading ladies don't have to act." Keaton's talent carried Leahy through The Three Ages (1923) but she was almost literally dead weight and never filmed again, becoming instead an interior decorator. Sadly, there was no happy ending for the former beauty queen, whose death in 1967 was ruled a suicide.