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  • ELEGRANT PORTRAIT RECALLS BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS WITH IRISH ROOTS

    PHILIP ALEXIUS DE LÁSZLÓ (BRITISH, 1869-1937) – Mrs Philip Astley, née Madeleine Carroll. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £63,000

    In 1938 Madeleine Carroll was the highest paid actress in the world. This elegrant full length portrait from 1935 depicts the first Alfred Hitchcock blonde in the same year that she starred in The 39 Steps.  It will be a highlight at Christie’s British & European Art sale on December 14 during Classic Week in London.  Early parts included I Was a Spy, and School for Scandal before she was cast by Hitchcock in The 39 Steps and Secret Agent (1936). Subsequently Madeleine Carroll was offered a major contract in Hollywood and starred with Gary Cooper in The General Died at Dawn, and with Ronald Colman in The Prisoner of Zenda. Carroll has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her outstanding contribution to the cinema industry. She largely abandoned her acting career after the death of her sister Marguerite in the London blitz to devote herself to helping wounded servicemen and children displaced or maimed by the war. She was awarded both the Legion d’Honneur and the American Medal of Freedom for her work with the Red Cross. Born in Staffordshire to John Carroll, an Irish Professor of Languages from County Limerick and his French wife Helene her last film was The Fan in 1949.

    Her Broadway debut was in 1948 and at the tail end of radio’s golden age Carroll starred in the NBC soap opera The Affairs of Dr. Gentry (1957–59) and was one four stars who rotated in taking the lead in each week’s episode of The NBC Radio Theater (1959). The portrait is estimated at £50,000-70,000.

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