August 6, 2023

RESIDENTS: Madeleine Carroll

Madeleine Carroll cigarette cards
A return to our series of posts about well-known people who once lived in Tudor City. Today, we examine the life of Madeleine Carroll, at one time the highest paid actress in the world and later a resident of a No. 5 penthouse.

Carroll was British, and her career began in London. After making a name for herself in plays and movies, she was offered a starring role in The 39 Steps, to be directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Of course, she accepted it.
The 39 Steps lobby cards
And so it was that Carroll appeared as Hitchcock's first ice-cold blonde. The picture was a hit in the states, and off she went to Hollywood. By 1938, she had managed to become the world's highest paid actress. 

Carroll made such memorable pictures as The Prisoner of Zenda, On the Avenue, and One Night in Lisbon opposite leading men such as Gary Cooper, Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda. Then, once war was declared, she stopped making movies altogether to volunteer for the Red Cross, specializing in aiding orphans.

In her Red Cross uniform
After the war's end, she took up with Andrew Heiskell, the newly named publisher of Life magazine. He was 30, married with two children; she was 44 ‒ and pregnant for the first time with Heiskell's child. (She also had three former husbands, among them Sterling Hayden, but that was another matter.)

Things worked out in a manner of speaking. Heiskell got a divorce, they were married, and he took the Tudor City penthouse. They used this as a base in New York, although a country house in Darien, CT was their primary residence. Tudor City was reserved for entertainment; he was the publisher of Life, after all.

The Heiskell family in happier times.

Carroll made her last film in 1949, and acted only occasionally in radio and television programs over the next decade. The couple remained together until Heiskell fell in love with another woman, and they divorced in 1965. Carroll never remarried. She died in Spain at the age of 81.

Circa 1937

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