Madge Bellamy was huge Hollywood star in the early 20’s. Unfortunately, most of Bellamy’s silent films have been lost. But you can still see her in starring roles in John Ford’s Iron Horse (1924) and Maurice Tourneur’s Lorna Doon (1922). In the sound era, Madge’s most famous role is as Madeleine Parker, in White Zombie, with Bela Lugosi (1932), a cult classic.
Tragically, Madge was one of the most self-destructive Hollywood stars of all time. And in a town where actors excel at self-annihilating behavior, that’s quite an accomplishment.
In 1943, Madge shot her lover, millionaire Stanwood Murphy, after he jilted her to marry another woman. The massive publicity and resulting scandal destroyed her already sputtering career. Regarding the shooting Madge said: “I only winged him, which is what I meant to do. Believe me, I’m a crack shot.”