I am forever diving into the cheap bins of LPs at my local record & thrift shops, searching for vinyl treasures to make their way into my ever-expanding collection. Try as I might to resist the lure of overwhelming my domicile with tuneful aluminum-based creations, I truthfully admit that I spend far too much time in these pursuits of rampant purchase. A couple of Sundays ago, with minutes to spare ‘til closing, I hit up the Brown Elephant in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago for some late afternoon perusing. There I found an old, old school Kapp recording of film & television star Eddie Albert & his singing companion, a glamorous creation named, singly, Margo.
Low and behold, it turned out this was the very Margo who, starred with coquettish precision, in the moody Val Lewton produced horror The Leopard Man (1943). Further research revealed that Margo & Albert we’re married for decades. Albert’s continued fame, with projects ranging from comedy sensations like Green Acres and kiddie favorites like Escape to Witch Mountain, compared to Margo’s relative obscurity reveals an all to common tale of masculine privilege, though.
Politically progressive, the couple both faced ostracism and backlash for their liberal viewpoints during the McCarthy era and often lost work because of it. A war record and his Caucasian background ultimately freed Albert from this witch-hunt, but the very feminine, very Mexican Margo never regained her momentum. She was relegated to sporadic television appearances, with a 1965 episode of Perry Mason marking her last acting credit. Albert’s career, meanwhile, continued for decades after that.
Thankfully, we can still appreciate her magnetic presence in the well regarded Lewton film while gratefully acknowledging the sacrifices that this one of a kind woman made for truth & justice in society.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!