Madge Bellamy was an American film actress who was a popular leading lady in the 1920s and early 1930s. Her career declined in the sound era, and ended following a romantic scandal in the 1940s.
Madge Bellamy was born in Hillsboro, Texas in 1899 as Margaret Derden Philpott to William Bledsoe Philpott, a professor of English and Annie Margaret Derden. The family was of English and Irish heritage. Her father was an 1884 graduate of Texas A&M University. Besides teaching English, he taught history and languages, and he also edited many scholarly works. Her parents were married on June 22, 1898 in Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas. Bellamy was raised in San Antonio, Texas until she was 6 years old, and the family later moved to Brownwood, Texas, where her father taught at the local college. When she was 10 years old, the Philpotts moved to Denver, Colorado. Bellamy caught the acting bug as a young girl, and she soon appeared in several plays as a youth.
She ran away to New York City at age 17, and she was soon working as an actor and dancer on Broadway. In 1918, she played the lead role in “Pollyanna” on Broadway and in the touring show. She also appeared in “Dear Brutus”, “Dream Girl”, and in “Peg O’ My Heart on Broadway”. In November 1920, she signed an exclusive contract with Thomas H. Ince’s newly formed Triangle film company to appear in the film called “Passing Thru” which was released in the fall of 1921.
Bellamy made her film debut in 1920. After 4 years with Famous Players her contract was picked up by Fox Film Corporation. Her best known films include Love Never Dies, Lorna Doone, and The Iron Horse .