Thursday, December 22, 2011

Miss Margaret Livingston

Margaret Livingston.

I don't know about you, but when I think about her, the things that pop into my head are: Tom Ince, William Randolph Hearst, yacht, cover up, other woman.

Now, what happened on board Hearst's yacht is still up for debate. I personally like the version that was portrayed in the movie The Cat's Meow. It worked, it made sense. And since Ince was cremated without an autopsy...the real story is lost in the unknown. What else is unknown is the alleged affair between Ince and Margaret, which it seems did not occur. And if it did, it was hush hush.

Margaret Livingston was born on November 25, 1895 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the 1920 Census, her name appears as "Marguerite" but I am not sure if it is just a misspelling or that was in fact her birth name. It also shows that during that year she lived in Los Angeles with her older sister Ivy, a woman named Edith Hurd (who could be their mother), and a 4 1/2 year old girl named Dorothy Atkinson who is listed as Edith's granddaughter.

When she was around 16 years old, she made her film debut in The Chain Invisible. Her most famous role was in 1927 in the film Sunrise. She wasn't a huge star of the day, but she made over 50 silents, so people were used to seeing her face.

Unlike a lot of her fellow film friends, Margaret successfully transitioned into talkies and made over 20 of them. She even did voice dubbing work for other actresses, including Louise Brooks.

In 1924, she was invited on board The Oneida, the yacht owned by William Randolph Hearst. Also on board were Heart's mistress, Marion Davies, writers Louella Parsons and Elinor Glyn, and actors Charlie Chaplin, Seena Owen, Julanne Johnston, Aileen Pringle, and Jacqueline Logan. Oh, and may I add a certain Dr. Daniel Carson Goodman. Goodman man who was in the car accident that killed his fiance, actress Florence La Badie, and he later married actress Alma Rubens, who died from the effects of drug abuse. Good Lord that guy had some shit luck!

Tom Ince became ill while on board and was taken very quietly to a hospital in San Diego. He claimed he had just drank to much, so they decided to let him go home. He died there the next day of a heart attack. All these rumors started running rampant because Ince was so young when he died and why was it all being kept so hush hush. Many began assuming Ince was the victim of mistaken identity. They thought that Hearst had seen Charlie Chaplin and Marion Davies canoodling in a stairway of the yacht and shot who he thought was Chaplin...who turned out to be Ince. Again, this is just a hearsay rumor. Interestingly though, Nell Ince, Tom's wife had him immediately cremated and buried without an autopsy. She was also well taken care of by Hearst for the rest of her life. Makes you wonder, huh?

One of Margaret's last film appearances was in one of Clara Bow's first talkies, Call Her Savage in 1932. She soon retired from film due to her weight gain that began creating problems between her and the studios. She eventually moved to Pennsylvania.

Margaret Livingston passed away on December 13, 1984.

She was interred at the First Presbyterian Church of Ewing Cemetery in Ewing, New Jersey.

Margaret was only married once, to bandleader Paul Whiteman in 1931. They remained married until his death in 1967. They never had children.

Another interesting thing I found in the 1920 Census Record I was looking at was that one of her neighbors at that time was actress Colleen Moore!


  1. Very interesting story. Daniel carson goodman was definetly cursed when it came to women. I wonder what really happened to thomas ince. About Aileen pringle, you said that she died of drug abuse but on her wikipedia page it says that she died at the age of 94.

  2. *face palm* I apparently was thinking too many things at once. I meant to put Alma Rubens, not Aileen. Thank you for pointing it out!

    Tom Ince I guess is up for debate. He probably wasn't shot, and probably did have another sort of health ailment, but...we will probably never know. That is how it is with old Hollywood scandals. Same with the Desmond Taylor murder.

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