Margia Dean, B-movie actress best known for 'The Quatermass Xperiment' and more, dies at 101

Margia Dean, B-movie actress best known for ‘The Quatermass Xperiment’ and more, dies at 101

Margia Dean, who starred in the cult sci-fi classic The Quatermass experiment and appeared alongside the likes of Clint Eastwood, Vincent Price, Esther Williams, and George Reeves in other films, He’s Dead. He was 101 years old.

Dean died on June 23 at her apartment in Rancho Cucamonga, California, her niece Denyse Barr said. The Hollywood Reporter.

From 1948 to 1956, Dean worked on about 20 feature films for producer Robert L. Lippert, founder of B-movie studio Lippert Pictures, earning him the nickname “The Queen of Lippert.”

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He played for Sam Fuller in two of those movies, the first two features he ever directed, in fact — I He shot Jesse James (1949), in which she played a saloon singer, and Price’s leading lady The Baron of Arizona (1950).

Based on a popular BBC serial, Hammer Films’ The Quatermass experiment (1956), directed by Val Guest and starring Brian Donlevy, told the story of an astronaut (Richard Wordsworth) who crashes on Earth and transforms into an alien organism that threatens humanity.

Dean played the astronaut’s wife, who foolishly helps him escape from a hospital. “I go crazy,” he remarked in a Western clippings interview.

Dean also co-starred with Richard Arlen in Grand Canyon (1949), with Reeves in Superman and the Mole Men (1951), with Charles Chaplin Jr. in Fangs of the wild (1954), with Eastwood in Ambush at Cimarron Pass (1958), with Brian Keith in Villa!! (1958) and with Williams in the circus set The big show (1961).

She appeared in around 60 films during her two-decade career.

AMBUSH AT CIMARRON PASS, from left, Margia Dean, Scott Brady, 1958

Margia Dean with Scott Brady in the 1958s Ambush at Cimarron Pass

20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy of Everett Collection

With family roots in Greece, Marguerite Louise Skliris was born in Chicago on April 7, 1922 and raised in San Francisco. Her father, Evangelis, was a lawyer.

After acting on stage as a child, she won a Women’s National Shakespeare Contest at age 15 and the titles of Miss San Francisco and Miss California before competing for the 1939 Miss America award, placing first behind Patricia Donnelly.

“I won the talent contest in that contest by doing Shakespeare when I should have been singing! I have a cloudy type of voice,” she said. “After losing to Donnelly, I was told singing would be better, as declaiming Shakespeare was not the sort of thing a Miss America might be doing around the country.” .

She returned to San Francisco to finish her education at Galileo High School, starred at the Biltmore Theater in downtown Los Angeles, and made her screen debut in Republic Pictures’ Casanova in Burlesque (1944), with Joe E. Brown and June Havoc.

His first major role came in the sequel Shep comes home (1948), funded by Lippert. They later became involved with each other, he explained in Mark Thomas McGee’s 2014 book, Talk is cheap, action is expensive: the films of Robert L. Lippert.

“I knew what I was doing was wrong. I was hanging out with a married man,” she recalled. “I don’t think I ever loved him, but he was crazy about me. He gave me all this work and it was nice to be with him. He made it easy for me.

It also included his resume Red Desert (1949), At ringside (1949), FBI girl (1951), The Lonely Path (1955), by Raul Walsh Mamie Stover’s Revolt (1956), The Secret of the Coral Reef (1960), 7 women from hell (1961) and Moro Sorcerer (1964), his last acting credit.

Dean was also a producer of The long rope (1961), with Hugh Marlow, e The horror of it all (1964), with Pat Boone. He then worked as a VP in a real estate/construction firm and owned a clothing store in Brentwood and a coffee shop in Beverly Hills.

Dean lived in a house in the Hollywood Hills for six decades before moving to Dana Point, California. “She was an extraordinary, brilliant and generous woman with exquisite taste,” said her granddaughter.

Survivors include her husband, Spanish architect, author and singer Felipe Alvarez, 92, whom she met at a cafe on the Sunset Strip and married in Mexico in August 1965 (hear him sing to her here); granddaughters Denyse, Christina, Lisette, Irene and Olga; and grandchildren Joseph, Richard and Michael.

Dean’s first husband was Hal Fischer, a basketball player and coach extraordinaire. After their six-year marriage ended in ⁠1945, she dated Prince Aly Khan, the third husband of actress Rita Hayworth.