With an unexaggerated beauty and what could pass for a demeanor that is almost perfect, Madlyn Rhue was an actress whose talent was unquestionably great. She was a film and TV star who although had a career that was marred with tragedies, has still come to be regarded as one of the most prolific women in the business. Her acting career spanned over three decades and recorded more than a hundred appearances to her credit cutting across films, drama series, sitcoms, and soap operas.
Life of Madlyn Rhue
Madlyn Rhue was born as Madeline Soloman Roche in America’s capital city of Washington D.C on the 3rd of October 1935 to a mother who was a wholesales person on female clothing. Shortly after the birth of the woman who grew up to be a sensational actress, her father walked out on the family leaving her mother to take care of her.
Beyond that, very little is known about her except that she had a sister named Carol with whom she was raised. For as long as she could remember, Rhue had always wanted to become an actress. Madlyn Rhue went to Los Angeles High School and after she graduated, she moved to Los Angeles City College where she studied drama.
She started her career as a dancer at New York’s Latin Quarter when she was 16. By 1958, she was off to Los Angeles where she soon began her acting career with appearances in works such as the 1959 action romance film, Operation Petticoat and the 1961 romantic comedy film A Majority of One. Before any long, her career as a film actress was in top gear.
In almost every way that one would want to look at it, Madlyn Rhue lived a successful life even though not the longest. While her professional life was enviable, her personal life was not so much in the same measure.
In 1962, she got married to American actor Tony Young who was before then, married to Connie Mason. Tony’s marriage to the model was from 1958 to 1962 when they went their different paths following a divorce. That same year, he married Madlyn with whom he remained until 1970 when the marriage ended.
Even though the marriage did not produce any child, Madlyn Rhue did not remarry but her former husband got married for the third time to another actress, Sondra Currie in 1976 only to end again 10 years later in 1986. In 2002, a year before Madlyn died, Tony lost the battle to lung cancer at the age of 64.
What Led To Her Death
In 1976, Madlyn and her friend, actress Suzanne Pleshette, went shopping. She suddenly found the department store too hot and before she knew it, she had already thrown up on herself and had also passed out. When she got home and called her internist, the first guess as anyone would expect was that the actress was suffering from food poisoning. Hence, the advice she was given by the medic was simply to take things easy.
Next, the actress temporarily lost her sight. After this, her doctor began putting together symptoms that showed, shortly before her 40th birthday in 1977, that she had multiple scelrososiss, a disease in which the cover of the nerve cells that control the brain and spinal cord are damaged causing the person to lose control of their ability to stand and walk.
At first, she did not reveal a thing about the disease to anyone because she was scared she wouldn’t get acting jobs. Because of that, she lied to people that she had an accident which was causing problems for her standing. However, the condition later got her strapped to a wheelchair.
She opted to later come out clean about her issues in 1987. Before then, Madlyn Rhue had been paying all her bills in an effort not to get the condition known to people even though she had coverage through her union.
She still continued acting but she only got limited roles that would only require her to sit. She got recurring roles in the drama series Murder, She Wrote and Houston Knights but lost out from appearing in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in 1982.
Madlyn Rhue continued battling with her health challenges with the help of her sister and closest friends – Pleshette and Loretta Swit – but later became paralyzed by the disease and died of pneumonia in 2003 at the age of 68 at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and hospital located Los Angeles, California.