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Margaret Ehrlich

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Margaret Ehrlich (stage name Margo Early; 1917 – January 12, 1936) was a dancer and motion picture actress from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her career in Hollywood was cut short by a car accident.

Brief Movie Career[edit]

Ehrlich grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and moved with her family to California around 1929.[1] She was a graduate of Santa Monica High School.[2] She was discovered by a talent scout for RKO Pictures at the age of 16 in 1933.[3] At the time she was sunbathing in Santa Monica, California.[3] Although she made some films with RKO Pictures,[3] she signed with Metro-Goldwyn Mayer[2][3][4] to play featured roles,[5] using the stage name Margo Early.[2][4][6][7] The MGM drama coach in 1934 rated her as a good prospect for the future, after three or four years more of training.[8]

She appeared on the stage as Molly Malone in The Front Page at the Santa Monica Civic Theater,[9] and in All Good Americans at the Music Box Theatre in Hollywood.[10] She made her screen debut in Student Tour,[11] and also appeared in Love Detectives (1934), Whirlpool (1934), Stand Up and Cheer! (1934), Operator 13 (1934),[2][4] and Naughty Marietta (1935),[2][4] all uncredited. In two of the bit parts she depicted dancers.

Death In Accident[edit]

In January 1936 Ehrlich was riding with Mary A. Grace, 18, following a party at the beach home of actress Marion Davies.[2][3][4][6][7] Grace was a dancer for Warner Bros.[7] Their car crashed into a concrete abutment[4] on the Roosevelt Highway in Santa Monica, California.[7] The specific location was an incline on California Avenue.[7] Ehrlich, 18, was killed, and Grace, a friend of Davies, was critically injured.

They had traveled only a few blocks on the Roosevelt Highway at the time of the wreck, which occurred about 2:30 a.m. There were no witnesses but police estimated that Grace was speeding. Her speed was so excessive that she could not make the turn into the California Avenue incline. Tire marks indicated that the auto slid forty-one feet prior to hitting the abutment, and thirty-one more feet after the collision.[7][12]

Ehrlich sustained head injuries, a fractured right arm, and lacerations on her body. She died in an ambulance on the way to Santa Monica Hospital.[7]

She was survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Ehrlich, of Santa Monica, and two brothers.[7]


On the morning of January 15 an inquest into Ehrlich's was conducted by the Los Angeles County Coroner at the funeral parlor.[13][12] According to an autopsy report read at the inquest, a basal skull fracture was the cause of her death.[12] A coroner's jury deemed an absence of caution and care as the cause of the car crash.[12]

A night watchman disclosed that he had seen Ehrlich arrive at Davies' party with her father.[12] It was revealed that Milton Ehrlich was notified of the wreck and identified his daughter's body.[12]

Margaret Ehrlich was entombed in a mausoleum at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, Santa Monica.[12]


  1. "Young Screen Actress Killed In Car Crash". The La Crosse Tribune. La Crosse, Wisconsin. AP. 13 January 1936. p. 6. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Margot Early". Motion Picture Herald. 122: 48. 18 January 1936. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Fate Marked the Spot with a Big X". Hollywood. 25 (4): 1. April 1936.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Margot Early of Films Dies in Auto Crash". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. AP. 13 January 1936. p. 3. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  5. "Portraits". Detroit Free Press Screen & Radio Weekly. Detroit, Michigan. 29 July 1934. p. 3. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Death Ends Film Party". Daily News. New York, New York. 14 January 1936. pp. 24–25. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 "Auto Crash Takes Life of Actress". The Los Angeles Times. 13 January 1936. pp. 1, 3. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  8. "Picking Future Stars for the Movies". The Decatur Herald. Decatur, Illinois. 16 December 1934. p. 36. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  9. "'The Front Page' Having Run at Santa Monica". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 16 February 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  10. "Music Box Stage For MGM Novices". The Hollywood Reporter. XXI (33): 2. 16 June 1934. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  11. "Teacher Says Screen Girls Above Average". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 18 July 1934. p. 11. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 "Fatal Crash Blame Fixed". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 16 January 1936. p. 5, Pt 2. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  13. "Crash Death Inquest Set". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 14 January 1936. p. 3, Pt 2. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  • Lima News, Hollywood News And Gossip, October 18, 1933, Page 9.

External links[edit]

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