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Stunning, dark-haired ’40s and ’50s leading lady Margia Dean was the daughter of a Greek lawyer. Her parents moved from Athens to the US in 1913, a number of years before her birth on April 7, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois. The youngest of three girls, she was christened Marguerite Louise Skliris. Her family moved to San Francisco when she was 4 years old and by age 7 she was a working actress whose stage credits included Little Eva in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Mytyl in “The Blue Bird” and Becky Thatcher in “Tom Sawyer.”As a juvenile performer she won talent scholarships for both the Reginald Travers Repertory Company and the Henry Duffy Players companies, and at age 15 won a national Shakespearean performance contest. Margia grew up to become a dazzling beauty and began appearing in a number of pageants that would eventually attract the attention of Hollywood. She won the titles of “Miss San Francisco” and “Miss California,” which led to a first-prize talent in the “Miss America” contest.In 1944 the 22-year-old hopeful made her film debut at Republic Pictures but was not signed to a contract. She went on to freelance in other parts for both major (Columbia, MGM, Fox) and minor (Monogram, PRC) studios, where strong focus remained on her shapely figure. She made little impression until winning her first leading role in Shep Comes Home (1948) co-starring Robert Lowery for Screen Guild. Finally earning co-star billing, albeit on a second-string level, she became much more visible in her films, which included Red Desert (1949), The Lonesome Trail (1955), Villa!! (1958) and the cult classics The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), 7 Women from Hell (1961) and (her last) Moro Witch Doctor (1964). At the same time she appeared in myriad TV and theater productions, and engaged in an enviable jet-setting social life with escorts that included Prince Aly Khan.Frustrations set in, however, as the obviously talented actress found herself almost exclusively bonded in the “B” film ranks where she could still attract audiences as a temptress or villainess. While she occasionally graced an “A” picture–including Living in a Big Way (1947) starring Gene Kelly, Take Care of My Little Girl (1951) with Jeanne Crain and Mitzi Gaynor and The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956) starring Jane Russell–her roles were usually smaller in size. Although she admittedly took on a number of roles that were beneath her talent in order to pay the bills, some of her better acting appearances actually came later in her career, notably The Secret of the Purple Reef (1960) with Peter Falk and The Big Show (1961) starring Esther Williams and Cliff Robertson.In subsequent years Margia expanded her interests to include producing at a time when few women could break into such a male-dominated field. She was the executive producer of the western The Long Rope (1961) starring Hugh Marlowe. She was also associate producer on a couple of minor ’60s films made in England and produced a TV pilot. In 1965 she married second husband Felipe Alvarez, an architect by trade, whose own creative outlets included painting, writing, photography, guitar and voice, and eventually left the business.Margia went on to become the vice-president of a major real estate firm, a Beverly Hills restaurateur and a Brentwood dress shop owner. Happily married to Alvarez for 40+ years, the couple has retired blissfully to the Southern California area. The still-vivacious octogenarian is glimpsed from time to time at film festivals and nostalgia conventions. Had a few more lucky breaks and some better career decisions come her way, there is no telling what kind of “A”-level heights lovely Margia Dean might have attained. Still, she remains a viable and entertaining footnote in Hollywood’s past.

Source: IMDB

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