Martha Madison is an American actor best known for her role as Belle White in the NBC television soap opera Days of Our Lives, which was also used as a spinoff for decades with movies and more. She appeared in the musical Beauty Queen, as well as appearing in the classic Shrek (1987) as the evil queen. Martha Madison later went on to star in the TV series Nurse Jackie, playing a character named Alice. She also has guest appearances in the movies A Few Good Men and The Perfect Score.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Martha Madison is currently married to Richard Balsam, with whom she has three children. She was married to Alva Covington before her marriage to Richard. Her father, Alva, served as a United States Senator from Kansas. It was during the late nineteen fifties that she made her film credits, first appearing in the starring role of the title character in the comedy The Girl Who Played With Men. She then went on to play the same role in the musical Grease, as well as appearing in the episode titled Another Day at the Zoo with a guest appearance by her son, Grease’s older brother.
During the late nineteen sixties, Madison began to have a career in which she would play various parts in television shows, most notably appearing as the grandmother of a young man in one episode of All in the Family (CBS). In the episode entitled One Good Mother (CBS), Martha Madison appears as a guest commentator, giving her observations about the weekly family vacation. One interesting episode from this era of Martha Madison’s career shows her in a wheelchair, apparently due to a car accident. Other guest appearances in this era include appearing on Smallville, playing the grandmother of Clark Kent (in an episode entitled Smallville – The Sequel), and guest spots on Miami Beach, in the episode titled My Fair Lady. Additionally, Martha Madison received multiple honors for her contributions to the television show CHannel.
Martha Madison eventually appeared in a number of movies, including the Rebel Without a Cause (1947), Trading Places (which was adapted from the same novel as My Fair Lady), A Christmas Carol, and Casablanca. Most of these films were successful, bringing her recognition as one of the more notable female actors of her time. However, it was the film The Biggest Loser that really kick started her career. Since its release, Madison has appeared in a number of different movies, ranging from fantasy to science fiction to family movies. In addition to her acting, Martha Madison also spent several years pursuing writing, most notably her book What You Left Behind (based on her life). Her works have earned her numerous awards, including Grammys, Oscars, and Screen Awards.
When her marriage to Thomas Madison ended in divorce, Martha Madison took up her mother’s profession, which was the photography of historical documents for attorneys. While at the same time working as an assistant to photographer Milton Zuckermann, she was bitten by the photography bug. This led her to take up the hobby of painting and to pursue this passion in the early years following her marriage to Thomas.
She finally decided to focus on acting when her son was born in 1924. She worked with Broadway producer Hector Mackler to produce a musical called “A Boy’s Life”, and went on to appear in various films, including “All about Eve” (which was filmed by none other than Howard Hughes), and “My Fair Lady”. Martha Madison became one of the great female performers of all time, and left a lasting impression on generations to follow. She was also a strong advocate for women’s rights and fought hard for equal rights for women throughout her lifetime.