At first glance, Madlyn Rhue was an average Hollywood actress whose career was largely limited to supporting or guest roles. However, she was much more than that. Rhue was a brave woman who courageously pursued her acting passion despite suffering from multiple sclerosis disease. The actress hid her diagnosis for several years in order to ensure that she could continue doing what she loved best. Get to know more about this incredible lady here…
Madlyn Rhue Bio (Early Life)
Madlyn Soloman Rhue (birth name Madeline Roche) was born on the 3rd of October 1935 in Washington D.C. The actress hailed from a family of three comprising of her mom, who was a businesswoman, and an elder sister named Carol. Her dad bailed on the family when she was just a kid and she was raised by her mom. Despite their circumstances, her mom was a loving woman and always told her that she was going to do something special one day.
Madlyn Rhue spent her formative years in several cities including Baltimore before making a final stop in Los Angeles. In the city of angels, she obtained her diploma from Los Angeles High School. After that, she briefly studied drama at Los Angles College before moving to New York for better opportunities. In New York, Rhue worked as a dancer in the Latin Quarters before moving back to Los Angeles in 1958.
Movies and TV Shows
Madlyn Rhue commenced her career in 1959 with minor parts in two movies; Operation Petticoat and The Miracle. After that humble debut, the Washington native went on to appear in numerous other movies including The Ladies Man (1961), A Majority of One (1961), Escape From Zahrain (1962), It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), He Rides Tall (1964), Kenner (1968), Stand Up and Be Counted (1972), etc.
Rhue also enjoyed an accomplished career on the small screen appearing in TV series such as Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels, Starsky & Hutch, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Days of Our Lives, Houston Knights, Murder, She Wrote, The Untouchables, The Fugitive, Hawaii Five-O, The Alaskans, Star Trek, Mission Impossible, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
Husband If Married
During her lifetime, Madlyn Rhue was married to an actor named Tony Young. Young was a character actor and appeared in many movies and TV series including Overland Trail, Gunslinger, General Hospital, Bonanza, He Rides Tall, Taggert, Gemini Man, Spider-Woman, and Knight Rider. Rhue and Young tied the knot in 1962. They were married for eight years before divorcing in 1970. Their union did not produce any kids.
Madlyn Rhue’s Death
Madlyn Rhue fought a long battle with multiple sclerosis during her lifetime. MS is a disease caused by damages to the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It results in serious after-effects such as blurred vision, speech, and muscle coordination impairment, as well as severe fatigue, and has no cure. Rhue first noticed that something was wrong with her body in 1976. She was shopping in a shop when she passed out; urinating and vomiting in the process. After the incident, her movements became clumsy and her vision got blurry. The actress consulted her doctors and after much examination, she was diagnosed with MS in 1977. The disease progressed from a point when she couldn’t wear high heels to a stage where she had to use walking canes. The actress finally had to resort to a wheelchair when things got very worse.
At first, Madlyn Rhue kept her diagnosis a secret as it would have affected her ability to get the needed insurance for working in a movie. She, therefore, made several excuses, telling people that she was involved in an accident or that she had an arthritic hip. Rhue finally disclosed her diagnosis in 1987. She received support from several of her peers including people who wrote characters specifically for her. She also featured in a national Ad campaign for The Multiple Sclerosis Society.
As the disease progressed, the actress checked into a long-term care facility at The Motion Picture and TV Fund Hospital, L.A. She remained there from 1998 until she passed away, from pneumonia, on the 16th of December 2003. Following Rhue’s demise, a private funeral was held for her and sympathizers were urged to make donations to the hospital where she had lived out the rest of her life.
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Her Net Worth
One fallout of Rhue’s long battle with MS was that it drained most of her resources. In a 1987 interview with People Magazine, the actress disclosed that she used up all her savings in order to foot her medical bills. It got to the extent that she had no extra money to spend on herself and had to rely on Christmas/Birthday gifts in order to get new clothes. Rhue also had to rely on the charity of friends to get the necessary equipment she needed such as a motorized wheelchair. Given all the above, the actress didn’t have much of a fortune left at the time of her demise.