Margaret Edwards ~ The Nude Actress

Margaret Edwards

Margaret Edwards was the first film actress to appear in a full frontal nude scene

She was born Margaret Corinne Edwards on November 3, 1896 in Berkeley, California. Her father William was a farmer and her mother Edyth worked as a physical culture instructor. When she was a teenager Margaret began performing in local stage productions that her mother produced. The shows focused on how the five foot, two inch beauty got her amazing figure. She said she followed a strict diet and exercise plan designed by Edyth. Margaret was nicknamed "The Perfect Girl". Her dream was to be a dancer and she studied ballet with Veronine Vestoff. In 1914 she made her film debut in A Physical Culture Romance starring Fay Tincher. Then director Lois Weber was cast her the religious drama Hypocrites. She shocked audiences by appearing completely naked in several scenes. This was the first Hollywood film to show full frontal nudity and it was banned in several cities.

Margaret's infamous nude scene in Hypocrites

In an interview she said "A naked woman in a role symbolic of the truth is not immodest or immoral - it is art.  I have been taught that my body is a temple of purity and I am a child of nature." Unfortunately her acting career didn't last long. Her final film was the 1915 comedy Sunshine Molly. Margaret quit show business and married Bernal Auturio Romero, a Venezuelan businessman. On July 14, 1924 their daughter Byrnal Margaret was born.  A few years later the couple divorced. She and her daughter moved in with her parents in Los Angeles. Tragically in 1943 nineteen year old Byrnal died from an embolism during pregnancy. Margaret lived the rest of her life in California. She died on October 20 1976 at the age of seventy nine.

Margaret Edwards In HypocritesMargaret Edwards