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Madeleine Carroll. Edith Madeleine Carroll (1906–1987) English actress, popular both in Britain and America in the 1930s and 1940s. At the peak of her success she was the highest paid actress in the world, earning a then staggering $250,000 in 1938. The first of director Alfred Hitchcock's icy blonde heroines in The 39 Steps, remembered for abandoning her acting career after the death of her sister Marguerite in the London Blitz to devote herself to helping wounded servicemen and children.