Nicknamed The Queen of British Cinema, lovely Madeleine Carroll possessed the sort of splendor and poise that one would readily identify with royalty. An excellent student, Carroll could have pursued any number of vocations or higher forms of learning, but exposure to the University of Birmingham's drama society created a love for acting that eventually earned her roles in West End stage productions. Motion pictures soon followed and with her remarkable screen presence and convincing performances, Carroll quickly rose up the ranks to become an A-list talent. A pair of early Alfred Hitchcock films, "The 39 Steps" (1935) and "Secret Agent" (1936), further cemented her popularity and confirmed Carroll as an archetypal blonde Hitchcock heroine. Offers soon came from Hollywood, where she quickly found additional fame in "The General Died at Dawn" (1936) and, most famously, "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937). Her extraordinary rise proved so lucrative, Carroll was the world's highest paid actress for a short time. Following such movies as "North West Mounted Police" (1940) and "My Favorite Blonde" (1942), she stepped away from moviemaking to help in the overseas war effort. While she acted periodically after World War II, Carroll was mostly content to let her career wind down. One of the great beauties of early sound cinema, Carroll's innate intelligence and sophistication was communicated exquisitely in her portrayals and added an extra level of interest to even her lesser outings.