Kelly-Leibovici, Margaret (Miss Bluebell)

BORN 24 Jun 1910, Dublin: Rotunda Hospital - DIED 11 Sep 2004, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière de Montmartre, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 13)

Margaret Kelly never knew her parents. She was raised by Mary Murphy, a dressmaker. In 1916 they went to Liverpool where she showed a talent for dancing. When she was fifteen she was contracted by the Scala in Berlin and there she worked for five years. In 1930 she danced at the Folies Bergère in Paris and in 1932 she started her own troupe, the Bluebell Girls.

In 1939 she married Marcel Leibovici, a Jewish pianist and composer at the Folies Bergère. They had four children. During the war both she and her husband were arrested and Truffaut's film "The Last Metro" is based on their war experiences. After the war she cooperated with Donn Arden to produce shows at the Lido in Paris. In the 1950s the fame of the Bluebell Girls spread to other countries as well.

In 1961 Marcel was killed in a road accident and Margaret managed the Bluebell Girls by herself from that time. In 1986 she left the Lido and sold them the brand name. She devoted her time and money to charities and was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. In 1990 she was received by Pope John Paul II on a private audience. During the last years of her life there were conflicts with her children about her estate. She died in 2004 in Paris.

The sculpture that Doreen Kern had made of her in 1987 was placed on her tomb at the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris, but it was stolen in 2008.


The grave of Miss Bluebell at the Montmartre Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (05 Nov 2017)


Margaret Kelly (dancer) - Wikipedia

Kemble, Adelaide

Published: 27 Oct 2019
Last update: 27 Oct 2019