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Actress Mercedes McCambridge Takes Overdose, Condition “Fair”

Mar. 17, 1963 - Mercedes McCambridge (pictured right with Claire Trevor in 1950 after winning Best Supporting Actress for “All the King’s Men”), who has become a hard-luck actress recently, took an overdose of sleeping pills last night in what police said was a suicide attempt. It was the actress’s 47th birthday. She was rushed to Santa Monica Hospital in a private ambulance summoned by her son, John Lawrence Markle, 21, after he found her unconscious in her apartment. Her stomach was pumped, and she was placed in the hospital’s intensive care ward, still unconscious. Attendants said her condition was “fair.” The hospital was the same one in which Miss McCambridge’s son, a UCLA law student, recovered from serious injuries received in an auto accident a little more than a month ago. The actress has been beset by trouble recently. She and her second husband, producer Fletcher Markle, were divorced last June. Shortly before her son’s accident, she broke her foot rehearsing for a benefit and, a few days later, broke two fingers. Miss McCambridge has battled alcoholism over the years, and she has often been hospitalized after episodes of heavy drinking.


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