Marguerite (Mickey) Macdonald

June 26, 1919 to December 19, 2010

On December 19th, Marguerite (Mickey) Macdonald of Edmonton, age 91 passed away peacefully in her sleep.

She is survived by her son Brian and wife Riki, daughter Marna, sister Vernis McCuaig, three grandchildren & two great-grandchildren. She was pre-deceased in 1981 by her husband, former City Solicitor, Alan F. Macdonald.

Born in Regina to Faith Clifton. At the age of three, with younger sister Vernis, they moved to Moose Jaw for ten years. During this time Faith met and married Reginald Clifton. They moved to Edmonton in 1932. Faith died in 1958, Cliff in 1984.

To Mickey her work in theatre was the breath of life. Starting in 1933, at the age of 14, along with her sister, they played “pages” in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. Throughout their teens they created many duo-dancing performances. At the age of 16, Mickey had her first lead role, in The Late Christopher Bean at Victoria Composite High School, directed by her mentor Eva O. Howard. Many, more productions followed, including “And So to Bed” where she met her future husband, Alan Fraser Macdonald O.B.E., Q.C. In February 1939 they married and six months later Alan went overseas to fight in WWII. He did not return until war’s end in 1945. Mickey continued on performing in more than a dozen plays before deciding to venture off to the stages of New York, while Alan was overseas. In the fall of 1943 Mickey studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. While there she won second place in a search for talent contest. This lead to her first professional work, which was two seasons of stock at Cedarhurst Theatre, Long Island. This in turn led to her big break on Broadway. In March 1944 she had the supporting role of Lizzie McGregor and understudy for the lead role in A Highland Fling, directed by legendary George Abbott. She continued for another year in New York eventually playing in three plays on Broadway. In 1945 when WWII ended, Mickey ended her fruitful sojourn in New York returning to Edmonton to her husband. She continued a very long and exciting theatre career; directing, adjudicating and performing in every professional and amateur theatre in Edmonton, as well as many other venues across Canada. She also performed on numerous radio-drama broadcasts on CKUA, CJCA and CBC and TV plays on CBC. In the mid 70’s Mickey and Alan moved to Victoria to spend their retirement, but she still returned often to Edmonton to perform at the Northern Lights, Mayfair and Citadel Theatres. Mickey’s theatre career continued right up until 1983, a total span of 50 years.

Until breaking a hip at age 84 Mickey continued to enjoy her life long passion for the out of doors. She had enjoyed long hours working in her glorious garden in Qualicum Beach. One of her favorite island spots was Long Beach at Tofino.

Her happiest achievements in her “golden years” was the dedication of the Faith Clifton/Alan Macdonald Memorial Park in 1997. This was followed by establishing an Alan and Mickey Macdonald bursary for Drama students at the University of Alberta.

In 2003 she was inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame which acknowledged her multitude of contributions to the Arts in Edmonton. And in 2005 was included in the book “100 Practioners in the Theatre, 100 Years in Alberta”.

Mickey remained feisty and lovable to the very end. She will be missed by those that knew and loved her.

A memorial will be planned for June 26th. Please contact Marna Macdonald at 604-681-4099 or marnam@telus.net for details.


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