Margaret Sullavan

Actor
A petite brunette with large eyes dominating her small, attractively angular face, Margaret Sullavan made her stage debut with the University Players (which included James Stewart and Henry Fonda) in Falmouth, MA, and ... Read more »
Born: 05/15/1911 in Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Filmography

other (17)

The Great Depression 1987 (Movie)

("Summer Theatres" - "Economy Blues") (Actor)

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars 1951 - 1959 (TV Show)

Actor

No Sad Songs For Me 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cry Havoc 1944 (Movie)

(Actor)

Back Street 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

So Ends Our Night 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Shop Around the Corner 1939 (Movie)

(Actor)

Three Comrades 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

Next Time We Love 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Moon's Our Home 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Good Fairy 1934 (Movie)

Luisa Ginglebusher (Actor)

Little Man, What Now? 1933 (Movie)

(Actor)

Appointment for Love (Movie)

Jane Alexander (Actor)

Only Yesterday (Movie)

Mary Lane (Actor)

The Mortal Storm (Movie)

Freya Roth (Actor)

The Shining Hour (Movie)

Judy Linden (Actor)

The Shopworn Angel (Movie)

Daisy Heath (Actor)

Biography

A petite brunette with large eyes dominating her small, attractively angular face, Margaret Sullavan made her stage debut with the University Players (which included James Stewart and Henry Fonda) in Falmouth, MA, and entered films in 1933. With her husky voice and unique, magnetic charm Sullavan was an immediate success, proving herself airy and delightful in comedy ("The Good Fairy" 1935, "The Shop Around the Corner" 1939) and wistful and poignant in drama ("Only Yesterday", her 1933 debut; "Three Comrades" 1938). Her unstable temperament and her critical disdain for the Hollywood establishment, however, significantly reduced her screen output, facilitating her many returns to Broadway. She was married to Henry Fonda, William Wyler and producer-agent Leland Hayward. Sullavan suffered a number of mental health problems (including severe depression brought on partly by increasing deafness in middle age) and died of a drug overdose. A family memoir, "Haywire" (1977), was written by her daughter, Brooke Hayward.

Relationships

Garland Sullavan

Mother

Henry Fonda

Husband
Married Dec. 25, 1931 Divorced in 1932

Leland Hayward

Husband
Third husband married on November 15, 1937 while he was her agent divorced in 1947

Bridget Hayward

Daughter
born in 1939

Brooke Hayward

Daughter
born in July 1937 penned memoir of her family and events leading to her mother's death, "Haywire"

William Hayward

Son
born in 1941

Cornelius Sullavan

Father

Kenneth Wagg

Husband
fourth husband married from 1950 until her death in 1960 British

William Wyler

Husband
Second husband married on November 11, 1934 divorced on March 13, 1936

EDUCATION

E E Clive's Copley Theatre Dramatic School

Boston , Massachusetts 1928

St George School

Norfolk , Virginia

Chatham Episcopal Institute

Chatham , Virginia

Denishawn School of Dance

Boston , Massachusetts
stayed only three weeks

Sullins College

Bristol , Virginia
dropped out to study dancing in Boston

Norfolk Tutoring School

Norfolk , Virginia

Milestones

1960

Was appearing in out-of-town tryout of "Sweet Love Remember'd" in New Haven when she was found dead of a drug overdose

1956

Withdrew from hit comedy "Janus" for health reasons; disappeared on day scheduled to appear on TV in "The Pilot"; committed herself to a sanitarium for nervous exhaustion;

1950

Returned to films after an absence of seven years in "No Sad Songs For Me"

1948

Appeared on TV in first "Studio One" production

1947

London stage debut, "The Voice of the Turtle"

1936

On expiration of Universal contract, returned to Broadway in non-starring role in "Stage Door"

1933

First Broadway success as replacement for Marguerite Churchill in "Dinner at Eight"; signed by Universal on her terms ($1,200 weekly, three years, nonexclusive and with approval rights)

1933

Film debut, "Only Yesterday"

1931

Broadway debut, "A Modern Virgin"

1929

Made stage debut in summer touring production of Preston Sturges's "Strictly Dishonorable"

1929

Returned to University Players

1929

Rejoined University Players in Baltimore for stock season; co-starring with Henry Fonda

1928

Joined the University Players, community theater at Falmouth, M assachusetts (summer)

1928

Made social debut in Norfolk, Virginia (winter)

Worked at the Harvard Cooperative Bookstore (for ($18 a week) while at drama school

Bonus Trivia

.

"Acting in the movies is just like ditch-digging"--Margaret Sullavan

.

"I still hate making pictures! And I don't like Hollywood any better. I detest the limelight and love simplicity, and in Hollywood the only thing that matters is the hullabaloo of fame. If Hollywood will let me alone to find my way without forcing me and rushing me into things, I probably will change my feelings about it. But at present Hollywood seems utterly horrible and interfering and consuming. Which is why I want to leave it as soon as I am able."--Margaret Sullavan to "Photoplay" magazine after completing second film, "Little Man, What Now?" (1934)

.

"She was a willful, ambitious, feminine, honest, and warm actress whose talents were largely untapped by her second-rate tragic heroine screen assignments. She died from an overdose of sleeping pills when she could no longer cope with the almost total loss of her hearing". ("The MGM Stock Company")

.

"Eight days after her death it was revealed that she had been almost totally deaf, a disability she had been fighting since 1948". ("MGM Stock Company")

SIMILAR ARTICLES