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Margaret O'Brien ACTOR


Margaret O’Brien is an American film actress, who, in the 1940s, secured a spot as one of cinema’s most popular child actors. She was born Angela Maxine O’Brien on January 15, 1937 in San Diego, California. Her mother was a flamenco dancer and her father, who unfortunately died before she was born, was a circus performer. Her sister was also a dancer, implying that the whole family was big on entertainment. By age three, O’Brien had been featured in a magazine and was expressing an interest in acting. Her first role came with a one minute scene in MGM’s 1941 musical “Babes on Broadway”. Studio executives were so impressed with her acting capabilities that they signed her up for a contract. They then cast the young girl in the drama “Journey for Margaret” (1942), the movie that prompted her name change.

The five year old was instantly praised for her part as a little orphaned girl during the war, becoming an overnight sensation. However, the studio didn’t quite know what to do with the star, as she was not the sweet “Shirley Temple type” and had a partiality for more dramatic roles. Such serious parts were hard to come by for children, though, so O’Brien mostly played typical kid roles.

Throughout the 1940's she remained the top child star, and was hailed as a “sensation”, “child genius”, and “America’s favorite sweetheart”. She had childlike parts in MGM’s “Dr. Gillespie’s Criminal Case” (1943), “Lost Angel” (1943), and “Madame Curie” (1943), and was loaned to 20th Century-Fox for 1943’s “Jane Eyre”. In 1944 she received a slightly more substantial part for the movie “The Canterville Ghost”, but truly hit the jackpot directly following, with “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944). Although her musical talents were not as remarkable as Shirley Temple’s had been in the 1930's, her contributions to the film were unforgettable. Playing Judy Garland’s audacious and eccentric little singing and dancing sister, O’Brien managed to win herself a juvenile Academy Award as the “outstanding child actress of 1944”.

Following “Meet Me in St. Louis”, the quality of the child’s scripts varied. Her next two features were remarkable, “Music for Millions” (1944) and “Our Vines Have Tender Grapes” (1945), but they were succeeded by such forgetful films as the western “Bad Bascomb” (1946), comedy “Three Wise Fools” (1946), and melodrama “Big City” (1948). In 1949 she struck some success, as tragic Beth March in the Technicolor adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel “Little Women”, as well as Mary Lennox in the first sound version of “The Secret Garden”.

At the end of 1949 O’Brien’s contract with MGM had expired and it was not renewed. Now a teenager, her appeal to audiences was not apparent. She had her first love interest in the drama “Her First Romance” (1951), but it failed to establish a teenage following. In the next fifteen years she appeared in only three additional movies, “Girls Hand in Hand” (1952), “Glory” (1956), and “Heller in Pink Tights” (1960). However, after the expiration of the actress’ contract with MGM, she took advantage of the new Golden Age of television and continued to act on TV. She could be seen in forty different series, including “Lux Video Theatre” (1951-55), “Studio One in Hollywood” (1953-58), and “Climax!” (1955-57).

In 1968 she returned to the big screen with the horror film “Annabelle Lee”, but waited another thirteen years before appearing in Disney’s family drama “Amy” (1981). After ending her long career in television in 1991 with “The New Lassie”, O’Brien took time off from acting and revisited the movies with “Sunset After Dark” (1996). More recently, she has acted in the independent comedy “Dead in Love” (2009), made for TV films “Elf Sparkle Meets the Christmas Horse” (2009) and “Elf Sparkle and the Special Red Dress” (2010), horror flick “Frankenstein Rising” (2010), and fantasy feature “Morella” (2013).

The actress currently resides in California and spends much time doing charity work. She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, each for both television and the motion pictures.
2013       Morella 
2010       Elf Sparkle and the Special Red Dress 
2010       Frankenstein Rising 
2009       Elf Sparkle Meets Christmas the Horse 
2009       Dead in Love 
2002       Dead Season 
1996       Sunset After Dark 
1991       The New Lassie 
1991       Murder, She Wrote 
1986       Tales from the Darkside 
1983       Hotel 
1981       Amy 
1977       Testimony of Two Men 
1974       Death in Space 
1972       Marcus Welby, M.D. 
1970       Adam-12 
1969       Love, American Style 
1968       Ironside 
1968       Annabelle Lee 
1967       Combat
1964       Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre 
1963       Perry Mason 
1962       The DuPont Show of the Week 
1962       Dr. Kildare 
1961       Adventures in Paradise 
1961       The Aquanauts 
1960       Checkmate 
1960       Maggie 
1960       The DuPont Show with June Allyson 
1960       Heller in Pink Tights 
1959       The United States Steel Hour 
1959       Rawhide 
1958       Pursuit 
1958       Little Women
1958       Wagon Train 
1957       G.E. True Theater 
1957       Kraft Theatre 
1957       Playhouse 90
1957       Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre 
1957       Suspicion 
1957       The Christophers 
1956       Front Row Center 
1956       Glory 
1955       Climax!
1955       Matinee Theatre
1954       The Ford Television Theatre
1953       Studio One in Hollywood
1952       Girls Hand in Hand 
1951       Her First Romance 
1951       Lux Video Theatre
1950       Robert Montgomery Presents 
1949       The Secret Garden 
1949       Little Women 
1948       Big City 
1948       Tenth Avenue Angel 
1947       The Unfinished Dance 
1946       Three Wise Fools 
1946       Bad Bascomb 
1945       Our Vines Have Tender Grapes 
1944       Music for Millions 
1944       Meet Me in St. Louis 
1944       The Canterville Ghost 
1943       Jane Eyre 
1943       Lost Angel 
1943       Madame Curie 
1943       Thousands Cheer 
1943       Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case 
1943       You, John Jones! 
1942       Journey for Margaret 
1941       Babes on Broadway 

Matinee Classics - The Pledge of Allegiance starring the voices of Margaret O'Brien and Jay North
Matinee Classics - The Canterville Ghost starring Charles Laughton, Robert Young, Margaret O'Brien, William Gargan, Reginald Owen, Rags Ragland, Una O'Connor, Donald Stuart, Elisabeth Risdon, Frank Faylen, Lumsden Hare, Mike Mazurki, William Moss, Bobby Readick, Marc Cramer, William Tannen and Peter Lawford
Matinee Classics - The Canterville Ghost starring Charles Laughton, Robert Young, Margaret O'Brien, William Gargan, Reginald Owen, Rags Ragland, Una O'Connor, Donald Stuart, Elisabeth Risdon, Frank Faylen, Lumsden Hare, Mike Mazurki, William Moss, Bobby Readick, Marc Cramer, William Tannen and Peter Lawford

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