Margaret O'Brien Biography
A breif biography of the life of actress Margaret O'Brien.
Childhood star ôMargaret OÆBrien,ö who was born as Angela Maxine OÆBrien on January 15, 1937 in Los Angeles, California, was one of the most popular movie stars of the 1940Æs. Her mother was a flamenco dancer, and her father, who was in the circus, died before she was born. Margaret knew she wanted to be an actress since the tender age of three, and began her career in the entertainment industry by posing for magazine covers.
MargaretÆs film debut came in 1941 when she earned a bit part role in the movie ôBabes on Broadway.ö Her next movie was ôJourney for Margaret,ö in 1942, and it launched her star movie career. Margaret even chose her stage name from her character in this movie, her first credited part, which was quite popular to do at the time.
Margaret was quickly labeled as a sensation and received a movie contract from M.G.M. studios. A gifted dramatic actress, it was exceedingly hard to find roles for her, as most roles for children did not require such incredible talent, and were very small. Her real stardom came in 1944 when she played ôTootieö in the musical ôMeet Me in St. Louis,ö for which she won an Oscar.
Margaret was voted one of the top ten box office stars two years in a row. She was also named ôBest Actressö twice by the National Board of Review, and received the ôMost Outstanding Child Actressö award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Margaret was so talented that her most famous quote is, ôWhen I cry should I let the tears go all the way down, or should I stop them half way,ö which she innocently asked a director when he asked her to cry for a movie role.
MargaretÆs movie career peaked in 1945 with her role in ôOur Vines Have Tender Grapes.ö Her last starring roles were in ôLittle Womenö as Beth, and ôThe Secret Gardenö as Mary Lennox, both in 1949. By the 1950Æs, her star status had almost completely faded. Like numerous other childhood stars, Margaret was unsuccessful at maturing into adult roles. Margaret still does occasional television appearances, and can often be found signing autographs at classic film festivals.