Edit
Margaret Sullavan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 16 May 1909Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Date of Death 1 January 1960New Haven, Connecticut, USA  (drug overdose)
Birth NameMargaret Brooke Sullavan
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Norfolk, Virginia to wealthy stockbroker Cornelius Hancock Sullavan and heiress Garland Council Sullavan, Margaret Brooke overcame a muscle weakness in her childhood to go on to become a rebellious teenager at posh private schools. She went on to perform with the University Players at Harvard and made her Broadway debut in Hello, Lola in 1926. Her Christmas Day marriage in 1931 to Henry Fonda lasted only two months, and her later marriages to director William Wyler and agent Leland Hayward were also tempestuous. Two of her three children, Bridget and Bill, would spend some time in mental institutions, and commit suicide. Friends noted that the collapse of her family life led to her breakdown. Her condition worsened over time, until she was discovered unconscious from barbiturate poisoning in a hotel room. Her death was ruled accidental by the county coroner.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <anthony-adam@tamu.edu> & MO840

Spouse (4)

Kenneth Wagg (30 August 1950 - 1 January 1960) (her death)
Leland Hayward (15 November 1936 - 28 April 1949) (divorced) (3 children)
William Wyler (25 November 1934 - 13 March 1936) (divorced)
Henry Fonda (25 December 1931 - 14 March 1933) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Husky voice

Trivia (17)

She and Henry Fonda were divorced after two years.
Former mother-in-law of Peter Duchin and Dennis Hopper.
Grandmother of Marin Hopper.
As a child, family friend Peter Fonda had a crush on Sullavan's daughter Bridget. In adulthood, after Bridget committed suicide, he named his own daughter (Bridget Fonda) after her.
As written in a 1940s Architectural Digest piece about her Brentwood, California home, Sullavan shared that she chose the Connecticut-style colonial home due to her love of New England. After years of searching for the quintessential property, she and her then-husband Leland Hayward purchased a rambling saltbox house on 100 bucolic acres in Brookfield, Connecticut.
She suffered from a congenital hearing defect, otosclerosis, that worsened as she aged, making her more and more hard of hearing. Her voice developed its distinctive throatiness because she could hear low tones better than high ones.
Her eldest daughter, actress Brooke Hayward, wrote an autobiographical book titled "Haywire" which was a best-seller in 1981. It was later made into the television movie Haywire (1980), starring Lee Remick.
Her son, William Hayward, also committed suicide. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the heart on March 8, 2008, in his trailer in Castaic, California. He was 66 years old.
Her youngest daughter, Bridget, was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on October 31, 1960, only eleven months after her mother died. It was ruled a suicide by drug overdose, like her mother's death. She was 21 years old.
Turned down the part of Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night (1934). Claudette Colbert was then given the role and won a best actress Oscar for her performance.
When she was attending Harvard University, she performed with the University Players with future stars like James Stewart, Henry Fonda and Kent Smith.
Was considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).
Gave birth to her 3rd child at age 31, a son William Hayward on March 27, 1941. Child's father was her 3rd husband, Leland Hayward.
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 29, a daughter Bridget Hayward on February 18, 1939. Child's father was her 3rd husband, Leland Hayward.
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 28, a daughter Brooke Hayward on July 5, 1937. Child's father was her 3rd husband, Leland Hayward.
In June 1934 it was announced in movie industry Trade Papers that Margaret Sullavan's next movie after "The Good Fairy" would be "Within These Present" based on a story by Margaret Ayer Barnes. The movie was eventually never made.
Like her former husbands Henry Fonda and William Wyler, she was a political liberal.

Personal Quotes (1)

Perhaps I'll get used to this bizarre place called Hollywood, but I doubt it.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page