23 Facts About Margaret Rutherford


Dame Margaret Taylor Rutherford, was an English actress of stage, television and film.


Margaret Rutherford came to national attention following World War II in the film adaptations of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.


Margaret Rutherford was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1961 and a Dame Commander in 1967.


Margaret Rutherford's uncle, Sir John Benn, 1st Baronet, was a politician, and her first cousin once removed was the Labour politician Tony Benn.


Young Margaret Rutherford had been told that her father died of a broken heart soon afterward.


Margaret Rutherford was educated at Wimbledon High School and, from the age of about 13, at Raven's Croft School, a boarding school in Sutton Avenue, Seaford.


Margaret Rutherford made her first appearance in London's West End in 1933, but her talent was not recognised by the critics until her performance as Miss Prism in John Gielgud's production of The Importance of Being Earnest at the Globe Theatre in 1939.


Margaret Rutherford received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike for her lusty portrayal of the bumbling medium Madame Arcati, a role which Coward had envisaged for her.


Margaret Rutherford played an officious headmistress in The Happiest Days of Your Life at the Apollo Theatre in 1948 and classical roles such as Madame Desmortes in Ring Round the Moon, Lady Wishfort in The Way of the World and Mrs Candour in The School for Scandal.


Margaret Rutherford's declining health meant she had to give up the role after a few weeks.


Margaret Rutherford was Nurse Carey in Miranda and the sprightly Medieval expert Professor Hatton-Jones in Passport to Pimlico, one of the Ealing Comedies.


Margaret Rutherford reprised her stage roles of the headmistress alongside Alastair Sim in The Happiest Days of Your Life and Miss Prism in Anthony Asquith's film adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest.


Margaret Rutherford then worked with Norman Wisdom again in Just My Luck and co-starred in The Smallest Show on Earth with Virginia McKenna, Peter Sellers and Leslie Phillips.


Margaret Rutherford featured, alongside Ian Carmichael and Peter Sellers, in the Boulting Brothers satire I'm All Right Jack.


Margaret Rutherford reprised the role of Miss Marple in a very brief, uncredited cameo in the 1965 film The Alphabet Murders.


Margaret Rutherford appeared as Mistress Quickly in Orson Welles' film Chimes at Midnight and was directed by Charlie Chaplin in A Countess from Hong Kong, starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren, which was one of her final films.


Margaret Rutherford started work on The Virgin and the Gypsy, but illness caused her to be replaced by Fay Compton.


In 1945, Margaret Rutherford, fifty-three, married character actor Stringer Davis, forty-six, after a courtship that lasted for 15 years.


Margaret Rutherford nursed and comforted her through periodic debilitating depression.


Margaret Rutherford later wrote a biography of Rutherford in 1983.


Margaret Rutherford suffered from Alzheimer's disease at the end of her life and was unable to work.


Many of Britain's top actors, including Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ralph Richardson, Dame Flora Robson and Joyce Grenfell, attended a memorial Service of Thanksgiving at the Actors' Church, St Paul's, Covent Garden, on July 21,1972, where 90-year-old Dame Sybil Thorndike praised her friend's enormous talent and recalled that Margaret Rutherford had "never said anything horrid about anyone".


Margaret Rutherford tells her life story in cabaret form before an audience.