Margaret Sullavan
Actress
Margaret Sullavan
Margaret Brooke Sullavan was an American stage and film actress. Sullavan started her career on the stage in 1929. In 1933 she caught the attention of movie director John M. Stahl and had her debut on the screen that same year in Only Yesterday. Sullavan preferred working on the stage and made only 16 movies, four of which were opposite James Stewart in a popular partnership.
Biography
Margaret Sullavan's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Margaret Sullavan from around the web
Book Review: Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman by Patricia Bosworth - Blogcritics.org (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Not only did Jane and Brooke grow up together, both the daughters of Hollywood stars — Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullavan, respectively— but their parents were also married to one another once upon a time, and the families' fates seemed to be
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Joan Blondell on TCM: DAMES, WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In Cry Havoc we mostly have MGM contract players being patriotic on Bataan, including Margaret Sullavan, Marsha Hunt, Frances Gifford, and MGM's answer to Blondell, Ann Sothern, in addition to Fay Bainter, Ella Raines, Diana Lewis, and Heather Angel
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Joan Crawford on TCM: MILDRED PIERCE, WHEN LADIES MEET, FLAMINGO ROAD - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Torch Song (1953) offers a middle-aged Joan Crawford displaying a couple of shapely legs (though Marjorie Rambeau was the one who ended up with an Oscar nod), while The Shining Hour (1938) has her sharing the screen with Margaret Sullavan
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The Fallada File - The Weekly Standard
Google News - over 5 years
The pair began writing postcards denouncing the Nazi regime and calling on Germans to engage in civil disobedience Douglass Montgomery, Margaret Sullavan in 'Little Man, What Now?' (1934) “Hitler's war is the worker's death!” one of them proclaimed
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EXCERPT; Excerpt - Rebels in Paradise - By Hunter Drohojowska-Philp
NYTimes - over 5 years
Chapter One 1963: Andy and Marcel The seven-foot Elvis in the Ferus Gallery window was startling, even by Los Angeles standards. In the gallery's back room, paintings of Elizabeth Taylor, with her outsized red lips and slashes of bright blue eye shadow, greeted visitors. Andy Warhol was fixated on celebrities and it wouldn't be long before he would
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The She Decade - Vanity Fair
Google News - over 5 years
She also introduced him to Brooke Hayward, her childhood friend, whose mother, the actress Margaret Sullavan, had been briefly married to Henry Fonda and who, like Jane's mother, had committed suicide. Brooke was now married to Dennis Hopper
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James Stewart Movie Schedule: ANATOMY OF A MURDER, THE MURDER MAN - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Cast: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Walter Pidgeon. BW-85 mins. 9:00 AM MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) An idealistic Senate replacement takes on political corruption. Dir: Frank Capra. Cast: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains
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Claudette Colbert on TCM: BOOM TOWN, PARRISH, MIDNIGHT, OUTPOST IN MALAYA - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
As much as I like Colbert's runaway heiress, I wish Miriam Hopkins, Margaret Sullavan, and Constance Bennett had their own versions as well. All three actresses — and a few others — passed on the part. Since You Went Away (1944) was to have been the
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Stuck in a sexless movie relationship - Boston Globe
Google News - over 5 years
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan really were Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, stars you liked rather than stars you lusted after. Sex made Sharon Stone a star, and though you could argue that her timing was unlucky because she was in her 30s when “Basic
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Theater performances offer something for everyone this week - STLtoday.com
Google News - over 5 years
It's based on Miklos Lazlo's "Parfumerie," a 1937 play that inspired "The Shop Around the Corner" (Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart, 1940), "In the Good Old Summertime" (Judy Garland and Van Johnson, 1949) and "You've Got Mail" (Meg Ryan and Tom
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'She Loves Me' wraps up theater festival season - Staunton News Leader
Google News - over 5 years
Based on a novel by Miklos Laszlo, the story has found its way to millions of viewers through films like "The Shop Around the Corner," featuring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, and the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan film, "You've Got Mail
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Movies on TV, Today & Tonight - Regina Leader-Post
Google News - over 5 years
(2 hrs.) (165) Your Beautiful Cul de Sac Home Jeff Geddis. An environmental activist resorts to drastic measures. (1 hr.35 mins.) (39) 3 No Sad Songs for Me Margaret Sullavan. A dying woman is devoted to her husband's future happiness. (1 hr.30 mins.)
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The Greatest Hollywood Director You May Never Have Heard Of - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The Good Fairy (1935)- Hand-picked from an orphanage to become an usherette at a big Budapest theater, naïve lass Luisa (Margaret Sullavan) has one desire: to become a vehicle of good fortune. So when randy old tycoon Konrad (Frank Morgan) professes a
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Klemm Real Estate listing two new properties - Torrington Register Citizen
Google News - over 5 years
... Real Estate has just listed the home of Peter Duchin, society band leader and son of Eddy Duchin, and Brooke Hayward Duchin, author of the best-selling book Haywire and daughter of Broadway producer Leland Hayward and actress Margaret Sullavan
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DVD Extra: Eastwood as you've never seen him before, late Flynn and other MGM MODs - New York Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Sony's MOD program, Screen Classics by Demand (selling through its own site and WAC's, among others) today offers Rudolph Mate's "No Sad Songs For Me'' (1950), featuring the final screen performance of the great Margaret Sullavan; Douglas Sirk's 1949
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Canterbury Film Society's 2011 mini-season - Scoop.co.nz (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart play sparring co-workers in a Budapest emporium who are unwitting lonely-hearts pen pals. “Close to perfection – one of the most beautifully acted and paced romantic comedies.” – Pauline Kael Stanley Donen,
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Five Things You Need to Know Today: A Brooke Hayward Q&A, Battling Blood ... - Patch.com
Google News - almost 6 years
Tonight at 7:30 pm, Hayward – the daughter of elite Hollywood couple Margaret Sullavan and Leland Hayward – will participate in a Q&A session at the Jacob Burns film festival along with longtime friend and Academy Award-nominated director Buck Henry
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DVDS; That Postwar Shimmy-Shake
NYTimes - about 6 years
IN the early 1940s, as America prepared for war, Rita Hayworth led a revolution. With her co-conspirators Lana Turner (at MGM) and Betty Grable (at 20th Century Fox), Hayworth, who was just emerging as the first star created in-house at budget-minded Columbia Pictures, offered a new shape and shapeliness to Hollywood's feminine ideal. Breaking with
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DVDS; Tough Women And Flawed Men
NYTimes - over 6 years
IN 1935 Warner Brothers released a pair of romantic melodramas starring Kay Francis and George Brent, and directed by Frank Borzage: ''Living on Velvet'' in March, and ''Stranded'' just a few months later in June. Both have now been released on DVD through the Warner Archive Collection, the burn-on-demand service (warnerarchive.com) that offers
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Margaret Sullavan
    FIFTIES
  • 1960
    Age 50
    On January 1, 1960, at about 5:30 p.m., Sullavan was found in bed, barely alive and unconscious, in a hotel room in New Haven, Connecticut.
    More Details Hide Details Her copy of the script to Sweet Love Remembered, in which she was then starring during its tryout in New Haven, was found open beside her. Sullavan was rushed to Grace New Haven Hospital, but shortly after 6:00 p.m. she was pronounced dead on arrival. She was 50 years old. No note was found to indicate suicide, and no conclusion was reached as to whether her death was the result of a deliberate or an accidental overdose of barbiturates. The county coroner officially ruled Sullavan's death an accidental overdose. After a private memorial service was held in Greenwich, Connecticut, Sullavan was interred at Saint Mary's Whitechapel Episcopal Churchyard in Lancaster, Virginia. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Margaret Sullavan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 1751 Vine Street. She was inducted, posthumously, into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1981.
    Bridget died of a drug overdose in October 1960, while Bill died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March 2008.
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    On January 8, 1960 (one week after Sullavan's death), The New York Post reporter Nancy Seely wrote: "The thunderous applause of a delighted audience—was it only a dim murmur over the years to Margaret Sullavan?
    More Details Hide Details Did the poised and confident mien of the beautiful actress mask a sick fear, night after night, that she'd miss an important cue?" In addition to her hearing defect, Sullavan's children, Brooke, and in particular Bridget and Bill, often proved rebellious and contrary. As a result of the divorce from Hayward, the family fell apart. Sullavan felt that Hayward was trying to alienate their children from her. When the children went to California to visit their father they were so spoiled with expensive gifts that, when they returned to their mother in Connecticut, they were deeply discontented with what they saw as a staid lifestyle. By 1955, when Sullavan's two younger children told their mother that they preferred to stay with their father permanently, she suffered a nervous breakdown. Sullavan's eldest daughter, Brooke, wrote about the breakdown in her 1977 autobiography Haywire: Sullavan had humiliated herself by begging her son to stay with her. He remained adamant and his mother had started to cry. "This time she couldn't stop. Even from my room the sound was so painful I went into my bathroom and put my hands on my ears". In another scene from the book, a friend of the family (Millicent Osborne) had been alarmed by the sound of whimpering from the bedroom: "She walked in and found mother under the bed, huddled up in a fetal position. Kenneth was trying to get her out.
    They remained married until her death in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details Sullavan suffered from the congenital hearing defect otosclerosis that worsened as she aged, making her more and more hearing impaired. Her voice had developed a throatiness because she could hear low tones better than high ones. From early 1957, Sullavan's hearing declined so much that she was becoming depressed and sleepless and often wandered about all night. She would often go to bed and stay there for days, her only words: "Just let me be, please". Sullavan had kept her hearing problem largely hidden.
  • FORTIES
  • 1959
    Age 49
    However, in 1959 she agreed to do Sweet Love Remembered by playwright Ruth Goetz.
    More Details Hide Details It was to be Sullavan's first Broadway appearance in four years. Rehearsals began on December 1, 1959. Sullavan had mixed emotions about a return to acting and her depression soon became clear to everyone: "I loathe acting", she said on the very day she started rehearsals. "I loathe what it does to my life. It cancels you out. You cannot live while you are working. You are a person surrounded by an unbreachable wall". Sullavan had a reputation of being both temperamental and straightforward. On one occasion Henry Fonda had decided to take up a collection for a 4th of July fireworks display. After Sullavan refused to make a contribution, Fonda complained loudly to a fellow actor. Then Sullavan rose from her seat and doused Fonda from head to foot with a pitcher of ice water. Fonda made a stately exit, and Sullavan, composed and unconcerned, returned to her table and ate heartily. Another of her blowups almost literally killed Sam Wood, one of the founders of the Motion Picture Alliance. Wood was a keen anti-Communist. He dropped dead from a heart attack shortly after a raging argument with Sullavan, who had refused to fire a writer on a proposed film on account of his left-wing views. Louis B. Mayer always seemed wary and nervous in her presence. "She was the only player who outbullied Mayer", Eddie Mannix of MGM later said of Sullavan. "She gave him the willies".
  • 1955
    Age 45
    In 1955-56 Sullavan appeared in Janus, a comedy by playwright Carolyn Green.
    More Details Hide Details Sullavan played the part of Jessica who writes under the pen name Janus, and Robert Preston played her husband. The play ran for 251 performances from November 1955 to June 1956. In the late fifties Sullavan's hearing and depression were getting worse.
  • 1950
    Age 40
    In 1950, Sullavan married English investment banker Kenneth Wagg.
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    She came back to the screen in 1950 to do one last picture, No Sad Songs for Me.
    More Details Hide Details She played a fifties suburban wife and mother who learns that she will die of cancer within a year and who then determines to find a "second" wife for her soon-to-be-widower husband (Wendell Corey). Natalie Wood, then eleven, plays their daughter. After No Sad Songs for Me and its favorable reviews, Sullavan had a number of offers for other films, but she decided to concentrate on the stage for the rest of her career.
    After her short return to the screen in 1950 with No Sad Songs for Me, she did not return to the stage until 1952.
    More Details Hide Details Her choice then was as the suicidal Hester Collyer, who meets a fellow sufferer, Mr. Miller (played by Herbert Berghof), in Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea. In 1953 she agreed to appear in Sabrina Fair by Samuel Taylor.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1947
    Age 37
    In 1947, Sullavan filed for divorce after discovering that Hayward was having an affair with socialite Slim Keith.
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  • 1943
    Age 33
    From 1943-44 she played the sexually inexperienced but curious Sally Middleton in The Voice of the Turtle (by John Van Druten) on Broadway and later in London (1947).
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1936
    Age 26
    She felt that only on the stage could she improve her skills as an actor. "When I really learn to act, I may take what I have learned back to Hollywood and display it on the screen", she said in an interview in October 1936 (when she was doing Stage Door on Broadway between movies). "But as long as the flesh-and-blood theatre will have me, it is to the flesh-and-blood theatre I'll belong.
    More Details Hide Details I really am stage-struck. And if that be treason, Hollywood will have to make the most of it". Another reason for her early retirement from the screen (1943) was that she wanted to spend more time with her children, Brooke, Bridget and Bill (then 6, 4 and 2 years old). She felt that she had been neglecting them and felt guilty about it. Sullavan would still do stage work on occasion.
    When Sullavan divorced Wyler in 1936 and married Leland Hayward that same year, they moved to a colonial house just a block down from Stewart.
    More Details Hide Details Stewart's frequent visits to the Sullavan/Hayward home soon restoked the rumors of his romantic feelings for Sullavan. Sullavan and Stewart's second movie together was The Shopworn Angel (1938). "Why, they´re red-hot when they get in front of a camera," Louis B. Mayer said about their onscreen chemistry. "I don't know what the hell it is, but it sure jumps off the screen." Walter Pidgeon, who was part of the triangle in The Shopworn Angel later recalled: "I really felt like the odd-man-out in that one. It was really all Jimmy and Maggie... It was so obvious he was in love with her. He came absolutely alive in his scenes with her, playing with a conviction and a sincerity I never knew him to summon away from her." Eventually the duo made four movies together between 1936-1940 (Next Time We Love, The Shopworn Angel, The Shop Around the Corner and The Mortal Storm).
  • 1935
    Age 25
    Sullavan's co-starring roles with James Stewart are among the highlights of their early careers. In 1935, Sullavan had decided on doing Next Time We Love.
    More Details Hide Details She had strong reservations about the story, but had to "work off the damned contract". The script contained a role she thought might be ideal for Stewart, who was best friends with Sullavan's first husband, actor Henry Fonda. Years earlier, during a casual conversation with some fellow actors on Broadway, Sullavan predicted Stewart would become a major Hollywood star. By 1936, Stewart was a contract player at MGM but getting only small parts in B-movies. At that time Sullavan worked for Universal and when she brought up Stewart's name, they were puzzled. The Universal casting people had never heard of him. At Sullavan's suggestion Universal agreed to test him for her leading man and eventually he was borrowed from a willing MGM to star with Sullavan in Next Time We Love. Stewart had been nervous and unsure of himself during the early stages of production. At that time he had only had two minor MGM parts which had not given him much camera experience. The director, Edward H. Griffith, began bullying Stewart. "Maggie, he's wet behind the ears," Griffith told Sullavan. "He's going to make a mess of things." She believed in Stewart and spent evenings coaching him and helping him scale down his awkward mannerisms and hesitant speech that were soon to be famous around the world. "It was Margaret Sullavan who made James Stewart a star," director Griffith later said. "And she did, too," Bill Grady from MGM agreed. "That boy came back from Universal so changed I hardly recognized him."
  • 1933
    Age 23
    Sullavan and Fonda separated after two months and divorced in 1933. After separating from Fonda, Sullavan began a relationship with Broadway producer Jed Harris. She later began a relationship with William Wyler, the director of her next movie, The Good Fairy (1935). They were married in November 1934, and divorced in March 1936. Sullavan's third marriage was to agent and producer Leland Hayward. Hayward had been Sullavan's agent since 1931. They married on November 15, 1937.
    More Details Hide Details At the time of the marriage, Sullavan was pregnant with the couple's first child, a daughter named Brooke who later became an actress. The couple had two more children, Bridget (born in 1939) and William III "Bill" (born in March 1941), who later became film producer and attorney.
    Sullavan played a young German girl engaged in 1933 to a confirmed Nazi (Robert Young).
    More Details Hide Details When she realizes the true nature of his political views, she breaks the engagement and turns her attention to anti-Nazi Stewart. Later, trying to flee the Nazi regime, Sullavan and Stewart attempt to ski across the border to safety in Austria. Sullavan is gunned down by the Nazis (under orders from her ex-fiance). Stewart, at her request, picks up the dying Sullavan and takes her by skis into Austria, so she can die in what was still a free country. Back Street (1941) was lauded as one of the best performances of Sullavan's Hollywood career. She wanted Charles Boyer to play opposite her so much that she agreed to surrender top billing to him. Boyer plays a selfish and married banker and Sullavan his long-suffering mistress. Although he loves Sullavan, he is unwilling to leave his wife and family in favour of her. So Ends Our Night (1941) was another wartime drama. Sullavan (on loan for a one-picture deal from Universal) plays a Jewish girl perpetually on the move with falsified passport and identification papers and always fearing that the officials will discover her. On her way across Europe, she meets up with a young Jewish man (Glenn Ford) and the two fall in love.
    In his November 10, 1933, review in The New York Herald Tribune, Richard Watts, Jr. wrote that Sullavan "plays the tragic and lovelorn heroine of this shrewdly sentimental orgy with such forthright sympathy, wise reticence and honest feeling that she establishes herself with some definiteness as one of the cinema people to be watched".
    More Details Hide Details She followed that role with one in Little Man, What Now? (1934), about a couple struggling to survive in impoverished post–World War I Germany. Originally, Universal had been reluctant to make a movie about unemployment, starvation and homelessness, but Little Man had been an important project to Sullavan. After Only Yesterday she wanted to try "the real thing". She later said that it had been one of the few things she had done in Hollywood that gave her a great measure of satisfaction. The Good Fairy (1935) was a comedy that Sullavan chose to illustrate her versatility. During the production, she married its director, William Wyler. King Vidor's So Red the Rose (1935) dealt with people in the South in the aftermath of the Civil War. It preceded the publication of Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone With the Wind, which became a bestseller, by one year and its resulting film adaptation by four years; the latter became a blockbuster. Sullavan played a childish Southern belle who matures into a responsible woman. The film also dealt with the situation of characters who were freed black slaves.
    Sullavan arrived in Hollywood on May 16, 1933, her 24th birthday.
    More Details Hide Details Her film debut came that same year in Only Yesterday. She chose her scripts carefully. She was dissatisfied with her performance in Only Yesterday. When she saw herself in the early rushes, she had been so appalled that she had tried to buy out her contract for $2,500, but Universal refused.
    In March 1933, Sullavan replaced another actor in Dinner at Eight in New York.
    More Details Hide Details Movie director John M. Stahl happened to be watching the play and was intrigued by Sullavan. He decided she would be perfect for a picture he was planning, Only Yesterday. At that time Sullavan had already turned down offers for five-year contracts from Paramount and Columbia. Sullavan was offered a three-year, two-pictures-a-year contract at $1,200 a week. She accepted it and had a clause put in her contract that allowed her to return to the stage on occasion. Later on in her career, Sullavan would sign only short-term contracts because she did not want to be "owned" by any studio.
    In 1933 she caught the attention of movie director John M. Stahl and had her debut on the screen that same year in Only Yesterday.
    More Details Hide Details Sullavan preferred working on the stage and made only 16 movies, four of which were opposite James Stewart in a popular partnership that includes The Mortal Storm. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Three Comrades (1938). She retired from the screen in the early 1940s, but returned in 1950 to make her last movie, No Sad Songs for Me, in which she played a woman who was dying of cancer. For the rest of her career she would only appear on the stage. Sullavan experienced increasing hearing problems, depression, and mental frailty in the 1950s.
  • 1931
    Age 21
    Sullavan was married four times. She married actor Henry Fonda on December 25, 1931 while both were performing with the University Players in its 18-week winter season in Baltimore.
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    Sullavan made her debut on Broadway in A Modern Virgin (a comedy by Elmer Harris), on May 20, 1931.
    More Details Hide Details At one point in 1932 she starred in four Broadway flops in a row (If Love Were All, Happy Landing, Chrysalis (with Humphrey Bogart) and Bad Manners), but the critics praised Sullavan for her performances in all of them.
  • 1930
    Age 20
    She rejoined the University Players for most of their 18-week 1930-31 winter season in Baltimore.
    More Details Hide Details Sullavan's parents did not approve of her choice of career. She played the lead in Strictly Dishonorable (1930) by Preston Sturges, which her parents attended. Confronted with her evident talent, their objections ceased. "To my deep relief", Sullavan later recalled. "I thought I'd have to put up with their yappings on the subject forever." A Shubert scout saw her in that play as well and eventually she met Lee Shubert himself. At the time, Sullavan was suffering from a bad case of laryngitis and her voice was huskier than usual. Shubert loved it. In subsequent years Sullavan would joke that she cultivated that "laryngitis" into a permanent hoarseness by standing in every available draft.
    She returned for most of the University Players' 1930 season.
    More Details Hide Details In 1931, she squeezed in one production with the University Players between the closing of the Broadway production of A Modern Virgin in July and its tour in September.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1929
    Age 19
    In the summer of 1929 Sullavan appeared opposite Fonda in The Devil in the Cheese, her debut on the professional stage.
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    Sullavan succeeded in getting a chorus part in the Harvard Dramatic Society 1929 spring production Close Up, a musical written by Harvard senior Bernard Hanighen, who was later a composer for Broadway and Hollywood.
    More Details Hide Details The President of the Harvard Dramatic Society, Charles Leatherbee, along with the President of Princeton's Theatre Intime, Bretaigne Windust, who together had established the University Players on Cape Cod the summer before, persuaded Sullavan to join them for their second summer season. Another member of the University Players was Henry Fonda, who had the comic lead in Close Up.
  • 1927
    Age 17
    She attended boarding school at Chatham Episcopal Institute (now Chatham Hall), where she was president of the student body and delivered the salutary oration in 1927.
    More Details Hide Details She moved to Boston and lived with her half-sister, Weedie, where she studied dance at the Boston Denishawn studio and (against her parents' wishes) drama at the Copley Theatre. When her parents cut her allowance to a minimum, Sullavan defiantly paid her way as a clerk in the Harvard Cooperative Bookstore (The Coop), located in Harvard Square, Cambridge.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1909
    Born
    Born on May 16, 1909.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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