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.
Margaret Sullavan preferred working on the stage and did only 16 movies. She retired from the screen in the early forties, but returned in 1950 to make her last movie, No Sad Songs For Me, in which she plays a woman who is dying of cancer. For the rest of her career she would only appear on the stage.
Sullavan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Three Comrades. She died of an overdose of barbiturates on January 1, 1960 at the age of 50.
Sullavan was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the daughter of a wealthy stockbroker, Cornelius Sullavan and his wife, Garland Brooke. The first years of Margaret’s childhood were spent isolated from other children. She suffered from a painful muscular weakness in the legs that prevented her from walking, so that she was unable to mingle with other children until the age of six. After recovery she emerged as an adventurous and tomboyish child who preferred playing with the children from the poorer neighborhood, much to the regrets of her class-conscious parents.