Oscar Actors: Leighton, Margaret (Supporting Actress, The Go-Between)–Background, Career, Awards (Cum Advantage, 2 Tonys, Emmy)

Research in Progress (April 1, 2021)
Margaret Leighton Career Summary:

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Born in Barnt Green, Worcestershire, on February 26, 1922, Leighton made her stage debut as Dorothy in Laugh With Me (1938), which was also performed that year for BBC TV.

She soon became a star of the Old Vic. Her Broadway debut was as the Queen in Henry IV (1946) starring Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson during a visit of the Old Vic company, which performed five plays from its repertoire.

She appeared in two British films, including the starring role of Flora MacDonald opposite David Niven in Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948) and in the popular The Winslow Boy (also 1948).

In 1949, she played second female lead in Hitchcock’s Under Capricorn, starring Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten and Michael Wilding.

She starred with Walter Pidgeon in the MGM crime-mystery Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951).

Leighton won her first Tony Award as Best Actress in a Play for her performance in Separate Tables (1956).

She won another Tony for The Night of the Iguana (1962), playing Hannah Jelkes (a role played by Deborah Kerr on film) opposite Bette Davis’s Maxine Faulk.

Leighton was nominated for Best Actress in a Play for Much Ado About Nothing (1959) opposite John Gielgud and for Tchin-Tchin (1962) opposite Anthony Quinn.

She portrayed the wife of an American presidential candidate (Henry Fonda) in the 1964 film The Best Man, written by Gore Vidal.

She had a noteworthy list of TV appearances, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Ben Casey and Burke’s Law.

She won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama for Hamlet (1970),

She was nominated for an Emmy in 1966 for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama for four episodes of Dr. Kildare.

Her last appearance on Broadway was as Birdie Hubbard in a revival of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes(1967), starring Anne Bancroft as Regina Giddens.

For her role as Mrs. Maudsley in The Go-Between (1970) Leighton won the British BAFTA Film Award for Best Supporting Actress, and Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

She received a BAFTA nomination for Best British Actress for her role as Valerie Carrington in Carrington V.C. (1955).

Leighton was married three times, to publisher Max Reinhardt (1947–55); actor Laurence Harvey (1957–61); and actor Michael Wilding (1964–1976), her death). She had no children. She was awarded the CBE in 1974.

Leighton died of multiple sclerosis on January 13, 1976, age 53.