Margaret Sullavan: The Life and Career of a Reluctant Star
Michael D. Rinella
In 1933, Margaret Sullavan made her film debut and was an overnight sensation. For the next three decades, she enchanted audiences and critics in any medium she chose—film, theater, television—and was regarded as one of the foremost dramatic actresses. Off screen, she epitomized the Southern Belle—beauty, hospitality and flirtatiousness. Deep down, she suffered from crippling insecurity, especially as a mother—a feeling exacerbated by progressive hearing loss. By age 50, she could no longer cope and took an overdose of sleeping pills. This biography covers her film career with insightful criticism from the period and details her personal life, including her marriage to Henry Fonda, her special friendship with James Stewart and her bitter rivalry with Katharine Hepburn.