Margaret Sullavan

The Life and Career of a Reluctant Star

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SKU: 9781476675237 Categories: , Tags: ,

About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Michael Rinella lives in Marion, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Michael D. Rinella
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7523-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3605-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Introduction: Clarity of Vision  1
1. Untamed Spirit  5
2. Frolicking with the Players  10
3. “Local Girl Makes Good”  17
4. The Volstead Ingénue Steps Out  23
5. The Winter of Their Discontent  27
6. In Search of a Good Play  32
7. “Discovered” by Stahl  38
8. Creating a Movie Star  42
9. A Reluctant Star Takes Flight  48
10. Encountering Hollywood’s Great Romanticist  53
11. Round Two with Henry Fonda  60
12. Wyler’s Pet Peeve  63
13. Shades of Scarlett  70
14. The “Showmanship” of Margaret Sullavan  77
15. Final Round with Henry Fonda  84
16. The Best of Both Worlds  92
17. Time Out for a Feud  99
18. Broken Promises  103
19. Triumphant Return to the Screen  106
20. Jimmy and Hot Apple Pie  115
21. Balancing Motherhood and Career  122
22. At the Peak of Her Artistry  129
23. The Approaching Storm  139
24. Taking a Bold Stand  148
25. No ­Small-Time Affair  155
26. Farewell to Universal  162
27. Fulfilling Her Obligations  168
28. The “Voice” That Rocked Broadway  175
29. Period of Uncertainty  181
30. ­Long-Awaited Return to the Screen  188
31. Renewed Interest  195
32. The Happiest Time  201
33. Deeper Into Despair  207
34. The Final Bow  213
35. Preserving the Legacy  217
Appendix A: Film Appearances  223
Appendix B: Radio Appearances  225
Appendix C: Stage Appearances  228
Appendix D: Television Appearances  232
Chapter Notes  233
Bibliography  244
Index  249