Margaret O’Brien

Margaret O'Brien Headshot

Actress

Birth Date: January 15, 1937

Age: 87 years old

Birth Place: San Diego, California

This child star of the 1940s is best known for her natural, emotional style and her startling facility for tears. As Maxine O'Brien (her birth name), she first appeared in a civil defense film starring James Cagney, then in a bit in "Babes on Broadway" (both 1941). Sensing her potential, MGM signed her, changed her first name to Margaret and starred her in the tour de force "Journey for Margaret" (1942), as a terrified London war orphan who "adopts" reporter Robert Young. It was an adult, intelligent and slightly scary performance which made her an overnight star. She was loaned out to Fox for "Jane Eyre" (1944).

O'Brien's next big showcase came with "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944). As Tootie Smith, the feisty but fragile little sister of Judy Garland, she was a bright point in a very good film, especially in her musical numbers with Garland and during a Halloween sequence in which she confronts a grouchy neighbor. For her performance, she was awarded a special juvenile Oscar. Her next two features, "Music for Millions" (1944) and the drama "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" (1945) were also impressive. Two good roles came her way in 1949, as the tragic Beth in a remake of "Little Women" and as Mary Lennox in "The Secret Garden."

Credits

Near Myth: The Oskar Knight Story

Self
Movie
2023

Hollywood Musicals

Actor
Show
2022

Impact Event

Actor
Movie
2020

Beverly Hills Christmas II

Actor
Mrs. Foxworth
Movie
2018

Halloween P... Trap Kill! Kill!

Actor
Bridgette's Grandmother
Movie
2017

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Actor
Ms. Stevenson
Movie
2017

HavenStream

Executive Producer
Series
2010
63%

Dead in Love

Actor
Cris
Movie
2009

Sunset After Dark

Actor
Movie
1996

Murder, She WroteStream

Guest Star
Jane
Series
1984

Hotel

Guest Star
Soap
1983

Amy

Actor
Hazel Johnson
Movie
1981

Death in Space

Actor
Movie
1974

Love, American Style

Actor
Miss Walker
Series
1969

Adam-12Stream

Guest Star
Series
1968

Combat!

Guest Star
Series
1962

Dr. Kildare

Guest Star
Series
1961

The Comedy Spot

Actor
Show
1960

Heller in Pink Tights

Actor
Della Southby
Movie
1960

La Diablesse au collant rose

Actor
Movie
1960

The June Allyson Show

Actor
Show
1959

RawhideStream

Guest Star
Series
1959

Little Women

Actor
Beth March
Movie
1958

Perry MasonStream

Guest Star
Virginia Trent
Series
1957

Wagon TrainStream

Guest Star
Series
1957

Glory

Actor
Clarabel Tilbee
Movie
1956

Climax!Stream

Actor
Series
1954

Showcase 39

Actor
Show
1952

I've Got a SecretStream

Guest
Game Show
1952

Her First Romance

Actor
Betty Foster
Movie
1951

What's My Line?Stream

Guest
Game Show
1950

Little WomenStream

Actor
Beth
Movie
1949
75%

The Secret GardenStream

Actor
Mary Lennox
Movie
1949

Studio OneStream

Actor
Series
1948

Big CityStream

Actor
Midge
Movie
1948

Tenth Avenue Angel

Actor
Flavia Mills
Movie
1948

The Unfinished Dance

Actor
"Meg" Merlin
Movie
1947

Tres Tontos Sabios

Actor
Movie
1946

La Ley del Valor

Actor
Movie
1946

Bad Bascomb

Actor
Emmy
Movie
1946

Three Wise Fools

Actor
Sheila O'Monahan
Movie
1946

Our Vines Have Tender GrapesStream

Actor
Selma Jacobson
Movie
1945

Jane EyreStream

Actor
Adele Varens
Movie
1944
100%

Music for Millions

Actor
Mike
Movie
1944

Meet Me in St. LouisStream

Actor
Tootie Smith
Movie
1944
100%

The Canterville GhostStream

Actor
Lady Jessica de Canterville
Movie
1944
86%

Lost Angel

Actor
Alpha
Movie
1944

Thousands Cheer

Actor
Customer in Red Skelton Skit
Movie
1943

Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case

Actor
Margaret
Movie
1943

Journey for Margaret

Actor
Margaret White
Movie
1942