Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dame Margaret Rutherford (May 11, 1892 – May 22, 1972) was a British character actress who first came to prominence following World War II in the film adaptations of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.
Born in London, she made her stage debut in 1925 at the Old Vic. However, her appearance was such that romantic heroines were almost out of the question, and she soon established her name in comedy, appearing in many of the most successful British films of the mid-20th century. In most of these films, she had originally played the role on stage.
Her husband was the actor Stringer Davis , whom she married in 1945 and with whom she often appeared. Rutherford was awarded an OBE in 1961 and in 1967 she was created a Dame of the British Empire (DBE). She was a cousin of the politician, Tony Benn.
She suffered from Alzheimer's disease at the end of her life, and died 11 days after her 80th birthday, of complications from a hip injury. She is buried along with her husband in the graveyard of St. James Church, Gerrards Cross.
- Blithe Spirit (1945) (in which she played Madame Arcati)
- The Importance of Being Earnest (1952) (in which she played Miss Prism)
- The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)
- The Mouse that Roared (1959)
- Murder She Said (1961)
- Murder at the Gallop (1963)
- Murder Ahoy (1964)
- Murder Most Foul (1964)
- The VIPs (1963) (Best Supporting Actress Oscar)
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