Dorothy McGuire - Rotten Tomatoes

Dorothy McGuire



American actress Dorothy McGuire made her stage debut at age 13 in A Kiss For Cinderella in her home town of Omaha, opposite fellow aspiring actor and Omaha native Henry Fonda. McGuire went to Broadway in 1938 to understudy Martha Scott in the role of Emily Webb in Our Town, eventually taking over the part; she also underwent an ingenue's ordeal by fire, acting opposite the dissipated John Barrymore in My Dear Children. Claudia, produced in 1941, was Dorothy's first starring stage vehicle. On the strength of this play, she was put under contract by film producer David O. Selznick, whose first move was to lend the actress out to 20th Century-Fox to recreate her role as the immature newlywed in the 1943 filmization of Claudia. So popular was this film that a followup was made three years later, again starring McGuire, titled Claudia and David (1946). In the meantime she had played a far more mature role as the beleagured wife of alcoholic James Dunn in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), then finally made a film for Selznick, portraying an imperiled mute girl in The Spiral Staircase (1946). Always a star and never a starlet, McGuire refused to pose for cheesecake stills, turned down attempts to publicize her private life, and vetoed wearing makeup for her role as an extremely homely woman in The Enchanted Cottage (1945), opting (wisely) to convey the homeliness through facial expressions and lighting. The actress was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Gregory Peck's fiancee in Gentleman's Agreement (1947), but Oscars went instead to supporting actress Celeste Holm and to the picture itself. Alone among actresses her age, McGuire was able to fluctuate from romantic leads in such films as Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) to character parts in films like Friendly Persuasion (1956), relying neither on actor's affectations in the younger roles nor age makeup in the older ones. At age 46, she was still able to successfully portray the Virgin Mary in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). Living reclusively with her wealthy husband John Swope, McGuire chose her roles slowly and carefully in the latter part of her career, making quality appearances in such made-for-TV dramas as Rich Man Poor Man (1976) and Little Women (1979).

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Last Best Year
  • Anne
1990
No Score Yet Summer Heat
  • Narrator
1987
No Score Yet Amos
  • Hester Farrell
1985
No Score Yet The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel
  • Effie Webb
1979
No Score Yet The Runaways
  • Actor
1975
No Score Yet She Waits
  • Actor
1971
37% The Greatest Story Ever Told
  • Mary
1965
No Score Yet Summer Magic
  • Margaret Carey
1963
No Score Yet Susan Slade
  • Leah Slade
1961
80% Swiss Family Robinson
  • Mother
1960
No Score Yet The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
  • Cora Flood
1960
83% A Summer Place
  • Sylvia
1959
No Score Yet This Earth Is Mine
  • Actor
1959
100% Old Yeller
  • Katie Coates
1957
88% Friendly Persuasion
  • Eliza Birdwell
1956
No Score Yet Trial
  • Abbe Nyle
1955
63% Three Coins in the Fountain
  • Miss Frances
1954
No Score Yet Make Haste to Live
  • Crystal Benson
1954
No Score Yet Invitation
  • Ellen Barker Pierce
1952
No Score Yet I Want You
  • Nancy Greer
1951
No Score Yet Callaway Went Thataway
  • Deborah Patterson
1951
No Score Yet Mister 880
  • Ann Winslow
1950
78% Gentleman's Agreement
  • Kathy Lacey
1947
No Score Yet Till the End of Time
  • Pat Ruscomb
1946
86% The Spiral Staircase
  • Helen Capel
1946
100% A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Katie
1945
No Score Yet Claudia
  • Claudia Naughton
1943
83% The Enchanted Cottage
  • Laura Pennington
1924

Quotes from Dorothy McGuire's Characters

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