Margaret O'Brien - Rotten Tomatoes

Margaret O'Brien

Highest Rated:   100% Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
Lowest Rated:   83% Little Women (1949)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   San Diego, California, USA
Thanks to the strenous efforts of her mother, a former dancer, American child actress Margaret O'Brien won her first film role at age four in the Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland musical Babes on Broadway (1941). MGM was so impressed by the child's expressiveness and emotional range that she was given the title role in the wartime morale-booster Journey For Margaret (1942). She was so camera-savvy by the time she appeared in Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943) that the film's star Lionel Barrymore declared that had this been the Middle Ages, O'Brien would have been burned at the stake! Some of her coworkers may secretly have wished that fate on O'Brien, since she reportedly flaunted her celebrity on the set, ostensibly at the encouragement of her parents. Famed for her crying scenes, O'Brien really let the faucets flow in her best film, Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), in which her character also predated Wednesday Addams by two decades with a marked fascination for death and funerals. In 1944, O'Brien was given a special Academy Award, principally for work in Meet Me In St. Louis. As she grew, her charm faded; by 1951's Her First Romance, she was just one of a multitude of Hollywood teen ingenues. A comeback attempt in the 1956 film Glory was servicable, but the film was badly handled by its distributor RKO Radio and failed to re-establish the actress. A more fruitful role awaited her in a 1958 TV musical version of Little Women, in which O'Brien played Beth, the same role she'd essayed in the 1949 film version. In 1960, O'Brien had a strong supporting part in the period picture Heller in Pink Tights (1960), ironically playing a onetime child actress whose stage mother is trying to keep her in "kid" roles. In between summer theatre productions, O'Brien would resurface every so often in another TV show, reviewers would welcome her back, and then she'd be forgotten until the next part. The actress gained a great deal of weight in the late 1960s, turning this debility into an asset when she appeared in a "Marcus Welby MD" TV episode (starring her Journey for Margaret costar Robert Young) in which she played a woman susceptible to quack diet doctors. A bit thinner, and with eyes as wide and expressive as ever, O'Brien has recently appeared in a handful of episodes of "Murder She Wrote," that evergreen refuge for MGM luminaries of the past.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Near Myth: The Oskar Knight Story
  • Herself
2016
No Score Yet Saul: The Journey to Damascus
  • Producer
2015
No Score Yet The Red Dress
  • Producer
2015
No Score Yet Dangerous Arrangement
  • Producer
2015
No Score Yet Dear Viola
  • Producer
2014
No Score Yet My Gal Sunday
  • Executive Producer
2014
No Score Yet Rocky Road
  • Producer
2014
No Score Yet Mom's Day Away
  • Executive Producer
2014
No Score Yet Guess Who's Coming To Christmas
  • Executive Producer
2013
No Score Yet Child Stars: Their Story
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Creaturealm: From the Dead & Demons Wake
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Hollywood Mortuary
  • Herself
1998
No Score Yet Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Princess Diana: The Queen of Hearts
  • Narrator
1997
No Score Yet The Canterville Ghost
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet Amy
  • Hazel Johnson
1981
No Score Yet Heller in Pink Tights
  • Della
1960
No Score Yet Glory
  • Clarabel Tilbee
1956
No Score Yet The Secret Garden
  • Mary Lennox
1949
83% Little Women
  • Beth
1949
No Score Yet Tenth Avenue Angel
  • Flavia Milla
1948
No Score Yet The Unfinished Dance
  • 'Meg' Merlin
1948
No Score Yet Bad Bascomb
  • Emmy
1946
No Score Yet Our Vines Have Tender Grapes
  • Selma Jacobson
1945
No Score Yet Music for Millions
  • Mike
1944
100% Meet Me In St. Louis
  • Tootie Smith
1944
83% The Canterville Ghost
  • Lady Jessica de Canterville
1944
100% Jane Eyre
  • Adele
1944
No Score Yet Lost Angel
  • Alpha
1943
83% Madame Curie
  • Irene at Age Five
1943
No Score Yet Thousands Cheer
  • Guest
1943
No Score Yet Journey for Margaret
  • Margaret
1942
No Score Yet Babes on Broadway
  • Bit Part
1941

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Bitten
2014-2016
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014

Quotes from Margaret O'Brien's Characters