Margaret Wycherly

Margaret Wycherly

  • Highest Rated: 100% White Heat (1949)
  • Lowest Rated: 11% Forever Amber (1947)
  • Birthday: Invalid date
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • On-stage from 1898, British actress Margaret Wycherly toured in English repertory and American stock before making her Broadway premiere. Her biggest commercial stage success was Tobacco Road, but the role which made her a star was the low-born, smarter-than-she-seems phony spirtualist in The Thirteenth Chair, a murder mystery written for the actress by Bayard Veiller. Wycherly re-created the role in a 1919 silent film, then ten years later remade it as a talking picture. Despite the histrionics of Bela Lugosi as a police inspector, Wycherly dominated the 1929 Thirteenth Chair, playing each significant moment full-out, but without the artificiality which afflicated the rest of the cast. She remained active on stage and TV and in films (her last was Olivier's Richard III) for the rest of her life, but Margaret Wycherly would be memorable if only for two of her film appearances: As Gary Cooper's weary backwoods mother in Sergeant York (1941), for which she was Oscar-nominated, and as a far more malevolent parent, James Cagney's gangster "Ma" in White Heat. Though she was killed off midway in this film, audiences had no trouble remembering the hatchet-hard face and marrow-chilling voice of Margaret Wycherly just before the final fadeout, as Cagney blew himself up while screaming "Made it, Ma! Top of the World!"

Highest Rated Movies








No Score Yet The President's Lady Mrs. Robards 1953
No Score Yet The Man with a Cloak Mrs. Flynn 1952
100% White Heat Ma Jarrett 1949
No Score Yet The Loves of Carmen Old Crone 1948
11% Forever Amber Mrs. Song 1947
No Score Yet Something in the Wind Grandma Read 1947
100% The Yearling Ma Forrester 1946
No Score Yet Johnny Angel Miss Drumm 1945
100% Experiment Perilous Maggie 1944
85% Hangmen Also Die Aunt Ludmilla Novotny 1943
No Score Yet The Moon Is Down Mme. Orden 1943
89% Random Harvest Mrs. Deventer 1942
No Score Yet Keeper of the Flame Mrs. Forrest 1942
No Score Yet Crossroads Mme. Pelletier 1942
86% Sergeant York Mother York 1941
No Score Yet Call It Murder Mrs. Weldon 1934
No Score Yet The Thirteenth Chair Madame Rosalie La Grange 1929


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