British comedy actress, Margaret Rutherford as Nurse Carey in Mad About Men (1954)

Margaret Rutherford

(1892–1972)

British actress (d. 80) | Passport to Pimlico (1949), The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), Quiet Wedding (1941)

Inimitable, garrulous, shapeless, endearing British comedy actress, who usually seemed to be playing somebody’s slightly dotty spinster aunt

Mini Biography

Born in London, Margaret Rutherford studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and worked as a piano teacher; she was 33 when she started her professional career, studying at the Old Vic School and acting in various repertory theatres. The daughter of a man who had spent seven years in Broadmoor criminal asylum for killing his father, and a mother who committed suicide, she suffered from several nervous breakdowns, fearing that she, too, might go mad. Married Stringer Davis in 1945.

Her best roles were as Miss Prism in The Important of Being Earnest, Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, Headmistress Miss Evelyn Whitchurch in The Happiest Days of Your Life and the Duchess of Brighton in The VIPs, though her most popular role was probably as Agatha Christie’s detective Miss Marple in four films.

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Dusty Ermine (1936)
Miss Butterby
Talk of the Devil (1936)
Housekeeper
Beauty and the Barge (1937)
Mrs Baldwin
Quiet Wedding (1941)
Magistrate
Spring Meeting (1941)
Aunt Bijou
Yellow Canary (1943)
Mrs Towcester
The Demi-Paradise (1943)
Rowena Ventnor
English Without Tears (1944)
Lady Christabel Beauclerk
Blithe Spirit (1945)
Madame Arcati
Miranda (1948)
Nurse Carey
Passport to Pimlico (1949)
Professor Hatton-Jones
Her Favourite Husband (1950)
Mrs Dotherington
The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)
Muriel Whitchurch
The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)
Miss Letitia Prism
Curtain Up (1952)
Catherine Beckwith / Jeremy St Clair
Miss Robin Hood (1952)
Miss Honey
Innocents in Paris (1953)
Gwladys Inglott
Trouble in Store (1953)
Miss Bacon
Mad About Men (1954)
Nurse Carey
The Smallest Show on Earth (1957)
Mrs Fazackalee
Just My Luck (1957)
Mrs Dooley
I’m All Right Jack (1959)
Aunt Dolly
On the Double (1961)
Lady Vivian
Murder She Said (1961)
Miss Marple
Murder at the Gallop (1963)
Miss Jane Marple
The Mouse on the Moon (1963)
Grand Duchess Gloriana XIII
The VIPs (1963)
The Duchess of Brighton
Murder Most Foul (1964)
Miss Jane Marple
Murder Ahoy (1964)
Miss Jane Marple
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Watch Margaret Rutherford on British television