Monday, February 4, 2013

Greer Garson

This is it.  In the past week or so, I've been putting up a few Hollywood celebrity postcards, and this is the last one I have.

I have to admit, Greer Garson isn't an actress that comes to mind when I think of classic movies.  The only movie of hers that I can remember is Mrs. Miniver, an overly sentimental film about a brave family during the London blitz.  In the end, actors and actresses aren't remembered for their acting, they're remembered for their movies.  Garson was a huge star in the forties, with five straight Academy Award nominations from 1941 to 1945, but didn't make that many memorable films.  There would eventually be seven nominations total, with one win, the already mentioned Mrs. Miniver.

She was born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson in England in 1904.  She was, for her day, a very well educated woman, attended King's College, London, and the University Of Grenoble, France, with  degrees in French and 18th century literature.  Garson's intention was to teach, but ended up working for an advertising agency.  Her acting career started in amateur stage productions, she joined some repertory companies, did some experimental television productions in the late thirties and was discovered, and signed to a contract by MGM after being spotted by Samuel Goldwyn while on a talent scouting trip.  Her first film was Goodbye Mr. Chips, made in 1939.  Her last theatrical film was The Happiest Millionaire in 1968.  She continued making occasional TV appearances, the last, Little Women, in 1978.   She became a naturalized American citizen and died in Texas in 1996.

Garson was married three times.  Her second husband, the actor Richard Ney played her son in Mrs. Miniver.  Her third husband was Texas oilman Buddy Fogelson.

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