Greer Garson Information

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Greer Garson Biography

    Greer Garson was born in London, England, on September 29, 1904. Her childhood was a normal if not non-descript life. Greer showed no early signs of interest in becoming an actress. She was educated at the University of London with the intentions of becoming a teacher. Instead, she opted to work with an advertising agency. During this time, she appeared in local theatrical productions gaining a reputation as an extremely talented actress. She was discovered by Louis B. Mayer while he was on a visit to London looking for new talent. Greer was signed to a contract with MGM and appeared in her first American film in 1939. The movie in question was Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), which won rave reviews and garnered her a nomination as best actress, the first of six nominations. Already, she was a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. The following year would see Greer in the highly acclaimed Pride and Prejudice (1940) as "Elizabeth Bennet". 1941 saw her get a second nomination for her role as Edna Gladney in Blossoms in the Dust (1941). Garson won her first Academy Award for Mrs. Miniver (1942), a role which she would forever be known by. As Marie Curie in Madame Curie (1943), she would get another nomination and the same the next year in Mrs. Parkington (1944). It seemed that any movie she was a part of would surely be a success. Sure enough, in 1945, she won yet another nomination for her role as "Mary Rafferty" in The Valley of Decision (1945). But, through the 1940s, she was constantly typecast in roles that didnt allow for a lot of creativity. MGM felt that the roles she played were sure winners and, for the time being, they were right, but that didnt make Garson feel any better about it. She would stay with MGM until 1954. In 1946, Greer appeared in Adventure (1945), which was a flop at the box-office. 1947s Desire Me (1947) was no less a disaster. Her downward spiral stopped in the hit That Forsyte Woman (1949). The next year, she reprised her role as "Kay Miniver" in The Miniver Story (1950). Unfortunately, it didnt fare too well. For the remainder of the 1950s, she endured several less-than-appreciated films. Then, 1960 found her cast in the role of Eleanor Roosevelt in Sunrise at Campobello (1960). This film was, perhaps, her finest work and landed her seventh Academy Award nomination. Her final appearances on the silver screen were in The Singing Nun (1966) as "Mother Prioress" and The Happiest Millionaire (1967). After a few TV movies, Garson retired to the New Mexico ranch she shared with her husband, millionaire Buddy E.E. Fogelson. She concentrated on the environment and other various charities. By the 1980s, she was suffering from chronic heart problems prompting her to slow down. That was the cause of her death on April 6, 1996 in Dallas, Texas. She was 91.

Greer Garson Filmography

  • (2010) A Star Is Born: Special Features as (archive footage)
  • (2009) 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year as (archive footage)
  • (2008) The Age of Believing: The Disney Live Action Classics as Mother (archive footage)
  • (2005) Pride and Prejudice Revisited as Elizabeth Bennet (archive footage) (uncredited)
  • (2005) The Adventures of Errol Flynn as Herself (archive footage)
  • (1997) The 69th Annual Academy Awards as Herself (Memorial Tribute) (archive footage)
  • (1996) Bogart: The Untold Story as Herself - Presenter at Oscar Ceremony (archive footage) (uncredited)
  • (1995) Victory in the Pacific as Herself (archive footage)
  • (1994) Entertaining the Troops as Herself (archive footage)
  • (1994) That's Entertainment! III as Performer in Film Clip (archive footage) (uncredited)
  • (1985) American Masters as Herself
  • (1982) Showbiz Goes to War as (archive footage)
  • (1981) A Gift of Music as Herself - Host
  • (1979) Christmas in New Mexico as Herself
  • (1978) Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Jimmy Stewart as Herself
  • (1978) Little Women as Aunt Kathryn March
  • (1978) Rockette: A Holiday Tribute to Radio City Music Hall as Herself
  • (1978) The 50th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Presenter: Best Art Direction
  • (1977) The Love Boat as Alice Bailey
  • (1976) That's Entertainment, Part II as Clip from 'Goodbye Mr. Chips' (archive footage)
  • (1976) The American Film Institute Presents a Salute to William Wyler as Herself
  • (1976) The Little Drummer Boy Book II as Our Story Teller (voice)
  • (1974) Crown Matrimonial as Queen Mary
  • (1974) That's Entertainment! as Herself - at Banquet (archive footage) (uncredited)
  • (1973) The 45th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Co-Presenter: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
  • (1968) The Little Drummer Boy as Our Story Teller (voice) (as Miss Greer Garson)
  • (1967) Mondo Hollywood as Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
  • (1967) Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In as Herself
  • (1967) Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In as Herself (uncredited)
  • (1967) Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In as Herself - Guest Performer
  • (1967) The Happiest Millionaire as Mother
  • (1967) The Joey Bishop Show as Herself
  • (1967) The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour as Herself
  • (1966) The Singing Nun as Mother Prioress
  • (1965) Hollywood Talent Scouts as Herself
  • (1965) The 37th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Co-Presenter: Best Costume Design
  • (1963) Hollywood and the Stars as Herself (archive footage)
  • (1963) Invincible Mr. Disraeli as Mary Anne Disraeli
  • (1963) The Art Linkletter Show as Herself
  • (1962) At This Very Moment as Herself
  • (1962) The 34th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Accepting Best Actress Award for Sophia Loren
  • (1962) The Merv Griffin Show as Herself
  • (1962) The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as Herself
  • (1962) The Virginian as Frances B. Finch
  • (1961) The 33rd Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Presenter: Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • (1961) The DuPont Show of the Week as Juliette Harben
  • (1960) Captain Brassbound's Conversion as Lady Cicely Waynflete
  • (1960) Pepe as Greer Garson
  • (1960) Sunrise at Campobello as Eleanor Roosevelt
  • (1959) The Big Party as Hostess
  • (1958) The 12th Annual Tony Awards as Herself - Presenter
  • (1956) Telephone Time as Liza Richardson
  • (1956) The Little Foxes as Regina Giddens
  • (1956) The Steve Allen Show as Herself - Guest
  • (1956) The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show as Herself
  • (1955) Star Stage as
  • (1955) Strange Lady in Town as Dr. Julia Winslow Garth
  • (1954) A Star Is Born World Premiere as Herself
  • (1954) Father Knows Best as Greer Garson
  • (1954) Her Twelve Men as Jan Stewart
  • (1954) Producers' Showcase as Elena Krug
  • (1954) Producers' Showcase as Herself
  • (1953) General Electric Theater as Antonia Stuart
  • (1953) General Electric Theater as Lydia Shaw
  • (1953) General Electric Theater as Molly Malloy
  • (1953) Julius Caesar as Calpurnia
  • (1953) Scandal at Scourie as Mrs. Victoria McChesney
  • (1953) The 25th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Presenter: Best Supporting Actor
  • (1952) The 24th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Presenter: Best Actor in Leading Role
  • (1952) The Bob Hope Show as Herself
  • (1952) This Is Your Life as Herself
  • (1951) The Law and the Lady as Jane Hoskins
  • (1951) The Red Skelton Show as Herself
  • (1951) The Red Skelton Show as Herself / Flower Lady
  • (1950) Screen Actors as Herself (uncredited)
  • (1950) The Miniver Story as Kay Miniver
  • (1950) What's My Line? as Herself
  • (1950) What's My Line? as Herself - Guest Panelist
  • (1950) What's My Line? as Herself - Mystery Guest
  • (1949) Some of the Best: Twenty-Five Years of Motion Picture Leadership as Herself (uncredited)
  • (1949) That Forsyte Woman as Irene Forsyte
  • (1948) Julia Misbehaves as Julia Packett
  • (1948) Toast of the Town as Herself
  • (1947) Desire Me as Marise Aubert
  • (1947) The 19th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Presenter: Best Art Direction
  • (1946) The 18th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Nominee: Best Actress in Leading Role
  • (1945) Adventure as Emily Sears
  • (1945) The Valley of Decision as Mary Rafferty
  • (1944) Mrs. Parkington as Susie 'Sparrow' Parkington
  • (1944) The 16th Annual Academy Awards as Herself - Presenter: Best Actress in Leading Role
  • (1943) Madame Curie as Marie Curie
  • (1943) The Youngest Profession as Herself - Guest Star
  • (1942) Mrs. Miniver as Mrs. Miniver
  • (1942) Random Harvest as Paula
  • (1941) Blossoms in the Dust as Edna Gladney
  • (1941) When Ladies Meet as Mrs. Claire Woodruff
  • (1940) Hollywood: Style Center of the World as Herself (archive footage)
  • (1940) Pride and Prejudice as Elizabeth Bennet
  • (1940) The Miracle of Sound as Herself (uncredited)
  • (1939) From the Ends of the Earth as Herself (archive footage)
  • (1939) Goodbye, Mr. Chips as Katherine
  • (1939) Remember? as Linda Bronson
  • (1937) How He Lied to Her Husband as
  • (1937) The School for Scandal as
  • (1937) Twelfth Night as Viola
  • (1936) Theatre Parade as
  • (1936) Theatre Parade as Viola
  • (1936) Theatre Parade as Yasmin
  • (1934) Inasmuch... as St. Clara

Greer Garson Trivia and Facts

  • Although it is sometimes bandied about as an anecdotal piece of Oscar trivia, she did not "ramble on for over an hour" after receiving her 1943 Academy Award for Mrs. Miniver (1942). Her acceptance speech was actually only 5-1/2 minutes in length. This still makes it the longest acceptance speech ever.
  • Her given name, Greer, was a contraction of MacGregor, her mothers maiden name.
  • Had homes in Dallas, Los Angeles and ranch near Pecos, New Mexico.
  • Graduated from the University of London and studied at the University of Grenoble
  • (1937) Signed up by MGM boss Louis B. Mayer when he saw her acting on a London stage.
  • Best known for her role in Mrs. Miniver (1942)
  • Well-known for activities on behalf of educational and cultural institutions.
  • Donated millions to have the Greer Garson Theater built, at the College of Santa Fe. She had three conditions that had to be followed: 1) It had to be a working circular stage, 2) the first play had to be A Midsummers Night Dream, and 3) it had to have large ladies restrooms.
  • She married Richard Ney after filming Mrs. Miniver (1942) , in which he played her son.
  • Received the Womens International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award in 1990.
  • Nominated for an Academy Award five years in a row: 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945. She holds the record for most consecutive nominations with Bette Davis.
  • Lana Turner remembered that in the MGM wardrobe department, Garsons fitting mannequin had the largest hips, "but she is a tall woman."
  • Was a recipient of the prestigious TACA/Neiman-Marcus Silver Cup Award for her contributions to the arts in Dallas.
  • There is a Greer Garson Theater on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Greer also donated many of her papers and personal effects to the Southern Methodist University Jake and Nancy Hamon Library.
  • A fire at her home destroyed the original Oscar she had won for best actress in Mrs. Miniver (1942). The Academy of Motion Pictures later sent her a replacement.
  • While at MGM in the 1940s she said that she would liked to have been cast in more comedies rather than dramas, and was jealous that those roles were given to another redhead who recently signed with the studio, Lucille Ball . Ironically, Ball was dissatisfied at being overlooked for dramatic roles.
  • Tutored by Laurence Olivier during her theatre days in London.
  • In the MGM all-star spectacular Ziegfeld Follies (1945) , there is a skit entitled "The Great Lady Gives an Interview" written by Roger Edens and Kay Thompson . It was originally meant to be performed by Garson as a spoof of her image in dramas such as Madame Curie (1943). She refused to do it, and Judy Garland did a satirical impersonation of her as "Madame Crematon, the inventor of the safety pin".
  • Replaced Rosalind Russell in the Broadway version of Auntie Mame in 1958.
  • In 1952, she accepted the Oscar for best actress in a leading role on behalf of Vivien Leigh , who wasnt present at the awards ceremony.
  • In 1962, she accepted the Oscar for best actress in a leading role on behalf of Sophia Loren , who wasnt present at the awards ceremony.
  • Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 225-227. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Daughter of Nina Ross .
  • In the 1982, she turned down Aaron Spelling s offer of a part in the hit soap "Dynasty" (1981) , playing mother to Joan Collins s Alexis.
  • Was one of the notable celebrities, along with Rosey Roosevelt Grier , who actively supported RFKs candidacy in 1968, prior to his tragic death.
  • Greer had three step-children, adopted by her husband Buddy E.E. Fogelson after his brothers death.
  • She was a fan of the film Top Gun (1986).
  • During the filming of Blossoms in the Dust (1941) she informed fan magazines that she planned to adopt two babies if she did not marry soon because every home in American should not be without children. She did not carry out her statement even though she did marry twice after declaring her wish to adopt.
  • Her first marriage lasted for the duration of her honeymoon. On her honeymoon in Germany (Harz Mountains) she was practically held hostage by her possessive husband and on her return to England she moved in with her mother and her husband moved to India.
  • In 1938 she suffered malnutrition from embarking on a crash diet to achieve the standard Hollywood slimline figure.
  • In Italy, almost all her films were dubbed by Tina Lattanzi , except When Ladies Meet (1941) and The Happiest Millionaire (1967) where she was dubbed respectively by Giovanna Scotto and Rosetta Calavetta.
  • Was in consideration for the part of Susan Trexell in Susan and God (1940) , but Joan Crawford was cast instead.
  • Grand-aunt of Jamie Dornan.
  • Played the wife of Walter Pidgeon a total of seven times; in Blossoms in the Dust (1941) , Mrs. Miniver (1942) , Madame Curie (1943) , Mrs. Parkington (1944) , Julia Misbehaves (1948) , The Miniver Story (1950) , and Scandal at Scourie (1953).
  • She was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month for March 2013.
  • Was a naturalized citizen of the United States.
  • She was a liberal Democrat.

Greer Garson Quotes

  • "I remember her as gracious and beautiful. She had stature, but it didnt make her inaccessible. She wasnt somebody youd poke and tell a dirty joke to, but she gave off a real feeling of warmth" -- actress Eve Plumb , who costarred with Garson in the 1978 TV adaptation of "Little Women" (1978) .
  • [In a 1990 interview, Garson deplored the violence of many modern films] "I think the mirror should be tilted slightly upward when its reflecting life -- toward the cheerful, the tender, the compassionate, the brave, the funny, the encouraging, all those things -- and not tilted down to the gutter part of the time, into the troubled vistas of conflict."
  • If youre going to be typed, there are worse moulds in which you can be cast.
  • All I know about getting something that you want is that there are three essential things: wanting, trying and getting the opportunity, the breaks. None works alone without the others. Wanting is basic. Trying is up to you. And the breaks - I do know this, they always happen.
  • [speaking in the 1970s] "Ive been offered nymphomaniacs, kleptomaniacs, pyromaniacs, homicidal maniacs and just plain maniacs. I think producers felt that after playing a long series of noble and admirable characters there would be quite a lot of shock value in seeing me play something altogether different. But I prefer upbeat stories that send people out of the theater feeling better than they did coming in. Its my cup of tea."

Greer Garson Photoshoots

  • "Picture Post" (UK), 7 August 1943, Vol. 20, Iss. 6, pg. 24-25, "Greer Garson: The Screen's First Lady"

Greer Garson Other Works

  • (1958) Stage: Appeared in "Auntie Mame" on Broadway.
  • (8/7/34) Stage: Appeared in 'William Shakespeare (I)' 's play, "Romeo & Juliet", at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park, London, England with 'Griffith Jones' , 'Margaretta Scott' , Eric Dance, 'Henry Baynton' , 'Leslie French' , 'Hubert Gregg' MBE, 'Terence de Marney' , Sir 'Ben Greet' , 'Sydney Bromley' , 'Michael Martin Harvey' and 'Laura Smithson' in the cast. Sir 'Robert Atkins (I)' was the director. 'Edward German' composed the original incidental music.
  • (1934) Stage: Appeared in 'William Shakespeare (I)' 's play, "A Midsummer's Night Dream", at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park, London, England, with 'Phyllis Neilson-Terry' , 'Pamela Stanley' , 'Ian Swinley' , 'John Laurie (I)' (as "Lysander"), 'Andrew Leigh (I)' , Sir 'Robert Atkins (I)' (also director), 'Valentine Rooke' , 'Margaretta Scott' , 'Eileen Beldon' and 'Leslie French' in the cast.
  • (1943) Promotional short film: "A Report from Miss Greer Garson", narrator/presenter, providing an update on the appeal by the March of Dimes for infantile paralysis
  • (9/16/46) Radio: Appeared (as "Marie Curie") in a "Lux Radio Theatre" production of "Madame Curie".

Greer Garson Trademarks

  • Red Hair

Greer Garson Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is Greer Garson's birthday?

      September 29, 1904

  • How tall is Greer Garson?

      5' 6"

  • How much does Greer Garson weigh?

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  • Where was Greer Garson born?

      29 September 1904, London, England, UK

  • What is Greer Garson's nickname?

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