Margaret O'Brien (born January 15, 1937) is an American film and stage actress. Although her film career as a leading character was brief, she was one of the most popular child actors in cinema history. In her later career, she appeared on stage and in supporting film roles.
She was born Angela Maxine O'Brien. Her father, a circus performer, died months after her birth; Margaret's mother, Gladys Flores, was a well-known flamenco dancer who often performed with her sister Marissa, also a dancer. Margaret is of half-Irish and half-Spanish ancestry.
She made her first film appearance in Babes on Broadway (1941) at the age of four, but it was the following year that her first major role brought her widespread attention. As a five-year-old in Journey for Margaret (1942), O'Brien won wide praise for her convincing acting style. By 1943, she was considered a big enough star to have a cameo appearance in the all-star military show finale of Thousands Cheer.