Margalo Gillmore dies

NEW YORK -- Film and stage actress Margalo Gillmore died in her Manhattan apartment at the age of 89, The New York Times said.

Gillmore, who starred in several Broadway hits since she started on the New York stage in 1917, died Monday, the Times said.


Hits in her 50-year career included 'The Barretts of Wimpole Street,' 'The Women' and 'Life With Father.'

Gillmore's father, Frank, also an actor, was a founder of the Actors Equity in New York.

She married director-actor Robert Ross in 1935. Ross died in 1954 not long after they appeared together in 'Kind Sir' with Mary Martin and Charles Boyer.

Gillmore, who was born in London, published her autobiography, 'Four Flights Up,' in 1964. The book talks about growing up in Manhattan.

There were no immediate survivors.

One of Gillmore's major roles was that of Mary Haines, a wife betrayed by her husband in 'The Women' by Claire Boothe Luce. Gillmore recounted the play's opening on Broadway 30 years later.

Gillmore said she received the script from Max Gordon, a leading Broadway producer, and was surprised by the 'risque' dialogue.

But she met the playwright Moss Hart and asked him what he thought of the script. Hart said, 'I think if anyone wants to run a year in New York, it's a very good script,' she recalled.


Gillmore said since she just got married and was broke, she decided to take the job. When asked if she liked the script by Luce, Gillmore said she remembered all her bills at home and said 'I love it.' The play ran for nearly two years at the Ethel Barrymore Theater.

She first appeared on Broadway in 'The Scrap of Paper,' which opened in 1917. Gillmore then appeared on Broadway each year after that up until 1961. She also performed on the London stage.

In films, Gillmore appeared in 'High Society,' 'Perfect Strangers,' and 'A Woman's World.'

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