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Dorothy Hackett McGuire (June 14, 1916 – September 13, 2001) was an American actress.


Born in Omaha, Nebraskamarker, she began her acting career on the stage at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Eventually, she succeeded on Broadwaymarker, first appearing as an understudy to Martha Scott in Our Town, and subsequently starring in the domestic comedy, Claudia.

Brought to Hollywood by producer David O. Selznick on the strength of her stage performance, McGuire starred in her first film, a movie adaptation of her Broadway success, Claudia, and portrayed the character of a child bride who almost destroys her marriage through her selfishness. Her inaugural screen performance was popular with both the public and critics alike and was the catalyst for not only a sequel, Claudia and David (both movies co-starring Robert Young), but also for numerous other film roles.

McGuire had a long Hollywood career. Her versatility served her well in taut melodramas, such as The Spiral Staircase and Make Haste to Live, as well as in light, frothy comedies, such as Mother Didn't Tell Me and Mister 880. By 1943, at the age of 27, she was already playing mother roles, in such movies as A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1947 for Gentleman's Agreement. Other notable films include Three Coins in the Fountain, Friendly Persuasion, Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Married to Life Magazine photographer John Swope for more than 35 years, she had a son, photographer Mark Swope, and a daughter Topo (born 1948), who also became an actress. McGuire died of cardiac arrest following a brief illness at the age of 85 in 2001.

McGuire has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker at 6933 Hollywood Blvd.

McGuire is an alumna of private liberal arts college, Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. McGuire often contributed her time and talent to the acting program.

"In Memoriam" Omission by the Academy at 2002 Oscars

In March 2002, Dorothy's family was hurt and disappointed after Dorothy's name was unwittingly omitted by the Motion Picture Academy from the "In Memoriam" tribute of the 2002 telecast. The Academy explained that it was not an oversight or a slight, but that they have room only for 15-20 names in a single tribute. However, left unexplained was why they managed to include lesser film personalities such as Aaliyah.


Year Title Role
1943 Claudia Claudia Naughton
1944 Reward Unlimited Peggy
1945 The Enchanted Cottage Laura Pennington
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Katie Nolan
The Spiral Staircase Helen Capel
1946 Claudia and David Claudia Naughton
Till the End of Time Pat Ruscomb
1947 Gentleman's Agreement Kathy Lacy
1950 Mother Didn't Tell Me Jane Morgan
Mister 880 Ann Winslow
1951 Callaway Went Thataway Deborah Patterson
I Want You Nancy Greer
1952 Invitation Ellen Bowker Pierce
1954 Make Haste to Live Crystal Benson
Three Coins in the Fountain Miss Frances
1955 Trial Abbe Nyle
1956 Friendly Persuasion Eliza Birdwell
1957 Old Yeller Katie Coates
1959 The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker Mrs. Emily "Ma" Pennypacker
This Earth Is Mine Martha Fairon
A Summer Place Sylvia Hunter
1960 The Dark at the Top of the Stairs Cora Flood
Swiss Family Robinson Mother Robinson
1961 Susan Slade Leah Slade
1963 Summer Magic Margaret Carey
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told The Virgin Mary
1971 Flight of the Doves Granny O'Flaherty
1973 Jonathan Livingston Seagull Mother (voice)
1987 Summer Heat Narrator (voice)

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