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Margaret Lockwood, CBE (15 September, 1916 - 15 July, 1990) was a Britishmarker actress, notable for her performance in the 1945 Gainsborough movie The Wicked Lady.

Early life

Born and christened Margaret Mary Lockwood in Karachimarker, British India (now Karachi, Pakistanmarker), to a Englishmarker administrator of a railway company and his Scottishmarker wife. Lockwood's family returned to the United Kingdom while she was a child, aged 3, with her brother Lyn. She then attended Sydenham High Schoolmarker for girls, and a ladies school in Kensingtonmarker, Londonmarker.

She began studying for the stage at an early age under Italia Conti, and made her debut in 1928, at the age of 12, at the Holborn Empiremarker, where she played a fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In December of the following year, she appeared at the Scala Theatremarker in the pantomime The Babes in the Wood. In 1932, she appeared at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lanemarker in Cavalcade.

Lockwood then trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in Londonmarker, where she was seen by a talent scout and signed to a contract. In June 1934, she played Myrtle in House on Fire at the Queen's Theatremarker, and on 22 August 1934 appeared as Margaret Hamilton in Gertrude Jenning's play Family Affairs when it premiered at the Ambassadors Theatremarker; Helene Ferber in Repayment at the Arts Theatremarker in January 1936; Trixie Drew in Henry Bernard's play Miss Smith at the Duke of York's Theatremarker in July 1936; and back at the Queen's in July 1937 as Ann Harlow in Ann's Lapse. After 1937, she devoted herself entirely to films.


Lockwood had entered films in 1934, and in 1935 she appeared in the film version of Lorna Doone. In 1938 she starred in her most successful film, Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, in which she first appeared with Michael Redgrave. In 1940, she played the role of Jenny Sunley, the self-centred, frivolous wife of Michael Redgrave's character in The Stars Look Down.She also appeared in the Gate Theatremarker, Dublinmarker.

In the early 1940s, Lockwood changed her on-screen image to play villainesses in both contemporary and period films, becoming the most successful actress in British films during that period. Her greatest success was in the title role in The Wicked Lady (1945), a film which was controversial in its day and brought her considerable publicity.

In 1946 Lockwood gained the Daily Mail National Film Awards First Prize for most popular British film actress.

She continued to act until the late 1970s. One of her last major roles was in the television series Justice. She was created a CBE in 1980. Her acceptance of this award marked her last public appearance.

Margaret Lockwood had married Rupert Leon. She lived her final years in seclusion and died in Kensington and Chelseamarker, London, from cirrhosis of the liver, aged 73. She was cremated at Putney Vale Crematoriummarker.

She is survived by her daughter, actress Julia Clark (née Margaret Julia Leon, born 1941).

Select filmography


  1. Date of birth: Fandango website. Retrieved on 3 March 2008.
  2. Obituary from The Times [1]
  3. Deaths England and Wales 1984-2006

Further reading

  • Parker, John, Who's Who in the Theatre, 10th revised edition, Pitmans, London, 1947, p. 945-6.

External links

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