Margaret Leighton


  1. Joan Fontaine, Ivanhoe, 1952.     MGM was packed with English ladies.  Elizabeth Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons were up for other roles.
  2. Helen Cherry, Three Cases of Murder, 1954.   Chief among the anthology’s three creepy scripts is the tale of the “brilliant, but insuffrable” politico, Lord Mountdrago– played by (and one gathers almost wholly directed by) Orson Welles, with Mrs Trevor Howard, as Lady M.  In  place of Ralph Richardson and Leighton.

  3. Katharine Hepburn, Suddenly Last Summer, 1959. Kate despised the evil character as much as her 1936 Mary of Scotland. But enjoyed grabbing  the  role from  Vivien Leigh (revenge for losing Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind!) and Margaret Leighton.  The bonkers Mrs Violet Venable is a monstrous caricature of the American Mom.  She wants a lobotomy performed on her poor niece, Elizabeth Taylor, to kill her memory of how Mrs V’s homosexual son was killed and, indeed, cannibalised.  And it wasn’t even a Hammer Film!  Just Tennessee Williams at his most outlandish! 

  4. Noel Coward, Boom! 1968.     For The Witch of Capri… in  what proved the first bust for the Burtons.  Leighton worked with Liz (minus Burton) later in  Zee & Co (US:  X, Y and Zee), 1972.



 Birth year: 1922Death year: 1976Other name: Casting Calls:  4