Margaret Brooke Sullavan (May 16, 1909 – January 1, 1960) was an American actress of stage and film.
Sullavan began her career onstage in 1929. In 1933 she caught the attention of movie director John M. Stahl and had her debut on the screen that same year in Only Yesterday. Sullavan preferred working on the stage and made only 16 movies, four of which were opposite James Stewart in a popular partnership that included The Mortal Storm. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Three Comrades (1938). She retired from the screen in the early 1940s, but returned in 1950 to make her last movie, No Sad Songs for Me, in which she played a woman who was dying of cancer. For the rest of her career she would appear only on the stage.
Sullavan experienced increasing hearing problems, depression, and mental frailty in the 1950s. She died of an overdose of barbiturates, which was ruled accidental, on January 1, 1960 at the age of 50.
On January 1, 1960, at about 5:30 p.m., Sullavan was found in bed, barely alive and unconscious, in a hotel room in New Haven, Connecticut. Her copy of the script to Sweet Love Remembered, in which she was then starring during its tryout in New Haven, was found open beside her. Sullavan was rushed to Grace New Haven Hospital, but shortly after 6:00 p.m. she was pronounced dead on arrival. She was 50 years old. No note was found to indicate suicide, and no conclusion was reached as to whether her death was the result of a deliberate or an accidental overdose of barbiturates. The county coroner officially ruled Sullavan's death an accidental overdose. After a private memorial service was held in Greenwich, Connecticut, Sullavan was interred at Saint Mary's Whitechapel Episcopal Churchyard in Lancaster, Virginia.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Margaret Sullavan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 1751 Vine Street. She was inducted, posthumously, into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1981.