Monday, 16 May 2016

Happy Birthday, Henry Fonda & Margaret Sullavan!

(May 16, 1905 — August 12, 1982)
If there is something in my eyes, a kind of honesty in the face, then I guess you could say that's the man I'd like to be, the man I want to be.

(May 16, 1908 — January 1, 1960)
Perhaps I'll get used to this bizarre place called Hollywood, but I doubt it.

FUN FACT: Besides being born on the same day, Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullavan were briefly married in the early 1930s and starred in one film together, William A. Seiter's screwball comedy The Moon's Our Home (1936), made three years after their divorce. Henry and Margaret met in 1929, when they were both members of the University Players, an intercollegiate summer stock company formed by Joshua Logan. They soon began a relationship and acted in a few more plays together, before marrying on December 25, 1931. The couple eventually separated in either February or March 1932, with the divorce being finalized sometime in 1933. After appearing together in The Moon's Our Home, Henry and Sullavan discovered that they still had strong feelings for each other. They even discussed remarriage and went house-hunting in Los Angeles, but never did get together in the end. In late 1936, Henry married socialite Frances Ford Seymour, mother to Jane and Peter Fonda, while Margaret married her agent, Leland Hayward, the father of her three children.

 Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullavan (far right) at the beach in 1929

Henry and Margaret on the set of The Moon's Our Home

 Henry and Margaret ca. 1936


  1. Wow, both born on the same day! I never knew that. That's interesting that they considered re-marriage. I know that James Stewart wanted to marry Margaret Sullavan but his pal Henry had first dibs. I never really saw the attraction in her on film, but I know one day it will pop out and grab me ( I felt the same way about Grace Kelly once and then she became my favorite actress! ).

    1. James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan was like the love story that never was. He was so completely in love with (you can see that in the films they did together) and it breaks my heart a little bit that she didn't feel the same way about him.

      I understand what you're saying about Margaret. She didn't really grab my attention the first time I saw her on film, but after watching a few more of her pictures, I started to truly admire her as an actress and now she is one of my favorites. That happened to me with Loretta Young as well.

  2. I really like Henry Fonda but I LOVE Margaret Sullavan. Such a unique and individual talent. I could listen to her voice for hours. I've always been sorry she did so few films, though according to her daughter Brooke's biography of the family "Haywire" she detested making movies.

    The two remained close throughout their lives until Maggie Sullavan committed suicide and Fonda spoke so tenderly of her in his autobiography. Their children were close as well, Bridget Fonda is named after Sullavan's youngest daughter-sadly also a suicide-who was beloved by Peter Fonda.

    I've seen a large portion of both of their filmographies but unfortunately not their co-starring film, hopefully one day!

    Of course the upside to making so few movies is that none of hers, at least of the ones I've seen, are truly bad, So Red the Rose comes close but it's really just a dry run for Gone With the Wind. Of those I've seen my favorites are Cry Havoc!, Back Street and of course The Shop Around the Corner.