Maggie McNamara & Her Heartbreaking Suicide

Maggie McNamara

Maggie McNamara was an Oscar nominated actress who took her own life after her career ended

She was born Marguerite McNamara on June 18, 1928 in New York City. Maggie was one of four children and her parents divorced when she was nine. When she was a child she dreamed of being a ballet dancer. She enrolled at New York's Textile high school and studied to be a fashion designer. Her friends encouraged her to start modeling and she was signed by The John Powers agency. The lovely brunette quickly became one of their most successful models earning more than twenty-thousand dollars a year. In March of 1948 she was featured on the cover of Life magazine. After seeing her photo David O'Selznick offered her a movie contract but she turned it down. Maggie started taking acting classes and appeared in several plays. She married actor David Swift in 1951. Her big break came when she was cast in a Chicago production of The Moon Is Blue. Maggie would spend eighteen months touring with the show. When Otto Preminger made the film version of The Moon Is Blue he cast her in the lead role. The movie's depiction of sex made it very controversial and it was banned in several states.

Maggie McNamaraMaggie McNamara

Her performance got rave reviews and she was nominated for an Academy Award. She signed a contract with 20th Century Fox and starred in the 1954 movie Three Coins In The Fountain. Maggie upset the studio by refusing to pose for cheesecake photos or move to Los Angeles. While filming Prince Of Players she had an affair with Richard Burton. In 1957 her marriage to David ended. Soon after she suffered a nervous breakdown that left her unable to work for several years. She had a brief romance with script writer Walter Bernstein. Otto Preminger gave her a small role in his 1962 film The Cardinal. Then she made guest appearances on The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Unfortunately by 1965 her acting career was over. Maggie would spend the next decade working as a typist. She also wrote a script that she hoped would be made into a movie. Sadly she began suffering from severe depression. On February 18, 1978 she committed suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills and tranquilizers. Maggie was only forty-nine years old. She is buried in Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.

Maggie McNamaraMaggie McNamara