Maggie McNamara (Marguerite McNamara)
Photos with Maggie McNamara
BiographyNew York City, New York, USA
Maggie McNamara -- with her brown hair in a ponytail -- arrives in Rome in Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) expecting great things to happen. Petite and slender, she looks almost like a schoolgirl in her prim blue suit. She is bright and vivacious and goes for what she wants -- a proposal from "Prince Dino De Cessi" played by Louis Jourdan. She was in her mid-20s, then, and at the height of her career as she made her second film. Read more... to prepare for a modeling career. Pert as well as petite, she must have reminded people of the young Debbie Reynolds. Both had a look that was popular in the late 1940s. Maggie's picture appeared twice on the cover of Life Magazine and people were saying she too ought to be in movies. She started taking lessons with a dramatic coach and, at the age of 23, she was discovered by Otto Preminger. He signed her to play the role of a proper young lady who lets herself be lured to a bachelor's apartment in the Chicago production of a play of F. Hugh Herbert. She played the ingénue role in "The Moon Is Blue" in the national company for 18 months. Then, in 1951, she made it to Broadway in "The King of Friday's Men". Brooks Atkinson, drama critic for the New York Times, said of her performance in that play that she was "remarkably pretty and has a gift for acting". Then Maggie was offered the female lead in the Otto Preminger's film version of The Moon Is Blue (1953) with William Holden and David Niven. Theater patrons in New York and Chicago had found the stage version of the story amusing. The Catholic Legion of Decency was not amused when it previewed the film. It was stamped "C" for Condemned. The New York Times noted in 1978: "The Moon Is Blue aroused a storm of controversy because of what some observers regarded as 'indecent' discussion of sex, and the ridicule of the rules of parental protection. By current standards, it was, in fact, a prim and proper work". Maggie was supporting herself as a typist when she died in 1978. The New York Times obituary appeared four weeks after her death. It said she was 48. The relative who confirmed that she had died did not give the newspaper the date of her birth. The relative said Maggie had been doing some writing recently and a film script, "The Mighty Dandelion", had been accepted by a new film producing company.