The next individual with whom I am paying tribute to in my Cinema’s Forgotten Legends Series is the incomparable stage, silver screen & television actress Dorothy McGuire (June 14th, 1916-September 13th, 2001)
One of classic Hollywood’s most profoundly underrated yet incredibly ingenious actresses during Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dorothy McGuire was a masterful talented thespian with an uncompromising and benevolent versatility in certain genres of classic films, a profoundly gifted and sensitive performer with a wholesome yet seeming reserved demeanor combined with a soft deeply enchanted speaking voice matched only by her compelling performances including those that she emulated later on in her film career as a genuinely respected character actress. McGuire was always one of my favorite actresses to view on Turner Classic Movies; I’ve always deeply admired, respected, loved and appreciated who she was to me as a whole plus so much more. Her onscreen persona spoke volumes and she delivered poignant portrayals of her characters which were engulfed with so much depth and understanding for many classic film lovers; she had an illustrious career in Hollywood that included countless film and television appearances. Some of those films in which I have enjoyed her in include The Spiral Staircase (1945) which was more of a Hitchcockian type of thriller starring George Brent, The Enchanted Cottage (1945), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), Invitation (1952) one of my absolute favorites from the romantic drama genres starring Van Johnson, Trial (1955), Old Yeller (1957), A Summer Place (1959), Susan Slade (1961), the television miniseries Rich Man Poor Man (1976) which I’m just getting into at the moment but so far I really enjoyed all of the performances especially McGuire’s, Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) with Louis Jourdan and finally Caroline? which was a 1990 Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-TV movie starring Stephanie Zimbalist that I viewed about 10 years ago via ABC7s (New York) Late Night Movie Feature PresentationAn awe-inspiring model of sincerity, practicality and dignity in most of the film roles that she emanated, Dorothy McGuire selflessly possessed a quiet passive beauty yet still wise beyond her years: Combined with a soothing irrepressible persona that highlighted an even greater range of talent, emotion, depth and intelligence in the cinematic spotlight. In a film and television career that’s lasted close to 50 years (1943-90), McGuire’s selfless contributions to Hollywood’s Golden Age has not only left an indelible lasting impression to classic film lovers everywhere, but they’ve also served as a constant reminder to the picturesque portraits of cinematic delight which we have come to know and love still; she sparkled with a luminescent glow and sheer unique brilliance that no other starlet in the modern era today could quite compare to combined with an unmatched level of courage, self-respect, inspiration, compassion, kindness and selflessness. She received her first & only Academy Award nomination in the Best Actress field for her incredibly riveting performance as Gregory Peck’s determined romantic interest Kathy Lacey in 1947s Gentleman’s Agreement
Even though the classic drama, along with Miracle on 34th Street, took home 3 wins each, McGuire lost the Best Actress Award to Loretta Young for The Farmer’s Daughter during the 20th Academy Awards which were held on March 20th, 1948. Despite not winning the coveted golden statuette, I personally feel that she’s won already: by the countless enduring passionate fans of classic films who selflessly continue to appreciate and remember those who deserve a rightful shine in the cinematic spotlight not just on the silver screen but through the memories of their childhood as well. I for one am so amazed to have found both my calling and passion in which I can be able to share unconditionally with those who feel the same way as I do; Dorothy McGuire has become my favorite actress in more ways than one! I always felt that she was also an incredibly underrated talent who never got the cinematic recognition that she so rightly deserved; on September 13th 2001, Dorothy McGuire passed away at the age of 85 from cardiac arrest following a brief illness. Even though the classic film world lost an indelible legend who has graced our silver screens with her poignant brilliance, thanks to Turner Classic Movies as well as other classic media outlets Dorothy McGuire’s cinematic legacy will be remembered always and forevermore in our hearts!