Margaret Phillips (6 July 1923 – 9 September 1984) was a Welsh-born actress who was active on Broadway from the 1940s and in television in the 1950s and 1960s.

Early life

Margaret Phillips was born at Cwmgwrach, South Wales. She moved to the United States with her parents at age 16 and attended Walton High School, a girls' school in the Bronx.[1][2] She performed in summer theatre at Woodstock, New York and trained with actor Cecil Clovelly.[3]


Margaret Phillips had a stage career lasting from the 1940s until her last appearance in 1982. In 1947, she won the Clarence Derwent Award for "most promising female performer"[4] and the Donaldson Award for her supporting work in Another Part of the Forest.[5] She had a supporting role in Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke when it opened on Broadway in 1948.[6] In 1950 she replaced Irene Worth in Cocktail Party by T. S. Eliot.[7] She played Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1960.[8]

On screen, Phillips appeared as Ray Milland's disabled wife in A Life of Her Own (1950, George Cukor, director),[9] and in The Nun's Story (1959) with Audrey Hepburn, among other films. Phillips had a busy television career in the 1950s, with credits in NBC Matinee Theater and a 1950 production of Hedda Gabler for NBC. She played one of the King's daughters in a live 1953 television production of King Lear starring Orson Welles and staged by Peter Brook.[10] In 1959, she starred in an episode of Rawhide titled "Incident of the Dust Flower." In 1960, she starred in an episode of Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond titled "Call from Tomorrow."

Phillips was in the first membership class of the Actors Studio, along with Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Maureen Stapleton, and many other notable actors.[11]

Personal life

She died from cancer in New York City, in 1984, age 61.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
1950 A Life of Her Own Nora Harleigh
1959 The Nun's Story Sister Pauline (medical student)


  1. ^ Murray Schumach, "From Cwmgwrach to Broadway" New York Times (31 October 1948): X1.
  2. ^ a b "Margaret Phillips Dies at 61; Veteran Broadway Actress" New York Times (11 September 1984).
  3. ^ "Stratford's Olivia Finds Luck Important to Career" Bridgeport Post (10 July 1960): 31. via Newspapers.comopen access
  4. ^ Louis Calta, "Margaret Phillips Wins Stage Award" New York Times (8 May 1947): 31.
  5. ^ "For Fourth Year in a Row" Billboard (23 August 1947): 49.
  6. ^ George Tucker, "All Broadway is Talking about Phillips; Hailed 'Born Actress'" Terre Haute Tribune (28 November 1948): 23. via Newspapers.comopen access
  7. ^ Louis Sheaffer, "Miss Phillips' Accent Returns for an English 'Cocktail Party'" Brooklyn Daily Eagle (5 June 1950): 5. via Newspapers.comopen access
  8. ^ Edward P. Halline, "Lahr Brings Dream to Delightful Life in Bard's Midsummer Night Fantasy" Milwaukee Sentinel (20 November 1960): 6B.
  9. ^ Patricia King Hanson and Amy Dunkleberger, eds., AFI: American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States (University of California Press 1999): 1372. ISBN 9780520215214
  10. ^ Tony Howard, "When Peter met Orson: The 1953 CBS King Lear" in Linda E. Bose and Richard Burt, eds., Shakespeare, the Movie: Popularizing the Plays on Film, TV, and Video (Psychology Press 1997): 125. ISBN 9780415165853
  11. ^ Dick Kleiner, "The Actors Studio: Making Stars out of the Unknown" Sarasota Journal (21 December 1956): 26.