Eileen Evelyn Garson, an actress who had been nominated for an Oscar seven
times, had always claimed to be the child of George and Nina Sophia
Garson, born in County Down, North Ireland
on September 29, 1908. However, shortly before she died, her birth certificate was discovered to show she'd been hiding the truth most of her life. She'd actually been born in 1904 in London
to a poor family, where her father died before she was one year old.
She was a good student in her youth, and received a scholarship to go to the University of London, where she earned a B.A. with honors in French and 18th Century Literature. She found a love early on as well, and joined a drama society while during the day she worked at a market research firm.
Greer made her first stage appearance in "Street Scene" where she recieved praise for her ability as an actress. She contiued with theater and eventually starred on stage in "Golden Arrow" opposite Laurence Olivier. Soon afterwards she signed a film contract and headed for Hollywood. Her first film was "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" in 1939, which won her an Oscar nomination. Movie roles came quickly after this, including "Blossoms in the Dust," "Mrs. Parkington" as well as "Mrs. Miniver," which would become her most famous role. She won an Oscar for "Mrs. Miniver," and her acceptance speech for the award is known as the longest one in the history of the Academy Awards, being almost six minutes long.
Shortly after "Mrs. Miniver," Garson married actor Richard Ney (fifteen years her junior) who had played her son in the film, though they divorced in 1947.
Her screen career declined after World War II, and though she attempted to regain her popularity, the movies that followed proved lackluster. Eventually she asked to be released from her contract. In 1949 Garson had married Texas cattle rancher Elijah E. "Buddy" Fogelson and the couple had homes in Dallas, Los Angeles, and New Mexico, where Garson became involved in breeding race horses. She did not stop acting altogether, but films following were few and far between. She managed to make one Oscar-nomination-worthy film, playing Eleanor Roosevelt in "Sunrise at Campobello" in 1960.
Garson also continued to make occasional appearances in film and on television in the '60s and '70s, and in 1977 she was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Ulster. She suffered a heart attack in 1980, then underwent a quadruple bypass in 1988. The British government named Greer Garson an honorary Commander of the British Empire in 1993. She died on April 6, 1996 and is buried in Texas.
Movie credits include:
"Pride and Prejudice"
"When Ladies Meet"
"The Law and the Lady"
Help for this node came from reelclassics.com