Hélène Teresa Maguire
22 February 1919
|Died||18 May 1974 55) (aged|
Long Beach, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)|| Robert Gordon-Canning (1940–1944) (divorced) (1 child)|
Philip Henry Legarra (1945–1971) (his death)
Mary Maguire (born Hélène Teresa Maguire;   22 February 1919 – 18 May 1974) was an Australian-born actress who briefly became a Hollywood and British film star in the late 1930s.
Maguire was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Michael "Mickey" Maguire, footballer, racehorse owner, hotel proprietor, and former welterweight boxer   and Mary Jane Maguire (née Carroll).  Nicknamed "Peggy" by the family, she was the second of five sisters. She grew up in Melbourne and Brisbane, her father managing the famous "Bull and Mouth Hotel" in Bourke Street, Melbourne,  and later the iconic Bellevue Hotel, Brisbane.  In Melbourne she attended the Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy.
Maguire began acting when she was cast in the film Heritage by director Charles Chauvel at the age of 16. Elsa Chauvel wrote in her 1973 memoirs: "This lovely child was brought to our notice by a Brisbane publicity man... fresh from a Queensland convent."  Changing her name to Mary, Maguire then starred in The Flying Doctor , an Australian-British co-production that was filmed in Australia by director Miles Mander and also starred American actor Charles Farrell. 
With encouragement from Miles Mander, Maguire and her family moved to Hollywood in September 1936.  Mander gave her an introduction to fellow Australian expat John Farrow, who arranged for an interview with a casting director that led to a contract with Warner Bros. 
Maguire made her U.S. debut in the B movie That Man's Here Again with comedian Hugh Herbert, followed by Confession with Kay Francis and Ian Hunter, Alcatraz Island with Ann Sheridan and John Litel, and Sergeant Murphy with Ronald Reagan. 
In February 1938, she left Warners for 20th Century Fox. Reports said she was seen in the company of 20th Century Fox executive Joe Schenck, who "believed in her career." 
In 1938, after appearing in Mysterious Mr. Moto , she moved to Great Britain, where she appeared in a number of films,  including Keep Smiling , a Gracie Fields comedy. As one of only a handful of Australian actors working internationally in film at the time, her career attracted considerable attention from Australian newspapers between 1936 and 1946.
Maguire's reasons for leaving Hollywood in 1938 are unclear. There is some evidence that she had originally intended to travel to Britain in 1936.  On the other hand, in November 1937 a newspaper reported she had "mutinied" and been temporarily removed from Warner Brothers' payroll because she wanted dramatic roles rather than ingénue roles.  Subsequently, she starred in British dramas such as The Outsider opposite George Sanders, Black Eyes , opposite Otto Kruger, An Englishman's Home with Edmund Gwenn and This Was Paris with Ann Dvorak.
In mid 1939, she announced her engagement to Robert Gordon-Canning MC , a First World War veteran thirty years her senior. He had been active in far-right British politics, including the British Union of Fascists and The Link.  When their engagement was announced, Maguire felt the need to publicly disassociate herself from Gordon-Canning's political views and anti-Semitism. In July 1939, she told a journalist from The Australian Women's Weekly : "I have no Fascist sympathies... and do not intend to take part in my fiancé's political life... I was given my big chance in Hollywood where there are many Jews. It would be both ungrateful and unkind of me to ally myself because of marriage with the Fascist Party."  They married in August 1939, attracting great publicity, partly because she was carried to the wedding in an invalid chair, supposedly with a broken ankle.   Several years later, she revealed that she had been suffering tuberculosis at the time of the wedding. Her sickness, which she characterized as "a wonky lung", was attributed to "exposure to inclement weather in Hollywood". 
Ironically, amongst his previous fascist publications, Gordon-Canning had written disparagingly of the influence and tone of Hollywood films.  Although he was interned in July 1940, and she was still ill,  a son, Michael Robert, was born in February 1941; he died in early 1942.  Maguire's last film was This Was Paris , made in 1942 in England, a story of the activities of fifth columnists in Paris before its fall.  She and Gordon-Canning divorced in 1944,  and Maguire described the marriage as a "closed chapter" in her life. She attempted to restart her Hollywood career, but although still aged only 26, her efforts were to no avail.
Her second marriage was to Philip Henry Legarra, a U.S. engineer,  who had been sent to Britain to promote the Mustang fighter plane. 
She died at Long Beach, California, in 1974.
In 2019, Michael Adams published a biography of Maguire, Australia's Sweetheart: The Amazing Story of Forgotten Hollywood Star Mary Maguire. 
Elsa Chauvel claimed the Maguire sisters were known as "The Marrying Maquires" because they took "London by storm" when they arrived there, making "spectacular marriages".  The oldest Maguire girl, Patricia, married Peter Rudyard Aitken, the son of Lord Beaverbrook, and was the mother of the current 6th Baronet Green of Wakefield.  The third Maguire daughter, Joan, acted on stage in London under the name Joan Shannon.  Carmel Maguire married John Wodehouse, 4th Earl of Kimberley, and was the mother of the current Earl.  The youngest of the girls, "Lupe" (actually christened Mary), married British hire car "king" Godfrey Davis, also having appeared in a minor part in The Man in Grey (1943). 
|1933||Diggers in Blighty||Minor Role|||
|1935||Heritage||Biddy O'Shea / Biddy Parry|
|1936||The Flying Doctor||Jenny Rutherford|
|1937||That Man's Here Again||Nancy Lee|
|1937||Alcatraz Island||Annabel Sloane aka Ann Brady|
|1938||Sergeant Murphy||Mary Lou Carruthers|
|1938||Mysterious Mr. Moto||Ann Richman|
|1938||Keep Smiling||Avis Maguire|
|1939||The Outsider||Lalage Sturdee|
|1939||Black Eyes||Tanya Petroff|
|1940||An Englishman's Home||Betty Brown|
|1942||This Was Paris||Blossom Leroy – Butch's Girlfriend||(final film role)|
Jedda is a 1955 Australian film written, produced and directed by Charles Chauvel. His last film, it is notable for being the first to star two Aboriginal actors, Robert Tudawali and Ngarla Kunoth, now known as Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, in the leading roles. It was also the first Australian feature film to be shot in colour.
Charles Edward Chauvel OBE was an Australian filmmaker, producer and screenwriter and nephew of Australian army General Sir Harry Chauvel. He is noted for making the films Forty Thousand Horsemen in 1940 and Jedda in 1955.
Cinesound Productions Pty Ltd was an Australian feature film production company, established in June 1931, Cinesound developed out of a group of companies centred on Greater Union Theatres, that covered all facets of the film process, from production, to distribution and exhibition.
In the Wake of the Bounty (1933) is an Australian film directed by Charles Chauvel about the 1789 Mutiny on the Bounty. It is notable as the screen debut of Errol Flynn, playing Fletcher Christian. The film preceded MGM's more famous Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable, by two years.
The Rats of Tobruk is a 1944 Australian film directed by Charles Chauvel. An abridged version was released in the United States in 1951 as The Fighting Rats of Tobruk. The film follows three drover friends who enlist in the Australian Army together during World War II. Their story is based on the siege of the Libyan city of Tobruk in North Africa by Rommel's Afrika Korps. The largely Australian defenders held the city for 250 days before being relieved by British forces.
Arthur Greville Collins was a British-born film director.
Forty Thousand Horsemen is a 1940 Australian war film directed by Charles Chauvel. The film tells the story of the Australian Light Horse which operated in the desert at the Sinai and Palestine campaign during World War I. It follows the adventures of three rowdy heroes in fighting and romance. The film culminates at the Battle of Beersheba which is reputedly "the last successful cavalry charge in history". The film was clearly a propaganda weapon, to aid in recruitment and lift the pride of Australians at home during World War II. It was one of the most successful Australian movies of its day. It was later remade in 1987 as The Lighthorsemen.
Mr. Chedworth Steps Out is a 1939 Australian comedy film directed by Ken G. Hall starring Cecil Kellaway. Kellaway returned to Australia from Hollywood to make the film, which features an early screen appearance by Peter Finch.
Sons of Matthew is a 1949 Australian film directed and produced and co-written by Charles Chauvel. The film was shot in 1947 on location in Queensland, Australia, and the studio sequences in Sydney. Sons of Matthew took 18 months to complete, but it was a great success with Australian audiences when it finally opened in December 1949.
Uncivilised is a 1936 Australian film directed by Charles Chauvel. It was an attempt by Chauvel to make a more obviously commercial film, and was clearly influenced by Tarzan.
Robert Cecil Gordon-Canning was a notable British fascist, anti-Semite and supporter of Arab nationalist causes. He was briefly married to Australian actress Mary Maguire.
Constance Worth was an Australian actress who became a Hollywood star in the late 1930s. She was also known as Jocelyn Howarth.
Janet Johnson, Lady Birkin was an Australian born actress who briefly achieved fame on stage and in films in Australia and Britain before marrying British gothic writer Charles Birkin in 1940.
The Flying Doctor is a 1936 Australian-British drama film directed by Miles Mander and starring Charles Farrell, Mary Maguire and James Raglan. The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia operate in the Australian Outback. Noted as Australia's first "sound" feature film, The Flying Doctor was also the country's first feature-length film based on aviation.
Elsa Chauvel, was an Australian filmmaker and actress, and the wife and collaborator of film director Charles Chauvel. Elsa Chauvel was a pioneer in Australian film making, best known for her contributions to films such as Greenhide, In the Wake of the Bounty, and Jedda. Her legacy in Australian film was celebrated with the creation of the Chauvel Award, dedicated to the work of Elsa and Charles Chauvel, which honours Australian excellence in film.
Heritage is a 1935 Australian historical film directed by Charles Chauvel.
Greenhide is a 1926 Australian film directed by Charles Chauvel. Only part of the film survives today.
Lovers and Luggers is a 1937 Australian film directed by Ken G. Hall. It is an adventure melodrama about a pianist who goes to Thursday Island to retrieve a valuable pearl.
Rangle River is a 1936 Australian Western film directed by Clarence G. Badger based on a story by Zane Grey.
John Wood was an Australian who acted on the stage and briefly became a film star in Hollywood and Britain in the late 1930s.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mary Maguire .|