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" Final Resting Place of Greer Garson"
29th September 1904 - 6th April 1996
Actress. Star and Academy winner for her role in "Mrs.Miniver"
Sparkman - Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas.
Known in childhood as "Eggy" and supposedly born in Castlewellan, County Down, Ireland, in 1908, she was actually born in North East Ham in 1904, the only child of George Garson (1865-1906), a clerk from the Orkney Islands, who was himself the son of a Protestant Irish-born cabinetmaker, and his Scottish wife, Nancy ("Nina") Sophia Greer.
She was educated at the University of London, where she earned degrees in French and 18th-century literature. She intended to become a teacher, but instead began working with an advertising agency, and appeared in local theatrical productions. She also appeared on television during the 1930s, most notably in a thirty-minute production of an excerpt of Twelfth Night in May 1937, alongside Peggy Ashcroft, which was the first known instance of a Shakespeare play being performed on television.
She was discovered by Louis B. Mayer while he was in London looking for new talents. Garson was signed to a contract with MGM and appeared in her first American film, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, in 1939. She received her first Oscar nomination for the role but lost to Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind.
Greer Garson became a major box office star in 1941 with the sentimental Technicolor drama Blossoms in the Dust which brought her the first of Five consecutive Best Actress Oscar nominations, tying Bette Davis' 1938-1942 record, a record that still stands in the category. Garson won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1942 for her role as a plucky British matron surviving in the midst of war in Mrs. Miniver. She was also nominated for Madame Curie (1943), Mrs. Parkington (1944), and The Valley of Decision (1945).
She had been America's most popular dramatic actress for several years when she was teamed with Clark Gable in his first film since returning from war service in 1945 titled Adventure. Garson's popularity dropped somewhat in the late 1940's but she remained a famous and popular film star until the mid 1950's.
In 1951, she became a naturalized citizen of the United States. After her MGM contract expired in 1954, she made only a few films. In 1958, she received a warm reception on Broadway in Auntie Mame, replacing Rosalind Russell, who had gone to Hollywood to make the film version. In 1960, Garson received her seventh and final Oscar nomination for Sunrise at Campobello, in which she played Eleanor Roosevelt, this time losing to Elizabeth Taylor for Butterfield 8 .
Garson's last film was 1967's The Happiest Millionaire, although she made infrequent television appearances. In 1968 she narrated the children's television special The Little Drummer Boy which went on to become one of the classic Christmas television programs and which has been broadcast annually every year since 1966.
The actress was married three times:
Her first husband, whom she married on September 28, 1933, was Edward (later Sir Edward) Alec Abbot Snelson (1904-1992), a British civil servant who became a noted judge and expert in Indian and Pakistani affairs; the real marriage reportedly lasted only a few weeks, but was not formally dissolved until 1943.
Her second husband, whom she married in 1943, was Richard Ney (1915-2004), the young actor who played her son in "Mrs. Miniver"; they divorced in 1949, with Garson claiming that Ney had called her a "has-been" and belittled her age. Ney eventually became a respected stock-market analyst and financial consultant.
That same year (1949) she married a millionaire Texas oilman and horse breeder, E. E. "Buddy" Fogelson (died 1987), and in 1967, the couple retired to the Forked Lightning Ranch in New Mexico. They also lived in Dallas, Texas, where Garson funded the Greer Garson Theater facility at Southern Methodist University (SMU).
She died from heart failure in Dallas on April 6, 1996, at the age of 91, and is interred there in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery