Mama O’Brien taken care of her personal.

Hollywood icon Margaret O’Brien says she didn’t endure the identical fate lots of her friends — primarily due to her tough-as-nails mother.


The former youngster actress, now 84, has solely glowing reminiscences of her time spent rising up on the MGM lot through the studio’s heyday, now that she’s one of many final surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

“I was very fortunate to have a mother that spoke up to [studio head]) Louis B. Mayer,” O’Brien tells Page Six. “I think Judy [Garland]’s mother was afraid to speak up and didn’t really speak as she should have for Judy.”

She provides, “I’m not saying anything out of turn because Judy mentioned that about her mother.”

O’Brien might be greatest remembered for taking part in Judy Garland’s precocious little sister, Tootie, within the basic musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis.” The position even netted her a particular Juvenile Academy Award as excellent youngster actress of 1944.

But her business expertise was markedly completely different from “The Wizard of Oz” star, who was always harassed about her weight by studio execs and even pressured to take amphetamines and barbiturates to shed pounds and work grueling hours.

“When I came to the studio that was all taken away,” O’Brien says. “The school teachers were on the lot, there were no pills, no diet pills or anything like that when I came in.”

“Unfortunately just before that, they didn’t know how bad diet pills would be for you,” she continued.

Margaret O'Brien being presented a special Oscar by Bob Hope.
O’Brien gained a particular Academy Award for her position as Tootie within the MGM musical.
Bettmann Archive

Garland struggled with drug habit and alcoholism the remainder of her life and died of an unintended overdose in 1969 on the age of 47.

Also not like different youngster stars, O’Brien wasn’t pushed into Hollywood by an overbearing stage — her breakthrough got here as kind of an accident.

“The Canterville Ghost” star defined that her mother — who was widowed months after her daughter’s beginning — was a well-known Spanish dancer. While showing in a present with Rita Hayworth’s father, she wanted headshots and, left with out a babysitter, took alongside her then-2-year-old daughter and their canine to the appointment.

Charles Laughton, Margaret O'Brien in "The Canterville Ghost."
O’Brien thought she can be fearful of Charles Laughton however adored working with him on “The Canterville Ghost.”
Courtesy Everett Collection

The photographer, the famend Paul Hesse, took a liking to their canine and photographed him for an upcoming cowl of the Saturday Evening Post.

“He said, ‘The baby’s not bad either, she’s kind of cute,’ and we made the cover,” O’Brien defined, noting that she and the household pooch posed for seven extra covers. Those have been seen by MGM scouts which resulted in a bit half within the Mickey Rooney movie “Babes on Broadway” and, subsequently, a seven-year contract with the studio.

Miraculously, O’Brien has no sordid tales of being harassed, not like Shirley Temple, who recounted in her autobiography that on her first go to to MGM as a 12-year-old, one of many studio’s high producers, Arthur Freed, unzipped his pants and uncovered himself, saying, “I have something made just for you.”

Margaret O'Brien and her mother.
O’Brien says she and her mother traveled everywhere in the world collectively.
Corbis through Getty Images

“I never had any issues,” O’Brien stated. “My mother was very fairly, she had a Dolores Del Rio look. Louis B. Mayer beloved that type of look, he was making an attempt to be very good as a result of my mother was very fairly. In reality, he did ask her to marry him one time however she stated, ‘Absolutely not! You are not my type.’

“She could speak up and he would listen to her. She was almost like a suffragette in the 40s. She was ambitious but not overly ambitious. If I didn’t want to do something she would go to Mr. Mayer and say, ‘My child has worked hard, I’m not taking her to that.’ She was very conscientious but very aware that I should have enjoyment in my childhood.”

Enjoy it she did: O’Brien says that Garland was “like a big sister” on the “Meet Me In St. Louis” set.

Margaret O'Brien and Judy Garland in "Meet Me In St. Louis."
O’Brien says that the “Meet Me In St. Louis” solid bought alongside famously.
Everett Collection / Everett Col

“She was so sweet, this was a very happy time for her because she was working with [director] Vincent Minnelli who didn’t overwork her; we would have regular hours,” she remembered. “She loved doing that movie. She thought she looked the prettiest in that movie than any other movie and of course, she was falling in love with Vincent [whom she would later marry].”

O’Brien additionally has fond reminiscences of the 1949 model of “Little Women” that starred June Allyson, Janet Leigh, and Elizabeth Taylor.

Margaret O'Brien, Janet Leigh, June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor in "Little Women."
O’Brien says that she stayed in contact with her “Little Women” costars.
Courtesy Everett Collection

“We all kept in touch. Janet was one of the sweetest people in the world, she never said a bad word about anybody,” she gushed, “and Elizabeth was really more of a tomboy. She loved riding horses and she loved all her animals.”

The solely star that O’Brien didn’t get pleasure from working with? Academy Award-winner Wallace Beery, who would pinch her on set.

Margaret O'Brien and Wallace Beery in "Bad Bascomb."
O’Brien hated working with the notorious curmudgeon Wallace Beery.
Everett Collection / Everett Col

“We were filming in the wilds of Wyoming because he had a ranch up there,” O’Brien recalled. “The children were given hot food and he would come and steal my hot food — when he had his own kitchen!”

“As a little girl nothing bothered me,” she added, “but my mother would take the food back and say, ‘You stop that Mr. Beery!’”

Even her lost-Oscar story sounds just like the plotline of an MGM film.

O’Brien relates that again in 1954, a maid took her statuette house to scrub. Shortly after, her mother died, and within the aftermath, O’Brien forgot about her Oscar for months. By then, the maid had moved, leaving no forwarding tackle and the Oscar seemingly misplaced ceaselessly.

But in 1995 it resurfaced at a flea market, the place it was purchased by two memorabilia collectors, who then offered it to an public sale home. The govt of the Academy discovered about its existence from a catalog and had it returned.

Margaret O'Brien with returned Oscar statue.
O’Brien was thrilled to have her Oscar returned after practically fifty years.
Ron Galella Collection through Getty

In February 1995, practically fifty years after it went lacking, the Academy held a particular ceremony to formally return the award to O’Brien, who gleefully famous she’s the one actor to have two ceremonies for a similar award.

The “Secret Garden” star finally married twice, had a daughter and has steadily stored appearing on tv and the stage.

Looking again, “I really enjoyed it and it gave me a wonderful life,” she says merely.

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