Sara Allgood



Born to a middle-class Irish family and educated at the Marlborough Street Training College, 19-year-old Sara Allgood joined the Irish National Theatre Society, obtaining her first speaking role in a 1903 production of W.B. Yeats' The King's Threshold. She became a member of Dublin's Abbey Theatre in 1904; within a few years she was lauded as Ireland's foremost actress. While touring Australia in 1918, she made her film bow in Just Peggy. She didn't like the experience, and it would be eleven years before she would face the cameras again, this time in the role of Anna Ondra's mother in Blackmail (1929), Alfred Hitchcock's (and the British film industry's) first talkie. One year later, Hitchcock cast Sara in the demanding title role in the cinematic adaptation of Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock, a role she had created on stage with the Abbey Players in 1924. After a decade of worthwhile stage assignments and forgettable film roles, Sara came to Hollywood in 1940, where she was cast by John Ford in a strong role in the Oscar-winning How Green Was My Valley (1941). This led to a long-term contract with 20th Century-Fox, which was financially satisfying but dramatically unrewarding; after years of incisive, commanding stage roles, Sara was compelled to play cliched Irish mothers and servants. Sara Allgood's final screen appearance was in Fox's Cheaper By the Dozen (1950), in which she received prominent billing--and approximately five lines of dialogue.

Filmography Awards