Margaret Wycherly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Margaret De Wolfe Wycherly
Margaret Wycherly.jpg
Margaret De Wolfe

(1881-10-26)26 October 1881
London, England
Died6 June 1956(1956-06-06) (aged 74)
St. Clare's Hospital
New York City
Resting placeSt Mary Churchyard, Bepton, England
Other namesLovett De Wolfe[1]
Years active1905–1955
Spouse(s)Bayard Veiller (1901–1922)
ChildrenAnthony Veiller
Parent(s)Dr. J. L. De Wolfe

Margaret De Wolfe Wycherly (born Margaret De Wolfe, 26 October 1881 – 6 June 1956) was an English stage and film actress.[2] She spent many years in the United States and is best remembered for her Broadway roles and Hollywood character parts. On screen she played mother to Gary Cooper (Sergeant York) and James Cagney (White Heat)

Early life[edit]

Wycherly was born in London, England of American parents, Dr. and Mrs. J. L. De Wolfe.[3] She was married to writer Bayard Veiller (1869–1943) in 1901. They had a son, Anthony Veiller (1903–1965), who also became a writer. She and Veiller divorced in 1922.[4]


She was primarily a stage actress, appearing in one silent film. In 1929, she appeared in her second film, but first talkie, The Thirteenth Chair, based on the 1916 play by her husband in which she had starred. The film was directed by Tod Browning and was in the genre of mystery-old house melodrama. Twelve years later, Wycherley appeared in Sergeant York in 1941. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the role of Mother York, though perhaps her best remembered screen role was as Ma Jarrett, the mother of the psychopathic gangster Cody Jarrett, in White Heat (1949), which starred James Cagney.

Wycherly starred in several popular Broadway plays, including Tobacco Road, Liliom, Six Characters in Search of an Author and The Thirteenth Chair (which role she reprised in the film of the same name). Her other films include Keeper of the Flame, The Yearling, Random Harvest, Forever Amber, The Man with a Cloak and Johnny Angel starring George Raft.

She portrayed Mrs. Brown, Claudia's mother, in the American television series Claudia (1952).[5]


Wycherly died on 6 June 1956 at St. Clare's Hospital in New York City, at the age of 74.[2] She was buried at the St Mary Churchyard, Bepton, Chichester District, West Sussex, England.[6]

Complete filmography[edit]


  1. ^ The Green Book Magazine Volume 9, published 1909
  2. ^ a b "Miss Wycherly, actress, Was 74. Stage and Movie Performer Dies. Appeared in Shaw's Plays and 'Tobacco Road'". The New York Times. 7 June 1956. Retrieved 15 November 2012. Margaret Wycherly, actress, died yesterday in St. Clare's Hospital. Her age was 74. She lived at 108 West Fifteenth Street. ...
  3. ^ Who Was Who in the Theatre:1912–1976 c.1976, a compilation of the volumes put out annually by John Parker; 1976 edition published by Gale Research
  4. ^ The Women of Provincetown, 1915–1922 by Cheryl Black c.2002 page 136
  5. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ Margaret Wycherly at Find a Grave

External links[edit]