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Sara Allgood
Allgood c. 1912
Sarah Ellen Allgood

(1880-10-30)30 October 1880
Dublin, Ireland
Died13 September 1950(1950-09-13) (aged 69)
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California
Years active1918–1950
Gerald Henson
(m. 1916; died 1918)
RelativesMaire O'Neill (sister)

Sarah Ellen Allgood (30 October 1880 – 13 September 1950),[1] known as Sara Allgood, was an Irish-American actress. She first studied drama with the Irish nationalist Daughters of Ireland and was at the opening of the Irish National Theatre Society.

In 1904, she had her first big role in Spreading the News and was a full-time actress the following year. In 1915, she toured Australia and New Zealand as the lead in Peg o' My Heart. Her acting career continued in Dublin, London, and the U.S. She appeared in a number of films, most notably being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Beth Morgan in the 1941 film How Green Was My Valley. She became an American citizen in 1945 and died of a heart attack in 1950.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • City Without Men - Full Movie | Linda Darnell, Edgar Buchanan, Michael Duane, Sara Allgood
  • Alfred Hitchcock | Blackmail (1929) Anny Ondra, John Longden, Sara Allgood | Movie, Subtitles
  • "Between Two Worlds" clip 2
  • Storm in a Teacup - Trailer
  • "Between Two Worlds" clip 3


Early life

Allgood was born on 30 October 1880 at 45 Middle Abbey Street in Dublin, then still part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at the time, a daughter of Margaret (née Harold) and compositor George Allgood.[2] Her mother was Catholic, while her father was Protestant.[3][4] She had two baptisms, a Catholic baptism on 3 November 1880 and a Church of Ireland (Protestant Anglican) baptism on 21 November 1880.[5]

She had seven siblings, one of whom was fellow actress Maire O'Neill, although the two were later reportedly estranged. A brother, Tom, became a Roman Catholic priest, who took the religious name of "Father Vincent".[6]

After her father's death when she was a young girl, her mother returned to work as a furniture trader. Allgood began work as soon as she was able, apprenticed to a French polisher near her mother's workplace who sold high quality antique and modern furniture from their warerooms at 19 and 20 Bachelors Walk, Dublin, and who also operated as cabinet-makers, upholsterers, valuers, house agents, and auctioneers.[3]


Pastel drawing of Allgood playing the title role in Cathleen ni Houlihan in a 1915 Abbey Theatre tour

Allgood joined the Irish nationalist Daughters of Ireland, where she first began to study drama under the direction of Maud Gonne and William Fay. She began her acting career at the Abbey Theatre and was in the opening of the Irish National Theatre Society. Her first big role was in December 1904 at the opening of Lady Gregory's Spreading the News.[6] By 1905 she was a full-time actress, touring England and North America.

In 1915, Allgood was cast as the lead in J. Hartley Manners' comedy Peg o' My Heart which toured Australia and New Zealand in 1916. She played the lead role opposite her Peg o' My Heart co-star and then-husband Gerald Henson in J. A. Lipman's 1918 silent film Just Peggy, shot in Sydney. After his death and her return to Ireland, she continued to perform at the Abbey Theatre. Allgood toured with the Arts League of Service touring company in 1923-24.[7] Her most memorable performance was in Seán O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock in 1923. She won acclaim in London when she played Bessie Burgess in O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars in 1926.

Allgood was frequently featured in early Hitchcock films, such as Blackmail (1929), Juno and the Paycock (1930), and Sabotage (1936).[8][9] She had a significant role in Storm in a Teacup (1937).

After many successful theatre tours of America, she pursued a film career. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as Beth Morgan in the 1941 film How Green Was My Valley. She had memorable roles in the 1941 retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, It Happened in Flatbush (1942), Jane Eyre (1943), The Lodger (1944), The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Spiral Staircase (1946), The Fabulous Dorseys (1947), and the original Cheaper by the Dozen (1950).

Personal life

In September 1916, Allgood married her Peg o' My Heart co-star Gerald Henson while they were touring in Melbourne. In January 1918, they had a daughter named Mary who died one day later. In November of that year, the Spanish flu pandemic claimed Henson's life.[3]

Allgood settled in Hollywood in 1940 and became an American citizen in 1945.[10][11]


On 13 September 1950, at the age of 69, Allgood died of a heart attack at her home in Woodland Hills, California. She was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.[citation needed]

Partial filmography

Allgood with J. M. Kerrigan in 1911


  1. ^ Baptismal record dated 3 November 1880 @, giving date of birth as 30 October 1880
    Book Number: N/R
    Page: 62
    Entry Number: 1078
    Record_Identifier: DU-RC-BA-649220
    Image Filename: st.marys_pro-cathedral_mf_1880-1889_ba_0113
  2. ^ Synge, John Millington; O'Neill, Maire (22 April 1971). Letters to Molly: John Millington Synge to Maire O'Neill, 1906-1909. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674528345 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c Ruane, Medb (1991). Ten Dublin Women. pp. 15–20.
  4. ^ Who Was Who in the Theatre: 1912-1976, volume 1 A-C, page 36; compiled from editions originally published annually by John Parker, this 1976 version by Gale Research Company.
  5. ^ Catholic baptismal record confirming date of birth as 30 October 1880, Accessed 22 April 2022.
  6. ^ a b Boylan, Henry (1998). A dictionary of Irish biography (3. ed.). Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. ISBN 0717125076.
  7. ^ Elder, Eleanor (1939). Travelling Players The Story of the Arts League of Service. Frederick Muller.
  8. ^ E H Mikhail, ed. (1988). The Abbey Theater: interviews and recollections. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-389-20616-4.
  9. ^ Hunt, Hugh (1979). The Abbey, Ireland's National Theatre, 1904-1978. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231049061.
  10. ^ Saddlemyer, Anne, ed. (1982). Theatre Business : The Correspondence of the First Abbey Theatre Directors: William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, and J.M. Synge. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 60. ISBN 0-271-00309-X.
  11. ^ "California, Southern District Court (Central) Naturalization Index, 1915-1976," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 11 March 2018), Sara Or Sara Ellen Allgood Allgood Or Henson, 1945; citing Naturalization, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1525 (United States: National Archives and Records Service, Los Angeles Branch, 2016).
  12. ^ "Big Films in Review". The Sunday Times (Sydney). No. 1699. New South Wales, Australia. 11 August 1918. p. 18. Retrieved 23 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.

Further reading

  • Maltin, Leonard (2015) [First published 1969]. "Sara Allgood". The Real Stars : Profiles and Interviews of Hollywood's Unsung Featured Players (softcover) (Sixth / eBook ed.). Great Britain: CreateSpace Independent. pp. 1–12. ISBN 978-1-5116-4485-3.

External links

This page was last edited on 8 January 2024, at 22:51
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