Green Plaques erected to date

Dame Margaret Rutherford (1892 – 1972)

Margaret Rutherford book jacketShe was born in Balham, the only child of William Rutherford Benn and his wife Florence Nicholson.

Her father's brother Sir John Benn, 1st Baronet was a British politician, and her first cousin once removed is politician Tony Benn.

She was an exceptional and well-loved comedienne, who began her working life as a teacher of piano and elocution before a small legacy enabled her to attend the Old Vic School to study drama.

Her on stage debut was in 1925. In 1933 she first appeared in the West End, at the not-so-tender age of 41, and had her screen debut in 1936, portraying Miss Butterby in Dusty Ermine. She came to prominence following World War II in the film adaptations of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

She is best-known for her 1960s performances as Miss Marple in several films based loosely on Agatha Christie's novels, including Murder She Said and Murder Most FoulShe won an Academy Award in 1964 as Best Supporting Actress for The VIPs, in which she played The Duchess of Brighton. 

She married her long-time partner, the character actor Stringer Davis, in 1945.  They appeared in many productions together. Dame Margaret is buried along with her husband, in the graveyard of St. James Church at Gerrards Cross. Her epitaph reads "A Blithe Spirit". 

Location: 15 Dornton Road, SW12

Unveiled: 5 February 2011