Leueen MacGrath

Leueen MacGrath (3 July 1914 – 27 March 1992) was an English actress and playwright and the second wife of George S. Kaufman,[1] from 1949 until their divorce in 1957.

Leueen MacGrath
Leueen MacGrath 1939.jpg
Born(1914-07-03)3 July 1914
London, England
Died27 March 1992(1992-03-27) (aged 77)
London, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active1936–1974
Spouse(s)Christopher Burn (m. 19??-??)
Desmond Davis (19??-??)
(m. 1949; div. 1957)

Stephen Goodyear (19??-??)
Stephen Quinto (19??-??)

Early yearsEdit

Born in London, England, MacGrath was a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[2]


MacGrath (pronounced mac-GRAW) began her acting career with a small role in the 1936 British film Whom the Gods Love, a biopic about Mozart and his wife Constanze. She followed this with Pygmalion and a series of B-movies, including All Hands, Meet Maxwell Archer, and The Saint's Vacation.

MacGrath made her Broadway debut in 1948 in the play Edward, My Son (1948);[1] she reprised her role (which she also had in the play's London production) in the film adaptation the following year.[3] During this time she began a relationship with playwright and director George S. Kaufman. They married on 26 May 1949. Kaufman directed her in Jean Giraudoux's The Enchanted at the Lyceum, which closed after 45 performances.[4] In 1951 she collaborated with Kaufman and Heywood Hale Broun on the writing of The Small Hours, which closed after 20 performances. The following year she and her husband scripted the even less successful play about reincarnation, Fancy Meeting You Again in which she starred with a young Walter Matthau and which ran for only 8 performances. The couple finally achieved a hit in 1955 with Silk Stockings, the Cole Porter musical for which they co-wrote the book with Abe Burrows. She returned to acting for Giraudoux's Tiger at the Gates and The Potting Shed.

Having settled in the United States following her marriage to Kaufman, MacGrath appeared in a number of American anthology television series popular in the 1950s, including The Philco Television Playhouse, Studio One, Lux Video Theatre, The United States Steel Hour, The Alcoa Hour, and Hallmark Hall of Fame.

Personal lifeEdit

MacGrath married Kaufman on 26 May 1949, at Kaufman's home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.[5] They collaborated on several scripts and productions together. They divorced in 1957 and McGrath returned to the United Kingdom. In 1958 she returned to New York to help tend Kaufman after his second stroke, but declined to remarry him. Subsequently, she resumed her career in the United States.[4]

She was married five times. In addition to Kaufman, her husbands were Christopher Burn, Desmond Davis, Stephen Goodyear, and Stephen Quinto.[6]


On 27 March 1992, MacGrath died of complications from a stroke at her home in London at the age of 77. She was survived by a sister and a stepdaughter.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1936 Whom the Gods Love Josefa Weber
1938 Pygmalion Clara
1940 Meet Maxwell Archer Sarah
1941 The Saint's Vacation Valerie
1949 Edward, My Son Eileen Perrin
1955 Three Cases of Murder Woman in the House (segment "In the Picture")


  1. ^ a b Willis, John (1994). Theatre World 1991-1992. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 238. ISBN 9781557831422. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  2. ^ Leggett, John (2000). Ross And Tom: Two American Tragedies. Da Capo Press. p. 412. ISBN 0306809923.
  3. ^ Institute, American Film (1999). The American Film Institute catalog of motion pictures produced in the United States. F4,1. Feature films, 1941 - 1950, film entries, A - L. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520215214. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b Kaufman, George S; et al. (September 2004). Maslon, Laurence (ed.). Broadway comedies. Library of America. ISBN 978-1931082679..
  5. ^ "Marriages". Billboard. 11 June 1949. p. 49.
  6. ^ a b Collins, Glenn (31 March 1992). "Leueen MacGrath, 77, an Actress And Co-Author of 'Silk Stockings'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.

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