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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th January 1973 Born today: Crispian Mills, London, vocalist/guitarist (Kula Shaker)
18th January 1950 Christopher Fry's Venus Observed, premieres in London
18th January 1884 General Charles Gordon departs London for Khartoum
Margaret Rutherford lived Here
The star of David Lean's 'Blithe Spirit' lived in this house
Location: 4 Berkeley Place, Wimbledon, SW19 4NN
Description: 'Dame Margaret Taylor Rutherford', DBE, was an English character actress, who first 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.
In 1963 she won the best supporting actress Oscar as The Duchess of Brighton in The VIPs.
She is probably best known for her 1960s performances as Miss Marple in several films based loosely on Agatha Christie's novels.
Margaret Rutherford was born in 1892 in Balham, the only child of William Rutherford Benn and his second wife Florence, nee Nicholson. She was educated at Wimbledon High School, and, from the age of about 13, at Raven's Croft School,a boarding school at Sutton Avenue, Seaford, where she is listed, aged 18, on the 1911 census.
Rutherford was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1961 and was raised to Dame Commander (DBE) in 1967.
Rutherford married character actor Stringer Davis in 1945 and the couple appeared in many productions together. Towards the end of her life, Davis cared for his wife devotedly at their Buckinghamshire home but she died on 22 May 1972, aged 80. She and Davis (who died in 1973) are interred alongside each other in the graveyard of St. James's Church, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.
And so to this house, Dame Margaret Taylor Rutherford lived here from 1895 to 1920. A blue plaque adorns the property.