Why was Oscar-winning actress Greer Garson trending on Google more than a decade after her death?
Hollywood leading lady Greer Garson died in 1996. But this morning, she was one of the hottest search terms on Google. Why? There’s a reason people haven’t forgotten the Oscar-winning actress.
Born in London in 1904, Garson originally planned on becoming a teacher but instead went into advertising. She began appearing in local theatrical productions and, like Hedy Lamarr and other Hollywood imports of the period, she was discovered by movie mogul Louis B. Mayer while he was in London on a talent scouting trip. Soon signed to a contract with MGM, Garson made her debut in “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” in 1939 and was nominated for an Oscar. (She lost to Vivian Leigh, who won for her role in a little film called Gone With the Wind.)
Garson would receive six more Academy Award nominations during her career. After winning for her performance in 1943’s “Mrs. Miniver,” Garson spoke for seven minutes, claiming the dubious honor of delivering the longest Oscar acceptance speech in history, a record she still holds. Coincidentally or not, she never won another Oscar. She did, however, enjoy a career as one of the most popular actresses of the early 1940s, typically starring as the upstanding, intrepid-but-elegant wife and/or mother in glossy, sentimental wartime films. Of her MGM typecasting, Garson quipped she had become “Metro’s Glorified Mrs.”
The post-war period was not as kind to her, and she made few films after her MGM contract expired in 1954. She did continue to act on Broadway and in the occasional TV role before retiring to New Mexico with her third husband, millionaire oilman-horsebreeder E.E. “Buddy” Fogelson. She died 6 April 1996 at 92.
So why the sudden surge of interest in Greer Garson on Google? We’re guessing it’s because she starred in four films shown in last night’s Walter Pidgeon retrospective on TCM: “Julia Misbehaves” (1944), “Madame Curie” (1943), “Mrs. Parkington” (1944), and “Mrs. Miniver” (1942). In all, Greer and Pidgeon made nine pictures together. The Marie Curie story seems to have particularly piqued the public’s interest, as she was also a hot topic on Google this morning.