Margaret Lockwood, CBE (15 September 1916 - 15 July 1990) was a British actress, notable for her performance in the 1945 Gainsborough movie The Wicked Lady.
Born and Christened Mary Margaret Lockwood Day in Karachi, British India (now Karachi, Pakistan), Lockwood's family returned to the United Kingdom while she was a child. She then attended Sydenham High School for girls, and a ladies school in Kensington, London.
She began studying for the stage at an early age under Italia Conti, and made her debut in 1928, at the age of 12, at the Holborn Empire, where she played a fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In December of the following year, she appeared at the Scala Theatre in the pantomime The Babes in the Wood. In 1932, she appeared at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in Cavalcade.
Lockwood then trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where she was seen by a talent scout and signed to a contract. In June 1934, she played Myrtle in House on Fire at the Queen's Theatre, and on August 22, 1934 appeared as Margaret Hamilton in Gertrude Jenning's play Family Affairs when it premiered at the Ambassadors Theatre; Helene Ferber in Repayment at the Arts Theatre in January 1936; Trixie Drew in Henry Bernard's play Miss Smith at the Duke of York's Theatre in July 1936; and back at the Queen's in July 1937 as Ann Harlow in Ann's Lapse. After 1937, she devoted herself entirely to films.
Lockwood had entered films in 1934, and in 1935 she appeared in the film version of Lorna Doone. In 1940, she played the role of Jenny Sunley, the self-centred, frivolous wife of Michael Redgrave's character in The Stars Look Down. Her most successful film of that decade was Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, in which she again starred with Redgrave. She also appeared in the Gate Theatre, Dublin.
In the early 1940s, Lockwood changed her on-screen image to play villainesses in both contemporary and period films, becoming the most successful actress in British films during that period. Her greatest success was in the title role in The Wicked Lady (1945), a film which was controversial in its day and brought her considerable publicity.
In 1946 Lockwood gained the Daily Mail First Prize for most popular British film actress.
She continued to act until the late 1970s. One of her last major roles was in the television series Justice. She was created a CBE in 1980. Her acceptance of this award marked her last public appearance.
Margaret Lockwood had married Rupert de Leon. She lived her final years in seclusion and died in Kingston upon Thames, UK, from cirrhosis of the liver, aged 73.
She is survived by her daughter, actress Julia Clark (née Margaret Julia de Leon).