Harriet E. MacGibbon (October 5, 1905 — February 8, 1987) was an American actress.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Dr. Walter Peter McGibbon, a physician and Gertrude L. Crary. It is not clear why she added an "a" to her surname, but she was credited a few times as McGibbon. She was "finished" at Knox School, Cooperstown, New York, where she prepared for Vassar. Without staying to receive a diploma, she left to fulfill her desire for the footlights and studied with Franklin H. Sargent at his American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
MacGibbon joined the stock company of Edward Clarke Lilley at Akron, Ohio. She then went to San Francisco and played leading roles for Henry Duffy. In Louisville, Kentucky, she acted with Wilton Lackaye, Edmund Breese, William Faversham, Tom Wise and Nance O'Neil. There were regular productions, including Ned McCobb's Daughter, The Front Page, The Big Fight, and a "transcontinental tour" starring MacGibbon in The Big Fight, which began in Boston, took in New Haven and Hartford, and ended at Caine's storehouse. Jack Dempsey was also in the cast.
During that time, MacGibbon stopped off in Boston long enough to study the harp with Alfred Holy, harpist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She later said that when she gave up the instrument, Mr. Holy, "with unconscious humor", remarked, "What a pity, Miss MacGibbon, you look so lovely with a harp."
She had a long and distinguished career on the Broadway stage, beginning in 1925 at the age of nineteen when she acted in the play Beggar on Horseback at the Shubert Theatre. In the late 1930s, she did You Can't Take It With You, the Pulitzer Prize winning comedy, at the Biltmore Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles.
She made numerous guest appearances on television starting in 1950, including Ray Milland's sitcom Meet Mr. McNutley. She appeared in only five theatrical motion pictures, including Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962), which was directed by Vincente Minnelli and starred Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin, Charles Boyer and Lee J. Cobb. Unlike her stage roles, MacGibbon's movie and TV roles usually consisted of snooty society ladies, which includes her well known role of Mrs. Margaret Drysdale in the long-running hit CBS sitcom, The Beverly Hillbillies.
MacGibbon was married twice, to William R. Kane (divorced) and, later, to, Charles Corwin White, II. The second marriage ended with White's death on December 25, 1967. She had one child, a son, William MacGibbon Kane (February 2, 1933 – April 2, 1977), who predeceased her.
MacGibbon died, aged 81, from heart and lung failure. She was cremated and her ashes interred in niche 61046, in the Columbarium of Remembrance at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery, Los Angeles, California.
- Harriet E. MacGibbon at the Internet Broadway Database
- Harriet E. MacGibbon at the Internet Movie Database
- "History of Homeopathy - Biographies" about MacGibbon's father with some family background
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