Margaret Inglis

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Margaret Inglis. (1912-2010) Internationally renowned actress and director.

Informally known as Peggy Inglis


Obtained a RADA Diploma in Acting (1935)[1]

She was married to Stuart Leith, who worked for African Explosives, a subsidiary of ICI (though some sources give his first name as Stewart Leith, and he was popularly known as "Sam Leith"). The couple had three children, food writer Prue Leith[2], David Leith and actor-turned-restaurateur James Leith[3].

After her husband's death she married Robert Langford, with whom she founded a theatrical company.

According to former DALRO head Gérard Robinson, Stuart was affectionately known as "Sam Leith", and in view of that Percy Baneshik christened the Stuart Leith Trophy "The Sammy", the name by which it is popularly known.

Her husband died in 19** and she herself passed away in 2010 at the age of 98.

Contribution to South African theatre, film and media

Over the years Margaret acted for and directed a number of plays for the East Rand Theatre Club, Brian Brooke Company, and the National Theatre Organisation. In 1944 she formed a Company with Nan Munro, known as the Munro-Inglis Company and in the mid-1960’s she and Robert Langford also had a joint company (the Langford-Inglis Company) which worked in South Africa, doing for example Coward’s Private Lives (196*), Charles Dyer’s Staircase (1967).

She returned to England in 1977 to continue there with her illustrious career. In 1986 she returned to South Africa for a brief stint to do Tom and Viv at the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town - a production dedicated to the memory of Rosalie van der Gucht.

Contribution as actress

Margaret performed in Six Characters in Search of an Author and Kaufmann and Hart’s The Man Who Came to Dinner for the REPS in 1941, Blithe Spirit and My Sister Eileen in 1944, The Lady's not for Burning by Christopher Fry which was staged by the University Players in 1951, Much Ado about Nothing, which was the inaugural production for the new Reps Theatre which opened in November 1951, Leon Gluckman directed and co-starred opposite Margaret Inglis in Giraudoux’s Amphitryon 38 in 1952, The Voice of the Turtle (which she co-directed) in 1952, Tea and Sympathy in 1954, Candida 1956, Separate Tables staged in 1957, Janus 1958, The Grass is Greener 1959, The Birthday Party, followed by Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana which was staged at the Playhouse by the Cockpit Players in 1962, Present Laughter, the final production for the Reps in 1969, Roar Like a Dove 1969, The Old Ladies and The Au Pair Man 1971, Lloyd George Knew My Father 1974, A Life 1980, Scorched Earth 1989.

Margaret starred in a celebrity concert in aid of the National Theatre Development Fund at the Johannesburg Reps in 1954. An initiative of P.P.B. Breytenbach, the concert was staged by the National Theatre Organisation, and also starred André Huguenet, Dawie Couzyn and Taubie Kushlick.

Film and TV

She appeared in British and South African programmes and films, roles including:

"Art gallery visitor" in Vrolike Vrydag 13de ("Jolly Friday 13th") 1969)

"Mrs. Collins" in A New Life (1974;

"Lady Brattling" in House of the Living Dead (1974),

"Mirella" in The Exiles, an episode of Space: 1999 (a TV Series, 1976)

"Nanny Webster" in The Little Minister, BBC Play of the Month (TV Series, 1975)

Hide HideSelf (1 credit)

1982Van Kerslig tot Kollig (TV Series documentary)

Self - Interviewee (1982)

BBC Play of the Month (1965), Space: 1999 (1975) and A New Life (1971). She was married to Stewart Leith. She died on April 16, 2010. See full bio »

As producer and/or director

She directed Stage Door (Johannesburg REPS , 1943); Gordon Mulholland in The Philadelphia Story for the Munro-Inglis Company in 1945, she produced, directed and played in Hamlet with Siegfried Mynhardt at the Windmill Theatre in 1955, she produced and co-starred in Love in Idleness with John Hussey at the Library Theatre in 1955, Come Back, Little Sheba for NTO, 1957; Roar Like a Dove presented by Brian Brooke Company 1961; the PACT production Hamlet at the Civic Theatre in 1964, Staircase presented by Langford-Inglis, Intimate Theatre, 1967; Night Must Fall 1967.

The first production of the Langford-Inglis Company was a revival of Gaslight at the Library Theatre in 1962. Together with the Reps management, Inglis and Langford staged The Physicists, which lost a bundle in 1963. They then staged Noël Coward’s Private Lives, starring Robert Langford and Shelagh Holliday.

She directed Nan Munro in The Importance of Being Earnest and Michael Atkinson in The Lady's not for Burning for NAPAC in Durban post 1962, as well as Henry VIII, The First Mrs Fraser at the Intimate Theatre, Johannesburg, she produced and performed in Impossible People (),

She attended the first meeting of the South African Association of Theatrical Managements, established early 1956.

In 1963, after the passing of her first husband, she instituted the Sam Leith Trophy (or popularly known as the "The Sammy") for the best English actor on the Johannesburg stage.

Awards, etc

Made a Dame of the British Empire in 2000?1999?

The DALRO prize for best actress in a supporting role in English for DALRO is named Margaret Inglis Award in her honour.


Tucker, 1997.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

(See Du Toit, 1988; Hartnoll, 19** ) [TH, JH]

For more informtion

IMDb [4].

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