HomeEntertainmentFormer 1940s Child Star Margaret O’Brien Revealed How Missing Oscar Was Returned After Five Decades

Former 1940s Child Star Margaret O’Brien Revealed How Missing Oscar Was Returned After Five Decades

by Halle Ames
(Photo Credit: Michael Tullberg/ Getty Images)

Actress Margaret O’Brien once revealed how her Oscar award went missing and was returned five decades later.

Margaret O’Brien Career

Margaret O’Brien is an actress that has worked in the entertainment industry for nearly 80 years. She first got her start working for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer productions as a child star. O’Brien worked in many feature films and became one of the most popular child stars in cinematic history. Furthermore, Margaret O’Brien received a Juvenile Academy Award in 1944 for being an outstanding child actress.

Also, in 1944, O’Brien took home a juvenile Oscar for her role as Tootie Smith in the hit movie, Meet Me in St.Louis. She is one of twelve child performers to earn such a significant award. In addition, the performance is regarded as Margaret O’Brien’s best work.

Around the same time, the actress’s precious award vanished. When interviewed by Fox News, she explained who took it and how she never gave up hope of recovering it.

“We had a maid at the time, and she had taken it to her house to polish,” said Margaret O’Brien. “Well, somehow, she disappeared. I don’t know what happened, but my mother knew. For years, I’ve always dreamed of finding that Oscar again. I always look wherever I could. I never gave up on hope.”

Margaret O’Brien continued, revealing how the Oscar made its way to an antique dealer who had mistaken it for a souvenir.

“Years later, when [the maid] passed away, her children were clearing out different things, and they saw this little Oscar. They didn’t think it was real. And they sold everything, including the Oscar, to this antique dealer. They just thought it was a really good imitation of one of those false Oscars you could buy on Hollywood Boulevard.”

The Academy Cracks Down

However, at the time, the Academy was cracking down on the awards being sold. This way, actors could rest easy knowing their prized possession was safe. Margaret O’Brien noted that this rule is how she reclaimed her Oscar.

“But at the time, The Academy strongly enforced that you couldn’t sell Oscars. They were always looking out for Oscars that were potentially being sold so they could be returned. So they found these auctioneers to confirm it was real. The Academy said, “This either has to go back to Margaret O’Brien and her family, or it has to go back to The Academy. It cannot be sold.” So reluctantly, they returned it to me.”

Margaret O’Brien laughs as she recalls how lucky she is. In addition, she was presented the award once again.

“And I’m one of the few people that was represented with the same Oscar twice! The Academy gave me a little ceremony. My life has been quite the adventure. I’m lucky.”

Lucky is an understatement! The 84-year-old actress may want to keep it under lock and key!