As a child, family friend Peter Fonda had a crush on Sullavan's daughter Bridget. In adulthood, after Bridget committed suicide, he named his own daughter (Bridget Fonda) after her.
As written in a 1940s [i]Architectural Digest[/i] piece about her Brentwood, California home, Sullavan shared that she chose the Connecticut-style colonial home due to her love of New England. After years of searching for the quintessential property, she and her then-husband Leland Hayward purchased a rambling saltbox house on 100 bucolic acres in Brookfield, Connecticut.
Divorced Henry Fonda after two months.
Grandmother of Marin Hopper.
Her eldest daughter, actress Brooke Hayward, wrote an autobiographical book titled [i]Haywire[/i] which was a best seller in 1981. It was later made into the television movie Haywire (1980) (TV), starring Lee Remick.
Her son William Hayward also committed suicide. He died from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the heart on March 8, 2008 in his trailer in Castaic, California. He was 66 years old.
Her youngest daughter, Bridget, was found dead in her Manhattan, New York apartment on October 31, 1960, only eleven months after her mother died. It was ruled a suicide by drug overdose, like her mother. She was 21 years old.
Margaret Sullavan turned down the part of Ellie in It Happened One Night.
Margaret Sullavan was married four times. She married Henry Fonda on December 25, 1931 in Baltimore, while both were performing with the University Players in its 18-week winter season there. However, Fonda's lack of experience and confidence did not go well with Sullavan and the marriage lasted only two months. In late 1934, she married William Wyler, the director of her next movie, The Good Fairy (1935). The marriage lasted just over a year and they divorced in March 1936. Sullavan's third husband was agent and producer Leland Hayward. Hayward had been Sullavan's agent since 1931 and their relationship had been deepening all through 1936; they had already become lovers, and Brooke, their "love child", had been conceived that October. They both wanted the baby and married on November 15, 1936. Their marriage lasted about 11 years and ended when Sullavan discovered that Hayward was cheating on her. three years later she married Kenneth Wagg, an English investment banker, to whom she was married at the time of her death.
Margaret Sullavan's sons-in-law include actor/director/artist Dennis Hopper (the second husband of her daughter Brooke Hayward), and Peter Duchin (Brooke Hayward's third husband).
On January 4, 1960, after having received the toxicologist's report on the contents of the vital organs, the coroner ruled Sullavan's death accidental. Her death was caused by barbiturate poisoning, "but not such a massive overdose as one would expect in a suicide attempt".
She suffered from a congenital hearing defect called otosclerosis that worsened as she aged, making her more and more hard of hearing. Her voice developed its distinctive throatiness because she could hear low tones better than high ones.
Turned down the part of Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night (1934). Claudette Colbert was then given the role and won a best actress Oscar for her performance.
When she was attending Harvard University, she performed with the University Players with future stars like James Stewart, Henry Fonda and Kent Smith.