Biography | Time with Malcolm | Pictures | Quotes
Margot was born Ruth Bennett, grew up to be a
beautiful woman with long straight brown hair and married
struggling actor Keir Dullea in 1960. Margot made her Broadway debut
during the 1963-64 season, in the play "The Irregular Verb to Love"
appeared in one episode of The Defenders in 1964 and had a small role in "Who Killed Teddy Bear"
with Sal Mineo in 1965. By 1968 her
first marriage was over. She never
really acted again, instead becoming a publicist for Paramount which was how she
and Malcolm met on 3/6/69 at the airport in New York City. She was 28 and Malcolm was 25. Margot
was in charge of handling Malcolm and David Sherwin's media appearances for
if... in New York, the first time they had been to the US. She had the smallest
mini skirt Malcolm had ever seen and there was an instant attraction even though
she married was at the time. Malcolm said she did extremely well in her job of
"taking care of him"! Ironically Keir was the star of Kubrick's 2001 and Malcolm
would be the star of Kubrick's next film ACO.
The pair started a long distance relationship since Malcolm had to go back to Europe and soon after was promoting the film at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. They spoke so much on the phone that Malcolm had $600 worth of collect calls at his hotel by the time he left on May 18th. That is like a couple thousand dollars today. They hadn't even known each other two months and she was already talking marriage. Soon after Margot and Keir were divorced, Keir remarried right away to Susan Lessons, but that didn't last and they divorced the next year in 1970.
She was already married once and Malcolm hadn't been married at all. She put the pressure on Malcolm now that he was getting more famous with every film. After all she gave up her career and he had access to famous women. It would take a few years for her to convince him though.
Their relationship led to her final on screen role as an uncredited plantation coffee picker in the beginning of O Lucky Man! After she gave up her "acting career" to secure an "uncomplicated long-lasting marriage" since Malcolm was getting big in the business. This was her idea, not his, but they assumed it wasn't possible to have two show business careers.
Malcolm, Margot and his dog Alex, a gift from Kubrick, moved into their own house, affectionately called the mill house in the center of Dorset. It was an authentic 18th century house with a working mill on the side that churned thousands of gallons of water. For some reason Margot decorated the entire inside in all white like something out of 2001: a space odyssey. It had two floors separated by a spiral staircase with Persian rugs and a garage for the car. David Sherwin stayed there one night and complained she wouldn't turn the heat on for his bedroom. He planned on making a movie about Malcolm, his guests and adventures at the millhouse even up to 1978. Malcolm never liked the idea and instead wanted to do another Mick Travis film.
In May of 1973 she accompanied Malcolm to Cannes for OLM! This is where the only pictures of her I have seen were taken. The pair partied with stars of the day like James Coburn.
On April 21, 1975 after dating and living together for over five years the couple was finally married. Lindsay Anderson says Malcolm had his fingers crossed at the service. Malcolm had lived with a couple of women before, but this was the first time he found "physical beauty, charm and intellect. Someone to compliment him in every way." He figured it was finally time. The happiness would last a couple of years and then something went wrong. Maybe it was Malcolm's frustration over the collapse of the British film industry. Malcolm never, ever wanted to leave Britain and couldn't imagine living anywhere else, but if he wanted to be in films again, he would have to leave. In July 1978 he saw the writing on the wall and left for San Francisco to film the great Time After Time. It was here that he met Mary Steenburgen and when he did it was all over with Margot, especially with her back in England nearly 6000 miles away.
Malcolm and Mary had to wait for the divorce to go through and as soon as it did they were married on September 29, 1980. It was obviously a bad situation, but the new lovebirds didn't seem to care. Margot made him pay by refusing to give him Alex back, instead giving him away and only giving Malcolm back the dogs belongings. Mary knew he was married, but refused to say anything bad about Margot in the press at the time.
Margot has never said anything bad either, in fact she has dropped off the earth completely. I have never seen or heard a word about the divorce or anything afterwards. She never got back into acting and Malcolm has said he never spoke to her again either as the whole thing left a bad taste in his mouth. Leaving the question, "Where is she now?"
Married April 21, 1975
his dog Alex from 1972
Margot Bennett as a coffee picker in O Lucky Man!
Malcolm and Margot in 1973 at the Cannes film Festival
"a woman I respect enormously, but I was frustrated, not a happy human being, I buried myself in my work. With Mary there was a mystical sense of something rather special." - Malcolm in People 9/80
"I was 24, too young, and everyone advised me not to
marry, but I guess I got tired after a while and said, 'All right, if it will
make you happy.' Big mistake. We're no longer in touch." - Malcolm in
Radio Times 2/96
Note: This quote isn't accurate. He was 24 when they MET, but 32 years old when they married.
This page © 2001-08 Alex D Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net