Margaret Field, best remembered for the 1951 B sci-fier The Man From Planet X, died at her Malibu home on Sunday, Nov. 6, the day her daughter Sally Field turned 65. Margaret Field was 89.
Directed by cult filmmaker Edgar G. Ulmer, The Man From Planet X turned out to be the highlight of Field’s film career. The story revolves around a mysterious journalist (Robert Clarke) who may or may not be an alien with ties to a spaceship that has landed near an observatory on a remote Scottish island.
Most of Field’s previous movie appearances had been uncredited bit parts, chiefly in Paramount productions such as The Perils of Pauline, Night Has a Thousand Eyes, and Samson and Delilah. Her parts got bigger following The Man from Planet X, but they remained subpar roles in mostly B movies. Among those were Philip Ford’s B Western The Dakota Kid (1951), Stuart Gilmore’s Captive City (1952), once again opposite Robert Clarke in a sci-fier, this time set in a post-apocalyptic New York City; and, after a three-year hiatus, Fred F. Sears’ crime drama Inside Detroit (1956), with veterans Dennis O’Keefe and Pat O’Brien.
Field’s last big-screen role was a supporting part in William F. Claxton’s crime melodrama Desire in the Dust (1960), starring Raymond Burr, Martha Hyer, and Joan Bennett.
From 1950 to 1973, Field kept herself busy on television, guesting in dozens of television shows, including Lawman, The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, and Bonanza. (But not The Flying Nun or Gidget, both of which starred her daughter.)
She married Richard Field in 1942. The couple were divorced in the early ’50s. She then married actor and stuntman Jock Mahoney, best remembered for playing Tarzan in a three movies of the 1960s, Tarzan the Magnificent (1960), Tarzan Goes to India (1962), and Tarzan’s Three Challenges (1963). Following their divorce, she married actor Richard Benedict.
Margaret Field’s daughter with Jock Mahoney, Princess O’Mahoney, is a television assistant director (Dexter, Southland, ER).