×

Margaret Whitton, ‘Major League’ Actress and Film Director, Dies at 67

Margaret Whitton, best known for her role as Rachel Phelps in the “Major League” films, died peacefully in her Palm Beach, Fla., home on Sunday after a short battle with cancer. She was 67.

Producer Steven Tabakin, who co-founded Tashtego Films with the late actress and her husband, Warren Spector, in 2008, confirmed Whitton’s death to Variety.

Born in Philadelphia, Whitton’s first gigs included her off-Broadway debut in 1973 in “Baba Goya,” followed by her Broadway introduction in Nell Dunn’s “Steaming” in 1983. Her first major screen role came in 1986, portraying Molly in “9 1/2 Weeks,” alongside Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. She then landed lead roles in films such as “The Secret of My Success” and “Ironweed,” before starring in the critically-acclaimed “Major League” and its sequel, “Major League II,” as Rachel Phelps, a former showgirl who inherits the Cleveland Indians following her husband’s death.

On the small screen, Whitton appeared on TV series such as “Hometown,” “Good & Evil,” “A Fine Romance,” and “One Life to Live.” Later in her career, the Pennsylvania native began focusing on directing and producing, making her directorial debut in 2011 with “A Bird of the Air,” starring Rachel Nichols and Jackson Hurst. She remained active with Tashtego Films until the last few months, according to Tabakin.

Popular on Variety

Whitton is survived by her husband. A date has not been set yet for the memorial service.

More Film

  • Rachel Brosnahan25th Annual Screen Actors Guild

    Film News Roundup: Rachel Brosnahan Starring in Sci-Fi Movie 'Distant'

    In today’s film news roundup, Rachel Brosnahan will try science-fiction, documentaries about Herb Alpert and Sasha Joseph Neulinger find homes, and Cameron Boyce’s “Runt” gets a premiere. CASTING Rachel Brosnahan will star with Anthony Ramos in Amblin Partners’ upcoming comedic sci-fi film “Distant.” Will Speck and Josh Gordon will direct from Spenser Cohen’s script about [...]

  • Aldis Hodge Regina King

    Aldis Hodge Gushes Over Working With First-Time Film Director Regina King

    Regina King is on a roll. After winning an Oscar for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and starring as masked vigilante Sister Knight in HBO’s “Watchmen,” King is gearing up to make her film directing debut with “One Night in Miami.” Adapted by Kemp Powers from his play of the same name, the film dramatizes a [...]

  • Jon Berg

    Netflix Developing Female-Fronted Comedy Film With Jon Berg (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix is developing an untitled female-led comedy with producer Jon Berg, the former Warner Bros.’ co-president of production. The writing team of Jordan Roter (“The Tear Down,” “Camp Rules”) and Monica Corcoran Harel (New York Times, Marie Claire) has been attached to write the project. Netflix is keeping the logline under wraps. The project will [...]

  • Bob Chapek Disney CEO

    Why Wall Street Is Unhappy (for Now) With Disney's CEO Change

    We all knew the end was coming. Bob Iger had promised, time and again, that the end was coming. But the rather abrupt announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would relinquish his longtime role as CEO of the Walt Disney Co. — and that theme parks head Bob Chapek would succeed him at the top of [...]

  • Dau

    'DAU. Natasha': Film Review

    There’s a school of critical thought that believes no contextual details or backstory to a film — be they to do with its source material, the circumstances of its production, or its makers’ motivation — should be examined or factored into a review of it, that the final product up on the screen is the [...]

  • The Invisible Man Movie

    Box Office: 'The Invisible Man' Eyes $20 Million-Plus Debut

    With “The Invisible Man,” a terrifying thriller starring Elisabeth Moss, Universal is attempting to revive the cinematic prospects for its classic monster properties. After “The Mummy” with Tom Cruise flamed out theaters in 2017, the studio scraped its plans to form an interconnected Dark Universe and instead retooled its vision to create standalone stories unique [...]

  • Dau

    'Dau' Director Defends Controversial Russian Competition Film: 'It's Not Hollywood'

    “Dau. Natasha,” the Russian art project-turned-movie franchise competing at the Berlinale, has triggered headlines in the local and international press over the years due to its epic scale, scenes of graphic violence and anecdotes of an allegedly oppressive work environment for women. Hours before the film’s premiere at a presser on Wednesday, Ilya Khrzhanovsky, who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content