Marguerite W. Cullman; Theatrical Investor
Marguerite W. Cullman, 94, theatrical investor who financed more than 300 Broadway plays, including dozens of box office hits. Born Marguerite Sanders in New York, Cullman was an associate editor of Stage magazine in the late 1930s when her husband, tobacco magnate Howard Cullman, suggested that her insights on upcoming plays might be worth a lot of money. He proposed backing productions that she thought might reap riches at the box office. Their first gamble, a play called “June Night,” was a failure; one New York critic dismissed it as a “January Frost.” But Cullman’s instincts sharpened, beginning with “Life With Father,” which debuted in 1938 and ran for eight years on Broadway. She was, New York columnist Norton Mockridge once wrote, “the shrewdest picker on Broadway.” The Cullmans’ successes included dozens of Broadway long-run record setters, including “South Pacific,” “Mr. Roberts,” “The Sound of Music,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Teahouse of the August Moon.” She and her husband, who died in 1972, also backed “Death of a Salesman,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” She wrote a book about her experiences as a Broadway angel in 1963, titled “Occupation: Angel.” On Monday in Manhattan.
Margie Muller; Former Maryland Bank Commissioner
Margie Muller, 71, longtime Maryland bank commissioner. Muller, a Los Angeles native, served three governors as Maryland’s top banking official, responsible for monitoring the state’s banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Appointed in 1983 after a long career in banking, including posts at Maryland National Bank and Union Trust Co., Muller was the first woman to regulate Maryland’s banking industry since the commissioner’s post was created in 1910. She was fired in 1996 when she publicly attacked Gov. Parris Glendening’s plan to merge her office with the consumer credit commissioner’s office, saying that the move would hamper her regulatory efforts. Muller was a 1949 graduate of UCLA, where she majored in English and met her future husband, Steven Muller, who is president emeritus of Johns Hopkins University. On Sunday at Johns Hopkins Hospital after a long struggle with emphysema.