Skip to Content

Margaret Whitton, a veteran actress and producer best known for playing the main antagonist in the beloved comedy Major League, died on Sunday in Palm Beach, Florida.

She was 67 years old.

Margaret Whitton
Photo via Major League

Whitton’s producing partner, Steven Tabakin, confirmed the sad news to Entertainment Weekly.

“Because Margaret kept her brief battle with cancer very private, the news of her death is one of those unexpected twists and turns in the story,” he said in a statement to the publication, adding:

“As you might imagine, Margaret faced her illness with all the grace and wit she brought to every facet of her life.”

The actress was a Philadelphia native who was born on November 30, 1949.

She kicked off her acting career on stage, appearing in 1973 in an off-Broadway production of Baby Goya, which also featured acting great Olympia Dukakis.

After that, Whitton made her Broadway debt in 1982 with Nell Dunn’s Olivier Award-winning comedy Steaming.

From League

But it was Whitton’s role in the 1989 classic Major League that left a lasting imprint on entertainment fans.

She portrayed in the film, an ex-showgirl who inherited the Cleveland Indians and attempted to run the team into the ground in order to force a move to Miami.

Once the team learns of her dastardly plot, players grow inspired to win as often as they can to spite her.

Whitton played a key role in the original movie and again in the 1994 sequel, in which Phelps sought revenge.

Phelps

Other films on Whitton’s resume included in 9 1/2 Weeks (1986); The Man Without a Face (1993); The Secret of My Success (1987); and Ironweed (1987).

On the television side of things, she starred in Hometown, A Fine Romance, and Good & Evil.

“No one could deliver a one-liner like Margaret,” wrote Tabakin to EW. “No one could be more scathing one minute and more vulnerable the next – she played all the notes. Girls wanna be her."

Following her acting career, Whitton became president and executive producer of Tashtego Films, serving as a producer and developer.

She is survived by her husband of 23 years, Warren Spector.

“We don’t dare mourn Margaret because she would have a wicked one-liner to snap us back to the curves, the twists, the turns, the joy. Those incredible eyes, that delicious laugh,” Tabakin wrote, concluding:

“But we will remember her always, and how she made the world – and those of us lucky enough to share it with her for a while – just a little bit better."

We send our condolences to her loved ones.