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Billie Burke, (1885-1970) who is probably best remembered for her role as Glinda, the Good Witch of the North in the film The Wizard of Oz, had a very interesting life. Billie Burke was born in 1885 in Washington, D.C. Because her father was a circus clown, Burke’s family traveled all over the US and Europe. They settled in London, England where her exposure to the London stage led her to want to be an actress. She made her stage debut when she was 18, and then moved to New York to try her hand at Broadway. She starred in the 1916 movie Peggy, which made her a star. In 1921 she married Florenz Ziegfeld, of the Ziegfeld Follies, and she gave up the stage. Because of financial reversals due to the 1929 stock market crash, Burke had to return to work.

In the 1930s, she returned to acting, but she also used her name on a line of dresses, which was a marketing fad for many Hollywood stars and famous women of the 1930s, including Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Shirley Temple, and even Amelia Earhart! She starred in dozens of movies in the 1930s and 1940s, and into the 1950s. Burke retired for good in Los Angeles in 1960 where she died in 1970.

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from a 1930s black wool dress - Courtesy of kickshawproductions

from a 1930s black wool dress

Courtesy of kickshawproductions