1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Billie Burke

Billie Burke was a pretty, delightful and funny actress primarily known to modern audiences for her role as ‘Glinda, the Good Witch of the North’ in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ In 1903 she began acting on stage, making her debut in London, and eventually returning to America to become the toast of Broadway as a musical comedy star. There she caught the eye of theatre producer Florenz Ziegfeld, marrying him in 1914. In 1916, they had one daughter, Patricia Ziegfeld. She was quickly signed for the movies, with her first movie, in the starring role, in ‘Peggy’ in 1916. She continued to appear on both stage and screen, but when the family’s savings were wiped out in the Crash of 1929, she began to concentrate on the movies. Ziegfeld died in 1932, worsening her financial situation. That next year, she starred in the delightful comedy ‘Dinner at Eight.’ This was shortly thereafter followed by the ‘Topper’ series of films, about a man haunted by two alcoholic ghosts (played by Cary Grant and Constance Bennett), in which she played the tremulous and daffy Clara Topper. In 1939 she was the unforgettable ‘Glinda, the Good Witch of the North’ in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ directed by Victor Fleming. Another successful series followed with the original ‘Father of the Bride’ series and ‘Father’s Little Dividend,’ both of them with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor. In 1960, when she retired from the show business, she said, ‘Acting just wasn’t any fun anymore.’ She died in Los Angeles but was interred at Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York.