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Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton

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Also Known As: Died: May 16, 1985
Born: December 9, 1902 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio, USA Profession: actor, kindergarten teacher, nursery school teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In a career that spanned five decades and more than 70 features, Hamilton is best remembered as the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 MGM classic "The Wizard of Oz". This character actress with a hooked nose and pointy chin whose screeching laugh frightened generations of children was in private life a gentle, animated woman who taught kindergarten before getting her first break in the 1932 Broadway production "Another Language". The play's success provided her ticket to Hollywood where, after recreating her role in the film version, Hamilton went on to supporting roles as what she termed "women with a heart of gold and a corset of steel" under such directors as Frank Capra, Fritz Lang, Michael Curtiz, Busby Berkeley, and William A Wellman. Hamilton never signed a studio contract by design, partly to avoid typecasting. Additionally, she only asked for a salary of $1,000 per week so as not to price herself out of the market.

In a career that spanned five decades and more than 70 features, Hamilton is best remembered as the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 MGM classic "The Wizard of Oz". This character actress with a hooked nose and pointy chin whose screeching laugh frightened generations of children was in private life a gentle, animated woman who taught kindergarten before getting her first break in the 1932 Broadway production "Another Language". The play's success provided her ticket to Hollywood where, after recreating her role in the film version, Hamilton went on to supporting roles as what she termed "women with a heart of gold and a corset of steel" under such directors as Frank Capra, Fritz Lang, Michael Curtiz, Busby Berkeley, and William A Wellman. Hamilton never signed a studio contract by design, partly to avoid typecasting. Additionally, she only asked for a salary of $1,000 per week so as not to price herself out of the market.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Letters From Frank (1979) Grandma Miller
2.
 Journey Back to Oz (1974) Voice
3.
 Night Strangler, The (1973) Professor Hester Crabwell
4.
 The Anderson Tapes (1971) Miss Kaler
5.
 Brewster McCloud (1970) Daphne Heap
6.
 Angel in My Pocket (1969) Rhoda
7.
 Rosie (1967) Mae
8.
 The Daydreamer (1966) Mrs. Klopplebobbler
9.
 Paradise Alley (1962)
10.
 13 Ghosts (1960) Elaine Zacharides
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio
1923:
Made stage acting debut in "The Man Who Ate the Popomack"
:
Taught kindergarten at the Rye (New York) County Day School in the early 1930s
1932:
Helping a friend audition, she won a part for herself in the Broadway play, "Another Language"
1933:
Reprised stage role in film version of "Another Language"
1939:
Played the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz"
1935:
Reprised Broadway role in "The Farmer Takes a Wife", directed by Victor Fleming
1936:
Played the dual roles of Elvira Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz"; reprised role in numerous stage versions
1940:
Appeared in support of W C Fields and Mae West in "My Little Chickadee"
1947:
Co-starred with Harold Lloyd in Preston Sturges' "The Sin of Harold Diddlebock/Mad Wednesday"
1948:
Acted in "State of the Union"
1950:
TV debut as guest on anthology series, "Silver Theater" in episode titled "Papa Romani"
1951:
Last film for nearly a decade "People Will Talk"
1955:
TV-movie debut, "The Devil's Disciple"
1958:
Played Dolly Tate in a tour of Irving Berlin's stage musical "Annie Get Your Gun"
1960:
Returned to featured in "13 Ghosts"
1962:
Voiced character of Auntie Em in the animated "Journey Back to Oz", with Liza Minnelli voicing Dorothy; film released on video in 1974
1963:
Had recurring role in the ABC sitcom, "The Patty Duke Show"
:
Played recurring role of Hester Frump in the TV sitcom, "The Addams Family" (ABC)
1969:
Portrayed Aunt Eller in the revival of "Oklahoma!" staged at the New York State Theater in NYC
1971:
Had last acting role in feature film, "The Anderson Tapes"
:
Recurring role on a children's series, "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters"
:
Portrayed the freindly shopkeeper Cora in a popular series of TV commercials for Maxwell House coffee
1973:
Played an occult specialist in the ABC TV-movie "The Night Strangler"
:
Had a recurring role on the NBC children's series, "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters"
1974:
Played Madame Armfeldt in the national tour of "A Little Night Music"
1978:
Appeared on stage in "The Devil's Disciple" in NYC
1979:
Last TV-movie "Letters from Frank" (CBS)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Hathaway-Brown High School: Cleveland , Ohio - 1921
Wheelock Kindergarten Training School: Boston , Massachusetts - 1921 - 1923

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Paul Boynton Meserve. Married on June 13, 1931; divorced in 1938.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Walter J Hamilton. Lawyer.
mother:
Jennie Hamilton.
niece:
Sylvia Dick. Dancer.
son:
Hamilton Meserve. Newspaper publisher. Oversees chain of newspapers in Dutchess County, New York.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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