|Height:||159 cm (5' 3'')|
|Birth Day:||August 7, 1884|
|Death Date:||May 14, 1970 (age 85)|
As per our current Database, Billie Burke died on May 14, 1970 (age 85).
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|159 cm (5' 3'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
She was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke and went on to tour with her father, who worked as a circus clown.
Burke was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Blanche (née Beatty; 1844–1921) and William "Billy" Burke. She toured the United States and Europe with her father, a singer and clown who worked for the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Her family settled in London where she attended plays in the West End. She began acting on stage in 1903, making her debut in London in The School Girl. Her other London shows included The Duchess of Dantzic (1903) and The Blue Moon (1904). She eventually returned to America to star in Broadway musical comedies.
Burke went on to play leads on Broadway in Mrs. Dot, Suzanne, The Runaway, The "Mind-the-Paint" Girl, and The Land of Promise from 1910 to 1913, along with a supporting role in the revival of Sir Arthur Wing Pinero's The Amazons. There she met producer Florenz Ziegfeld, marrying him in 1914. Two years later they had a daughter, author Patricia Ziegfeld Stephenson (1916–2008).
Burke made her Hollywood comeback in 1932, when she starred as Margaret Fairfield in A Bill of Divorcement, which was directed by George Cukor. She played Katharine Hepburn's mother in the film, which was Hepburn's debut. Despite the death of her husband Florenz Ziegfeld during the film's production, she resumed acting shortly after his funeral.
In 1933, Burke was cast as Millicent Jordan, a scatterbrained high-society woman hosting a dinner party in the comedy Dinner at Eight, directed by George Cukor, co-starring with Lionel Barrymore, Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Jean Harlow and Wallace Beery. The movie was a great success and revitalized her career and she subsequently starred in many comedies and musicals, typecast as a ditzy, fluffy and feather-brained upper-class matron with her high-pitched voice.
In 1936, MGM filmed a sanitized biopic of Florenz Ziegfeld (The Great Ziegfeld), a film that won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Actress (Luise Rainer as Ziegfeld's common-law wife, Anna Held). William Powell played Ziegfeld and Myrna Loy played Burke; this infuriated Burke, who was under contract to the studio and believed she could have played herself. However, MGM considered her too old to cast in the part of her younger self, despite otherwise perfectly commanding the look and mannerisms.
In 1937, Burke appeared in the first of the Topper films, about a man haunted by two socialite ghosts (played by Cary Grant and Constance Bennett), in which she played the twittering and daffy Clara Topper. Her performance as Emily Kilbourne in Merrily We Live (1938) resulted in her only Oscar nomination. In 1938, she was chosen to play Glinda the Good Witch of the North in the musical The Wizard of Oz (1939), directed by Victor Fleming, starring Judy Garland. She had previously worked with Garland in the film Everybody Sing, in which she played Judy's histrionically hysterical actress-mother. Director George Cukor offered her the role of Aunt Pittypat in Gone With the Wind (1939), but she declined and it was played by Laura Hope Crews, a character that Cukor wanted to be played in a "Billie Burke-ish manner" with "the same zany feeling". Another successful film series followed with Father of the Bride (1950) and Father's Little Dividend (1951), both directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, and Elizabeth Taylor. Burke also portrayed Mrs. Ernest (Daisy) Stanley in the 1942 film The Man Who Came to Dinner.
For her contributions to the film industry, Burke was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 with a motion pictures star at 6617 Hollywood Boulevard.
Among Burke's early suitors was the celebrated operatic tenor Enrico Caruso. Burke was married to producer Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. and resided in Beverly Hills, California. She died in Los Angeles of natural causes on May 14, 1970, at the age of 85, and was interred at Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, Westchester County, New York.
On November 4, 2015, the crater Burke, near the north pole of the planet Mercury, was named after Billie Burke.
Currently, Billie Burke is 138 years, 5 months and 21 days old. Billie Burke will celebrate 139th birthday on a Monday 7th of August 2023.
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