Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Place of Death
Salisbury, Connecticut, USA
Cause of Death
Profile Bio Text
Margaret Hamilton (December 9, 1902–May 16, 1985) was an American film actress best known for her portrayal of The Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. A former schoolteacher, she worked as a character actor in films for seven years before she was offered the role that defined her public image.
In later years, Hamilton made frequent cameo appearances on television sitcoms and commercials. She also gained recognition for her work as an advocate of causes designed to benefit children and animals, and retained a lifelong commitment to public education.
Hamilton married Paul Boynton Meserve on June 13, 1931, and made her debut on the New York stage the following year. While her acting career developed, her marriage became troubled, and the couple divorced in 1938. They had one son, Hamilton Wadsworth Meserve (born 1935), whom she raised on her own. Not long after the official end of her marriage, Hamilton accepted the film role that made her famous.
Hamilton`s early experience as a teacher fueled a lifelong interest in educational issues. Hamilton served on the Beverly Hills Board of Education between 1948 to 1951, long after her success in films. She also taught Sunday School in the 1950s.
She lived in New York City for most of her adult life. Her Gramercy Park apartment building also claimed James Cagney as one of its tenants. She later moved to Porterville, California. She died on May 16, 1985 following a heart attack in Salisbury, Connecticut at the age of 82. She was cremated at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery and her ashes were scattered in Amenia, New York.
Full Name at Birth
Margaret Brainard Hamilton
Has Detailed Data (New)
Claim to Fame
The Wizard of Oz
Brown - Dark
Brown - Dark
Hamilton Wadsworth Meserve-son born in 1936
Margaret Brainard Hamilton (December 9, 1902 – May 16, 1985) was an American film character actress best known for her portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Walter J. Hamilton
Neil Hamilton (distant cousin)
Wiki Bio Text
Active - 1933 - 1979 | Born - Dec 9, 1902 in Cleveland, OH | Died - May 16, 1985 in Salisbury, CT | Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance, Comedy Drama, Musical
Biography by Hal Erickson
A kindergarten teacher in her native Cleveland, Margaret Hamilton began her acting career there in community theatre and with the prestigious Cleveland Playhouse. In 1933, Hamilton was invited to repeat her stage role of the sarcastic daughter-in-law in the Broadway play Another Language for the MGM film version. Though only in her early '30s, the gloriously unpretty Hamilton subsequently played dozens of busybodies, gossips, old maids, and housekeepers in films bearing such titles as Hat, Coat and Glove (1934), Way Down East (1935) and These Three (1936). She proved an excellent foil for such comedians as W.C. Fields (in 1940's My Little Chickadee) and Harold Lloyd (in 1946's The Sin of Harold Diddlebock). Her most famous film assignment was the dual role of Elvira Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West in the imperishable 1939 gem The Wizard of Oz -- a role which nearly cost her her life when her green copper makeup caught fire during one of her "disappearance" scenes. She played several smaller but no less impressive roles at 20th Century-Fox, including the first-scene plot motivator in People Will Talk (1951) and Carrie Nation in Wabash Avenue (1950). She alternated her film work with stage assignments in the 1950s and 1960s, frequently returning to her home base at the Cleveland Playhouse. Achieving "icon" status in the 1970s by virtue of The Wizard of Oz, Hamilton sometimes found herself being cast for "camp" effect (e.g. Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud), but also enjoyed some of her best-ever parts, including the role of professorial occult expert in the 1972 TV movie The Night Strangler. Despite her menacing demeanor, Hamilton was a gentle, soft-spoken woman; she was especially fond of children, and showed up regularly on such PBS programs as Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. In the 1970s, Margaret Hamilton added another sharply etched portrayal to her gallery of characters as general-store proprietor Cora on a popular series of Maxwell House coffee commercials -- one of which ran during a telecast of The Wizard of Oz!
Dating Profile AutoText
Deceased||Margaret Hamilton passed away on 16th May 1985 aged 82.|||
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