Known as Billie Burke, she was born in Washington, D.C. to the famous English clown Billy Burke. She spent much of her youth travelling with her family as her father played Europe in Barnum and Bailey's Circus. In 1903 she began acting on stage, making her debut in London, and eventually returning to America to become the toast of Broadway. There she caught the eye of theatre producer Florenz Ziegfeld, marrying him in 1914.
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 same year, she starred in Dinner at Eight.
This was shortly thereafter followed by the Topper series of films and The Wizard of Oz. Another successful series followed with Father of the Bride and Father's Little Dividend.
She died in Los Angeles, California, and was interred at Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York.
Billie Burke Facts
|Birth Name||Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke|
|Birthday||August 7, 1885|
|Birthplace||Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA|
|Date of death||May 14, 1970 (age 84)|
|Height||5' 10" (1m78) How tall is Billie Burke compared to you?|
|The Wizard of Oz|
|Wizard of Oz|
|Hi Diddle Diddle|
|Topper / Topper Returns|
|Out of Control|
|Father of the Bride|
|The Man Who Came to Dinner|