Born Thelma McQueen in Tampa, Florida she trained as a dancer and took her stage name from The Butterfly Dance after performing it in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
She made her first film appearance playing an uncredited bit part as a sales assistant in The Women in 1939 and later that year filmed what would become her most identifiable role - as Prissy the maid in Gone With The Wind. She continued to play maids and small parts in various films including Since You Went Away, (1944), Mildred Pierce, (1945) and Duel In The Sun, (1946) but by 1947 had grown tired of the racial stereotypes she was required to play and ended her film career.
By 1950 she had commenced a three year stint on the television series Beulah which reunited her with her Gone With The Wind co-star Hattie McDaniel.
Her acting roles after this were very few, and she devoted herself to other pursuits including study, and received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 1975. She had one more role of some substance in the 1986 film The Mosquito Coast.
McQueen died in Augusta, Georgia as a result of burns received when a kerosene heater she was attempting to light exploded and doused her in fuel. A lifelong atheist she donated her body to medical science.
Butterfly McQueen Facts
|Birth Name||Thelma McQueen|
|Birthday||January 7, 1911|
|Birthplace||Tampa, Florida, USA|
|Date of death||December 22, 1995 (age 84)|
|Height||5' 1" (1m55) How tall is Butterfly McQueen compared to you?|