Monday, June 1, 2009
New Billie Burke Biography
Billie Burke, who may be most remembered for her impossibly bubbly (literally) portrayal of Glinda the Good Witch in the “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) is the subject of a new biography by Grant Hayter-Menzies.
According to the press release issued by Mr. Hayter-Menzies, this is the first biography to be written about the glittering popular headliner-turned-character actress (though Billie Burke did pen her autobiography decades ago). Titled, “Mrs. Ziegfeld: The Private and Public Lives of Billie Burke” (McFarland & Co.), her stage career, her bittersweet marriage to Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., and her Hollywood roles are addressed as well as, according to Mr. Hayter-Menzies, “the common misperception that Billie was in person anything like the daffy women she played when she returned to Hollywood in 1932.” Other roles the author reviews include Burke’s Millicent Jordan in "Dinner at Eight" and her role as Cordelia Fosgate in "Sergeant Rutledge," her last starring screen appearance.
An interview with Mr. Hayter-Menzies on his earlier book about Charlotte Greenwood was featured in this blog post from 2007. For more information on his new Billie Burke biography, have a look here.