Billie Burke
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies she's appeared in) for Billie Burke . If you have any corrections or additions, please email us at corrections@chixinflix.com. We'd also be interested in any trivia or other information you have.
Pepe (1960)
[ Janet Leigh ][ Debbie Reynolds ][ Kim Novak ][ Zsa Zsa Gabor ][ Shirley Jones ]
Sergeant Rutledge (1960)
[ Constance Towers ]
The Young Philadelphians (1959)
The Star Wagon (1957)
Small Town Girl (1953)
[ Fay Wray ][ Lorraine Burnett ]
Father's Little Dividend (1951)
[ Elizabeth Taylor ]
Three Husbands (1951)
[ Eve Arden ]
Father of the Bride (1950)
[ Elizabeth Taylor ]
The Boy from Indiana (1950)
And Baby Makes Three (1949)
The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
[ Ginger Rodgers ]
Billie Gets Her Man (1948)
Silly Billy (1948)
The Bachelor's Daughters (1946)
Breakfast in Hollywood (1946)
The Cheaters (1945)
Swing Out, Sister (1945)
Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943)
[ Dorothy Malone ]
You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith (1943)
So's Your Uncle (1943)
Hi Diddle Diddle (1943)
Girl Trouble (1942)
They All Kissed the Bride (1942)
[ Joan Crawford ]
In This Our Life (1942)
[ Betty Davis ][ Olivia de Havilland ][ Hattie McDaniel ]
What's Cookin'? (1942)
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
[ Betty Davis ][ Mary Wickes ]
One Night in Lisbon (1941)
Topper Returns (1941)
[ Joan Blondell ]
The Wild Man of Borneo (1941)
The Captain Is a Lady (1940)
Irene (1940)
[ Dorothy Dandridge ]
And One Was Beautiful (1940)
The Ghost Comes Home (1940)
Hullabaloo (1940)
Dulcy (1940)
Remember? (1939)
Eternally Yours (1939)
[ Loretta Young ][ Eve Arden ]
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
[ Judy Garland ][ Margaret Hamilton ]
Bridal Suite (1939)
Zenobia (1939)
[ Hattie McDaniel ]
Topper Takes a Trip (1938)
The Young in Heart (1938)
[ Paulette Goddard ]
Merrily We Live (1938)
Everybody Sing (1938)
[ Judy Garland ]
Parnell (1937)
[ Myrna Loy ]
Navy Blue and Gold (1937)
The Bride Wore Red (1937)
[ Joan Crawford ]
Topper (1937)
[ Lana Turner ]
Craig's Wife (1936)
[ Rosalind Russel ]
Piccadilly Jim (1936)
My American Wife (1936)
Splendor (1935)
A Feather in Her Hat (1935)
She Couldn't Take It (1935)
Doubting Thomas (1935)
Becky Sharp (1935)
After Office Hours (1935)
Society Doctor (1935)
Forsaking All Others (1934)
[ Joan Crawford ][ Rosalind Russel ]
We're Rich Again (1934)
Finishing School (1934)
[ Ginger Rodgers ]
Where Sinners Meet (1934)
Dinner at Eight (1933)
[ Jean Harlow ]
Christopher Strong (1933)
Only Yesterday (1933)
[ Irene Dunne ]
A Bill of Divorcement (1932)
The Education of Elizabeth (1921)
The Frisky Mrs. Johnson (1920)
Away Goes Prudence (1920)
Wanted: A Husband (1919)
Sadie Love (1919)
The Misleading Widow (1919)
Good Gracious, Annabelle (1919)
The Make-Believe Wife (1918)
In Pursuit of Polly (1918)
Let's Get a Divorce (1918)
Eve's Daughter (1918)
The Mysterious Miss Terry (1917)
The Land of Promise (1917)
Arms and the Girl (1917)
Gloria's Romance (1916)
Peggy (1916)


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Billie Burke was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke on August 7, 1885, in Washington, DC. As a child she toured the US and Europe with the circus because her father was employed with them as a clown (before motion pictures and after the stage, circuses were the biggest form of entertainment in the world). One could say that Billie was bred for show business. Her family ultimately settled in London, where she was fortunate to see plays in the city's historic West End, and decided she wanted to be a stage actress. At the age of 18 she made her stage debut and her career was off and running. Her performances were very well received and she became one of the most popular actresses to grace the stage. Broadway beckoned, and since New York City was now recognized as the stage capital of the world, it was there she would try her luck. Billie came to New York when she was 22 and her momentum didn't stop. She appeared in numerous plays and it was only a matter of time before she caught the eye of movie executives, which is exactly what happened. She made her film debut in the lead role in Peggy (1916). The film was a hit, but then again most films were, as the novelty of motion pictures hadn't worn off since The Great Train Robbery (1903) at the turn of the century. Later that year she appeared in Gloria's Romance (1916). In between cinema work she would take her place on the stage because not only was it her first love, but at least she had speaking parts. Billie considered herself more than an actress--she felt she was an artist, too. She believed that the stage was a way to personally reach out to an audience, something that couldn't be done in pictures. In 1921 she appeared as Elizabeth Banks in The Education of Elizabeth (1921), then she retired. She had wed impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. of the famed Ziegfeld Follies and, with investments in the stock market, there was no need to work. What they didn't plan on was "Black October" in 1929. Their stock investments were wiped out in the crash which precipitated the Great Depression, and Billie had no choice but to return to the screen. Movies had become even bigger than ten years earlier, especially since the introduction of sound. Her first role of substance was as Margaret Fairlfield in A Bill of Divorcement (1932). As an artist she loved the fact that she had dialog, but she had to work even harder because her husband had died the same year as her speaking debut - and work she did. One of her career highlights came as Mrs. Millicent Jordan in David O. Selznick's Dinner at Eight (1933), co-starring Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, John Barrymore and Jean Harlow - heady company to be sure, but Billie turned in an outstanding performance as Mrs. Jordan, the scatterbrained wife of a man whose shipping company is in financial trouble and who was trying to get someone to loan his company money to help stave off financial disaster. Her character loved to give dinner parties because a dinner affair at the Jordans had a reputation among New York blueblood society as the highlight of the season. With all the drama and intrigue going on around her, her main concern is that she is one man short of having a full seating arrangement. The film was a hit and once again Billie was back on top. In 1937 she had one of her most fondly remembered roles in Topper (1937), a film that would ultimately spin off two sequels, and all three were box-office hits. In 1938 Billie received her first and only Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Emily Kilbourne in Merrily We Live (1938). This was probably the best performance of her screen career, but she was destined to be immortalized forever in the classic The Wizard of Oz (1939). At 54 years of age - and not looking anywhere near that old - she played Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. The 1940s saw Billie busier than ever; she made 25 films between 1940 and 1949. She made only six in the 1950s, as her aging became noticeable. She was 75 when she made her final screen appearance as Cordelia Fosgate in Sergeant Rutledge (1960). Billie retired for good and lived in Los Angeles, where she died of natural causes on May 14, 1970, at the age of 84.


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