Sunday, December 10, 2006
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARGARET HAMILTON
I usually don't do birthday tributes a day late, but when it comes to dear Margaret Hamilton, aka, the Wicked Witch of the West and Cora of Maxwell House fame, I will. Margaret Hamilton was born December 9Th, 1902-- the same year my dad was born! She liked to be called "Maggie" by her friends and was a kindergarten teacher before she became an actress in 1931. One of her students turned out to be Jim Backus ("Mister Magoo") She starred in such films As "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in 1938 and "State of the Union in 1948. She was married briefly in the 1930's and had one son whom she raised by herself. Her role as the Wicked Witch was not only her most famous role but one the silver screen's most memorable villains! Maggie was chosen as the witch when glamour star Gale Sondergard who had been previously cast refused to wear makeup that made her look ugly. Maggie suffered severe burns during the filming of her fiery exit from Munchkin land. The trapdoor elevator malfunctioned and Margaret Hamilton was forced to recuperate in a hospital and at home for six weeks. . She appeared regularly in films until the early 1950's and sporadically thereafter even making an a late career with the amazing Buster Keaton. In 1960 producer/ director William castle cast her as the maid in his Thirteen Ghosts spook fest. And of course, Maggie made those incredibly charming Maxwell House coffee commercials. In a later interview (when she was asked what her favorite part of "The Wizard of Oz was she replied "When the wizard gave all of the gifts to the Scarecrow, The Tin man and The Lion. My favorite line from the film is uttered by the great character actor Frank Morgan as "The Wizard" when he says "And remember, my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much YOU love, but how much YOU are loved by others" Great words! Great lady!