Nearly everyone’s vision of a wicked old witch comes from the Wicked Witch of the West from the movie Wizard of Oz. The role of the witch was played by Margaret Hamilton who was born on December 9th in 1902.
Even though her most famous role has frighten many children since its release in 1939, she loved children and for awhile was a teacher. She served on the Beverly Hills Board of Education from 1948 to 1951 using her legal name Margaret Meserve. Hamilton was her birth name.
She once appeared on an episode of Mr Rogers neighborhood explaining in the segment that it was an act and showing how a sweet old lady could be turned into a Wicked Witch through the use of makeup.
She spent many years as an animal activist working for animals rights and welfare.
In the 1960s and 70s she appeared on many television programs. She played the part of Morticia Addams’ mother Hester in The Addams Family after having turned down the role of Grandmama. And sold many cans of Maxwell House Coffee as Cora, the shopkeeper.
She died of a Heart Attack at the age of 82 on May 16, 1985 at a nursing home in Salisbury, Connecticut.