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 Butterfly McQueen

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Butterfly McQueen

  • Original Name Thelma
  • Birth 7 Jan 1911 Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA
  • Death 22 Dec 1995 Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, USA
  • Burial Donated to medical science
  • Plot unknown
  • Memorial ID 5816373

Actress. She was born Thelma McQueen. The "Butterfly" stage name, which described her constant-moving arms, was actually derived from her dancing in the "Butterfly Ballet" in a 1935 production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". "Butterfly" did became her legal name. She appeared in eighteen films, including "Mildred Pierce", "Huckleberry Finn", and "Gone With the Wind", which may be her most famous part playing a slave named Prissy. She will be remembered for the line, "Oh, Miss Scarlett, I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies." When she became frustrated with racial-typecasting, she quit acting in films in 1947. She was a regular on the radio show "Beulah" and then in the TV version of the same from 1950 to 1952; she played the part of a maid. At the age of 64, she received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from New York City College in 1975. The same year, in the stage musical "The Wiz," she was an understudy for the part of Addapearle, the Good Witch of the North. In 1980, after being verbally and physically assaulted by a male Greyhound Bus employee, she sued, and after several years, they settled with $60,000; a female senior citizen's ribs were broken as a result of the assault. In 1989 she was honored with a "Freethought Heroine" award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. When she died, she left her personal bank account to that organization as she was a lifelong atheist. At the time of her death, she was living frugally in an one-bedroom cottage with dozens of cats near Augusta, Georgia. She died from third-degree burns over 70% of her body; in critical condition, she told the fireman that her clothes caught on fire from a kerosene heater.

Bio by: Brenda


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Brenda
  • Added: 1 Oct 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5816373
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Butterfly McQueen (7 Jan 1911–22 Dec 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5816373, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Donated to medical science.