Butterfly McQueen

Butterfly McQueen

Infobox Actor
name = Butterfly McQueen
birthname = Thelma McQueen
birthdate = birth date|1911|1|7
birthplace = Tampa, Florida
deathdate = death date and age|1995|12|22|1911|1|7
deathplace = Augusta, Georgia
emmyawards = Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children's Programming
1980 "ABC Afterschool Specials"
yearsactive = 1939 - 1989

Butterfly McQueen (January 7, 1911 – December 22, 1995) was an American film and television actress best known for the role of "Prissy" in "Gone With the Wind".

Life and career

Born Thelma McQueen in Tampa, Florida, she trained as a dancer and took her stage name from the "Butterfly Dance" after performing it in a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". She performed with the dance troupes of Katherine Dunham and Janet Collins before making her professional debut in George Abbott's "Brown Sugar".

McQueen made her first film in 1939 in what would become her most identifiable role—as Prissy, the young maid in "Gone with the Wind", uttering the famous words: "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies!" She also played an uncredited bit part as a sales assistant in "The Women", filmed after "Gone with the Wind" but released before it. Around this time McQueen also modeled for the "Mrs. Butterworth" bottle. She also played Butterfly, Mary Livingstone's maid in the Jack Benny radio program, for a time during World War II. But by 1947 she had grown tired of the ethnic stereotypes she was required to play and ended her film career.

By 1950 she had played another racially-stereotyped role for two years on the television series "Beulah", which reunited her with her "Gone with the Wind" co-star Hattie McDaniel.

In a lighter moment, she appeared in a 1969 episode of "The Dating Game".

Her acting roles after this were very few, and she devoted herself to other pursuits including study, and received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1975. In 1979 McQueen won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance as Aunt Thelma, a fairy godmother in the ABC After School Special, "Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid". She had one more role of some substance in the 1986 film "The Mosquito Coast".

McQueen lived in New York in the summer months and lived in Augusta, Georgia in the winter. She died in Augusta, Georgia, as a result of burns received when a kerosene heater she was attempting to light malfunctioned and burst into flames. A lifelong atheist, she donated her body to medical science and remembered the Freedom From Religion Foundation in her will.


* "As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion."

* "Now I am happy I did "Gone With the Wind". I wasn't when I was 28, but it's part of black history. You have no idea how hard it is for black actors, but things change, things blossom in time."

elected filmography

*"The Women" (1939)
*"Gone with the Wind" (1939)
*"Affectionately Yours" (1941)
*"Cabin in the Sky" (1943)
*"I Dood It" (1943)
*"Flame of Barbary Coast" (1945)
*"Mildred Pierce" (1945)
*"Duel in the Sun" (1946)
*"Killer Diller" (1948)
*"The Phynx" (1970)
*"Amazing Grace" (1974)
*"The Mosquito Coast" (1986)

External links


NAME= McQueen, Butterfly
DATE OF BIRTH= January 8, 1911
PLACE OF BIRTH= Tampa, Florida
DATE OF DEATH= December 22, 1995
PLACE OF DEATH= Augusta, Georgia

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Butterfly McQueen — (* 7. Januar 1911 in Tampa, Florida; † 22. Dezember 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia; eigentlich Thelma McQueen) war eine US amerikanische Schauspielerin. Butterfly McQueen begann ihre Laufbahn als Tänzerin. In einer Sommernachtstraum Inszenierung tanzte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Butterfly McQueen — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Butterfly et McQueen. Butterfly McQueen …   Wikipédia en Français

  • McQueen (surname) — McQueen, Mcqueen, and MacQueen, Macqueen are English language surnames derived from Scottish Gaelic. There have been several differing etymologies given for the surnames; as well as several differing ways to represent the surname in modern… …   Wikipedia

  • McQueen — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alexander McQueen (1969–2010), britischer Modedesigner Butterfly McQueen (1911–1995), afroamerikanische Schauspielerin Chad McQueen (* 1960), US amerikanischer Schauspieler, Produzent und Rennfahrer Gordon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Butterfly — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Butterfly », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) Butterfly est le mot anglais qui signifie… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • McQueen, Thelma — ▪ 1996       ( BUTTERFLY ), U.S. character actress who often portrayed maids and was forever identified with the film role of Prissy, the befuddled slave who confessed, Miss Scarlett, I don t know nothin bout birthin babies! in Gone with the Wind …   Universalium

  • Gone with the Wind (film) — Infobox Film name = Gone With The Wind image size = 215px caption = original release poster director = Victor Fleming Uncredited: George Cukor Sam Wood producer = David O. Selznick writer = Screenplay: Sidney Howard Novel: Margaret Mitchell… …   Wikipedia

  • Маккуин, Баттерфлай — Баттерфлай МакКуин Butterfly McQueen …   Википедия

  • Beulah (series) — For other uses, see Beulah. The Beulah Show is an American situation comedy series that ran in radio on CBS from 1945 to 1954, and in television on ABC from 1950 to 1953. It is notable for being the first sitcom to star an African American.… …   Wikipedia

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