Butterfly McQueen Biography

Butterfly McQueen

(Thelma McQueen)
Born: 1/8/1911
Birthplace: Tampa, Florida

Stage and film actress best remembered for her part in film history with Gone With the Wind (1939). McQueen received her nickname of “Butterfly” when she appeared in the Harlem Theater group's production of Midsummer Night's Dream in the Butterfly ballet sequence. Despite the notice she received from her role in Gone With the Wind, roles became harder to get and she was out of films by the 1950s. She worked at various jobs, including waitress at a soul food restaurant, a receptionist, and dance instructor between occasional acting jobs in small parts on Broadway. She received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1975 from New York's City College at the age of 64 and had a radio show in Augusta, Georgia before she died in a fire that consumed her one-bedroom cottage.

Died: 12/22/1995

James Alan McPhersonMSteve McQueen
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