Billie Burke (1884–1970)

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Billie Burke was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke on August 7, 1885 in Washington, D.C. Her father was a circus clown, and as a child she toured the United States and Europe with the circus (before motion pictures and after the stage, circuses were the biggest form of entertainment in the world). One could say that Billie was bred for ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »


Known For

Merrily We Live Mrs. Kilbourne
Dinner at Eight Millicent Jordan
Topper Mrs. Topper


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (91 credits)
 1960 Pepe
Billie Burke
 1960 Sergeant Rutledge
Mrs. Cordelia Fosgate
 1960 77 Sunset Strip (TV Series)
Mavis Matthews Conway
- Publicity Brat (1960) ... Mavis Matthews Conway (as Miss Billie Burke)
 1959 The Young Philadelphians
Mrs. J. Arthur Allen
 1957-1958 Playhouse 90 (TV Series)
Mrs. Purcell / Mrs. Rutledge
- Rumors of Evening (1958) ... Mrs. Purcell
- The Star Wagon (1957) ... Mrs. Rutledge
 1956 Matinee Theatre (TV Series)
- Mother Was a Bachelor (1956) ... Aunt
 1955 The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theater (TV Series)
- The Big Bargain (1955)
 1955 The Best of Broadway (TV Series)
Martha Brewster
- Arsenic and Old Lace (1955) ... Martha Brewster
 1953 Small Town Girl
Mrs. Livingston
 1952 Doc Corkle (TV Series)
- Carnival (1952) ... Melinda
- Football Game (1952) ... Melinda
- Episode #1.1 (1952) ... Melinda
 1952 Footlights Theater (TV Series)
- Dear Amanda (1952)
 1951 Father's Little Dividend
Doris Dunstan
 1951 The Bigelow Theatre (TV Series)
Aunt Amanda
- Dear Amanda (1951) ... Aunt Amanda
 1950 Lights Out (TV Series)
 1950 Three Husbands
Mrs. Jenny Bard Whittaker
 1950 Father of the Bride
Doris Dunstan
 1950 The Boy from Indiana
Zelda Bagley
 1949 And Baby Makes Three
Mrs. Marvin Fletcher
 1949 The Barkleys of Broadway
Mrs. Livingston Belney
 1948 Billie Gets Her Man (Short)
Billie Baxter
 1948 Silly Billy (Short)
 1946 The Bachelor's Daughters
Molly Burns
 1946 Breakfast in Hollywood
Mrs. Frances Cartwright
 1945 The Cheaters
Clara Pidgeon
 1945 Swing Out, Sister
Jessica Mariman
 1943 Gildersleeve on Broadway
Mrs. Laura Chandler
 1943 You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith
Aunt Harriet Crandall
 1943 So's Your Uncle
Aunt Minerva
 1943 Hi Diddle Diddle
Liza Prescott
 1942 Girl Trouble
Mrs. Rowland
 1942 They All Kissed the Bride
Mrs. Drew
 1942 In This Our Life
Lavinia Timberlake
 1942 What's Cookin'
Agatha Courtney
 1942 The Man Who Came to Dinner
Mrs. Daisy Stanley
 1941 One Night in Lisbon
Catherine Enfilden
 1941 Topper Returns
Mrs. Clara Topper
 1941 The Wild Man of Borneo
Bernice Marshall
 1940 Hullabaloo
Penny Merriweather
 1940 Dulcy
Eleanor Forbes
 1940 The Captain Is a Lady
Blossy Stort
 1940 Irene
Mrs. Vincent
 1940 And One Was Beautiful
Mrs. Julia Lattimer
 1940 The Ghost Comes Home
Cora Adams
 1939 Remember?
Louise Bronson
 1939 Eternally Yours
Aunt Abby
 1939 The Wizard of Oz
 1939 Bridal Suite
Mrs. McGill
 1939 Zenobia
Mrs. Tibbett
 1938 Topper Takes a Trip
Mrs. Topper
 1938 The Young in Heart
Marmy Carleton
 1938 Merrily We Live
Mrs. Kilbourne
 1938 Everybody Sing
Diana Bellaire
 1937 Navy Blue and Gold
Mrs. Alyce Gates
 1937 The Bride Wore Red
Contessa di Meina
 1937 Topper
Mrs. Topper
 1937 Parnell
 1936 Craig's Wife
Mrs. Frazier
 1936 Piccadilly Jim
Eugenia Willis, Nesta's Sister
 1936 My American Wife
Mrs. Robert Cantillon
 1935 Splendor
 1935 A Feather in Her Hat
Julia Trent Anders
 1935 She Couldn't Take It
Mrs. Daniel Van Dyke
 1935 Doubting Thomas
Paula Brown
 1935 Becky Sharp
Lady Bareacres
 1935 After Office Hours
Mrs. Norwood
 1935 Society Doctor
Mrs. Crane
 1934 Forsaking All Others
Aunt Paula
 1934 We're Rich Again
Linda Page
 1934 Finishing School
Mrs. Helen Crawford Radcliff
 1934 Where Sinners Meet
 1933 Only Yesterday
Julia Warren
 1933 Dinner at Eight
Millicent Jordan
 1933 Christopher Strong
Lady Elaine Strong
 1932 A Bill of Divorcement
 1929 Glorifying the American Girl
Billie Burke (uncredited)
 1921 The Education of Elizabeth
Elizabeth Banks
 1920 The Frisky Mrs. Johnson
Belle Johnson
 1920 Away Goes Prudence
Prudence Thorne
 1919 Wanted: A Husband
Amanda Darcy Cole
 1919 Sadie Love
Sadie Love
 1919 The Misleading Widow
Betty Taradine
 1919 Good Gracious, Annabelle
Annabelle Leigh
 1918 The Make-Believe Wife
Phyllis Ashbrook
 1918 In Pursuit of Polly
Polly Marsden
 1918 Let's Get a Divorce
Mme. Cyprienne Marcey
 1918 Eve's Daughter
Irene Simpson-Bates
 1917 The Land of Promise
Nora Marsh
 1917 Arms and the Girl
Ruth Sherwood
 1917 The Mysterious Miss Terry
Mavis Terry
 1916 Gloria's Romance
Gloria Stafford (as Miss Billie Burke)
 1916 Peggy
Peggy Cameron
Show Show Soundtrack (6 credits)
Show Show Self (12 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (24 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: Suzanne. Comedy. Written by Frantz Fonson and Fernand Wicheler, from their book adapted by C. Haddon Chambers. Lyceum Theatre: 26 Dec 1910- Feb 1911 (closing date unknown/64 performances). Cast: George W. Anson, G.H. Beverman, Billie Burke (as "Suzanne"), C. Harrison Carter, Jane Galbraith, David Glassford, Harry Harwood, M.B. ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Biographical Movie | 3 Print Biographies | 2 Portrayals | 1 Interview | 29 Articles | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »

Alternate Names:

Miss Billie Burke


5' 2½" (1.59 m)


Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.  (his death)  (1 child)


Billy Burke | William Ethelbert "Billy" Burke | Blanche E. Burke

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on Hollywood] To survive there, you need the ambition of a Latin-American revolutionary, the ego of a grand opera tenor and the physical stamina of a cow pony. See more »


Her father was the internationally known English clown Billy Burke, who came to the U.S. with P. T. Barnum's circus. See more »

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