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|Known for:||The Wizard of Oz, As the World Turns, Nothing Sacred|
|Birth name:||Margaret Brainard Hamilton|
|Birthday:||9 December 1902, Cleveland, Ohio, USA|
|Height:||5' 5" (1.65 m)|
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TriviaIt is ironic that her performance as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939) was so scary to children, because her first job was as a kindergarten teacher. She loved and doted upon children all her life. She was the kindergarten teacher of five-year-old William Windom, until she threw him out for rambunctious behavior. Another of her students was Jim Backus. Nearly quit as the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz (1939) after a December 1938 accident in which she was severely burned during her dramatic exit from Munchkinland. The impressive special effect was achieved by her stepping onto a trap door (obscured by rising smoke) that dropped beneath her, and then a burst of real fire came up. On one take, the fire came too early, and her costume caught fire. She was off the film for more than a month. After she recuperated, she said "I won't sue, because I know how this business works, and I would never work again. I will return to work on one condition - no more fire work!". Her legendary role as the Wicked Witch of the West was ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's villains list of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains. She is a distant cousin of Neil Hamilton. And Your Little Dog, Too: Miss Hamilton was a strong promoter of animal rights and the welfare of companion animals. She often appeared in TV public service announcements with her cat, pleading that everyone spay and neuter their pets to help cut down on the number of unwanted, homeless animals. She also had a dachshund named Otto. Had one son, Hamilton Wadsworth Meserve (b.1935) Starred in the live on-stage musical "A Little Night Music" (with actress Jean Simmons in the lead role) during the mid-1970s in San Francisco. Wore the same costume for two productions, 26 years apart. The dress she wore as Miss Gulch in The Wizard of Oz (1939) was worn again when she played Grandma Frump in "The Addams Family" (1964) in 1965. She knew and accepted that she was not "conventionally glamorous". She often told the story that when her agent first called and told her MGM was interested in talking to her about a role in The Wizard of Oz (1939), she responded, "Oh, I loved reading those books to my kindergarten children. Which role?" Her agent replied: "The witch." Hamilton said: "The witch?" and the agent responded: "Yes, what else?". She attended Wheelock College in Boston, MA. A school that specializes in working with children and families. She acted in some of the Wheelock Family Theater productions.