(Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West)
Margaret Hamilton won her part after actress Gale Sondergaard proved too
pretty for the role of the Wicked Witch. But portraying the WWW was not a
bed of poppies for Hamilton, who was badly burned when her highly flammable
green make-up ignited during the taping of the scene where the Witch
disappears from Munchkinland. Although she will always be best known for
her portrayal of Dorothy's nemesis, Hamilton was a prolific character
actress who enjoyed a long career on stage, screen and television. She
logged roles in some 70 films in her 50 year tenure as an actress and was
also well-known as "Cora," the kindly Maxwell House Coffee spokeswoman.
She died in 1985 at the age of 82.