Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen
(1/7/11 – 12/22/95)
Most notable for her role as a maid (Prissy) of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, she was often typecast as a maid. In her own words, “I didn’t mind playing a maid the first time, because I thought that was how you got into the business. But after I did the same thing over and over, I resented it. I didn’t mind being funny, but I didn’t like being stupid.”
She was also featured on Beulah, a radio-turned television program. The first to star an African-American actress.
McQueen performed in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – where she acquired the nickname “Butterfly” for her constantly moving hands. At the young age of 64, she obtained her BS in Political Science at new York City College in 1975.
She quit acting when all she was offered were stereotypical roles. Upon her death, which occurred when a malfunctioning kerosene heater she tried to light ignited in flames, her body was donated to medical science.