Butterfly McQueen was originally a dancer that later progressed to acting roles on the silver screen and eventually to television. She was a member of the world renowned Katherine Dunham dance troupe and she remained good friends with Katherine for her entire life. She was born Thelma McQueen but she did not like the name so she had it legally changed to Butterfly, Butterfly was a nickname she earned because of the rapid hand movements she used during dance routines. Her most famous role was that of Prissy in Gone With The Wind where her high pitched voice stood out as she played a maid to Scarlett O' Hara. She appeared in another 1939 hit movie called The Women where she played the role of Lulu, a perfume counter maid. This was an unusual movie because the entire cast was female and although it did not receive any academy nominations it is still highly regarded as one of the best movies in a year that was one of the golden era of Hollywoods best ever. She never married or had children and she died alone in tragic circumstances in a fire at her home in Augusta in 1995 aged 84. Butterfly McQueen was a modest actress and kept her private life to herself as no one in her community realised about her acting past, despite this she did come out with some memorable one liners and I have compiled here eight of the best Butterfly McQueen quotes.
- Mini Bio
- Name: Butterfly McQueen
- Born: 7th January 1911, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
- Died: 22nd December 1995, Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
- Occupation: Dancer and actress
- Famous for: Playing Scarlett O' Hara's maid in the 1939 blockbuster Gone With The Wind
- Trivia: She was a life long member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and she made no secret of her atheist leanings
"As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion"
"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"
"I'm an atheist, and Christianity appears to me to be the most absurd imposture of all the religions, and I'm puzzled that so many people can't see through a religion that encourages irresponsibility and bigotry"
"Oh, Miss Scarlett! I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies"
"Now I am happy I did Gone with the Wind. I wasn't when I was 28, but it's part of black history"
"You have no idea how hard it is for black actors, but things change, things blossom in time"
"They say the streets are going to be beautiful in Heaven. Well, I'm trying to make the streets beautiful here"
"I think America is heaven. And some people are hell"