Milestones: May 27, 1985

DIED. Margaret Hamilton, 82, character actress in 75 films and scores of plays who in her most memorable role, as the cackling, green-faced Wicked Witch of the West in 1939's classic The Wizard of Oz, became an incarnation of evil to generations of deliciously scared children; in Salisbury, Conn. Ironically, Hamilton was a kindergarten teacher before succumbing to the acting bug in 1932. She went on to portray dozens of stern spinsters, puritanical aunts and smarmy gossips, and was well known as the kindly storekeeper Cora in five years of Maxwell House coffee TV commercials.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!