Margaret Brainard Hamilton (December 9, 1902--May 16, 1985) was an American film actress best known for her portrayal of Kansas curmudgeon Miss Almira Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. A former schoolteacher, she worked as a character actor in films for seven years before she was offered the role that defined her public image. In later years, Hamilton made frequent cameo appearances on television sitcoms and commercials. She also gained recognition for her work as an advocate of causes designed to benefit children and animals, and retained a lifelong commitment to public education. Hamilton was born to Walter J. Hamilton and his wife, Jennie (nee Adams), in Cleveland, Ohio and was the youngest of four children.
Contributions by Twelsht, Rossrs, and Before My Ken.