The title character of the new Broadway musical Wicked is an iconic role. The role is played by a female lead, and this time, we will talk about two actors who are the first non-white actresses to play the role. The description of the character is “blonde, gold hair with a gentle curl.” The character is usually portrayed with a blonde wig and gold hair, but the character could technically be played by anyone with the right voice and appearance.
Billie Burke was a very famous American actress who made her mark in radio, theatre, and silent films. She had a unique voice and a natural flair for comedy. But she was best known for her roles in Broadway musicals. While some of her roles were comical, others were deeply meaningful, and Burke’s role as the good witch in Glinda the Good Witch was no exception.
Among her other roles, she is most famous for her role as the good witch Glinda in The Wizard of Oz (1939). She is buried at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. Her work on the film Peggy (1916) earned her a salary of $40,000 – the highest amount ever paid for one film. She began her career on the stage in the British provinces before moving to Hollywood.
When she starred as Glinda in the movie, Burke was 54 years old. She had already made 25 films by the time of the movie. During the 1950s, she appeared in another six films. Her final movie appearance was in 1960. She passed away in 1970 at the age of 85.
Hamilton began her career as an actress in the early 1930s. After leaving the Los Angeles stage, she worked extensively in the theater. She played Cora in a Maxwell House coffee commercial and guest-starred on the CBS Radio Mystery Theater on October 30, 1975. As part of the Witch’s makeup, Hamilton’s voice was piercing and her complexion retained a green tint.
Hamilton’s career as the Wicked Witch of the West, Miss Almira Gulch, and the Good Witch of the West was largely uncredited, and she went on to appear in more than a dozen films. Other notable roles she played included Hat, Coat, Glove, Broadway Bill, You Only Live Once, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The good witch is a symbol of goodness in a world run by two evil sisters and an impotent wizard. Glinda’s diction is British, and she rolls her R’s majestically. She’s sweet and dainty, but not fragile.
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The character of Glinda the Good Witch is a supporting character in the film The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She assists Dorothy Gale in her quest to reach the Emerald City. In the Japanese version of the film, Glinda is voiced by Kumiko Takizawa. She tells Dorothy that she can go home to Kansas at any time, as long as she closes her eyes and taps her heels.
After being an understudy for the role of Glinda in the Broadway musical Wicked, Brittney Johnson was named the full-time Glinda. She will start in her new role on February 14, 2022 at the Gershwin Theatre. While Johnson has been a part of the show for over six years, she had never played Glinda.
Unlike the previous Glinda, Brittney Johnson is the first Black actress to play the role. She will start in February 2022, taking over from standby Ginna Claire Mason. She has previously appeared in several Broadway shows, including Les Miserables, Motown, Sunset Boulevard, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. She will star opposite Lindsay Pearca, who currently plays Elphaba. Other cast members include Alexandra Billings and Jordan Barrow. Miltney Diaz and Michael X Martin will also be appearing as Doctor Dillamond and Nessarose.
In high school, Johnson took voice lessons and performed in musicals. Later, she went on to study at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. During that time, she also had roles in other musicals. In fact, she was the first Black actress in a major theater production. She said she was often faced with racism while playing the role.