Billie Burke (1884-1970) was an American actress remembered for her sparkling comic technique and distinguished career on stage and screen. Making her stage debut in 1903, Burke starred in dozens of Broadway and West End plays, as well as silent and talking films. In 1914, Burke wed Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., the Broadway impresario whose legendary series of Ziegfeld Follies—featuring statuesque show girls with elaborate feathered headdresses—“Glorified the American Girl” from 1907-1931. Their daughter, Patricia, was born in 1916. Upon Ziegfeld’s death in 1932, Burke continued to honor her husband’s legacy through the establishment of the Ziegfeld Club Inc. in 1936. She also produced the 1934 and 1936 editions of The Ziegfeld Follies.
Burke became a beloved character actress during Hollywood’s Golden Age, and was nominated for a 1939 Academy Award for her performance in Merrily We Live. The recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she is eternally recognizable to all generations as Glinda the Good in MGM’s classic The Wizard of Oz.
About the Award
The Ziegfeld Club, one of New York City’s first performing arts charities to benefit women is proud to announce the second Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award to honor a female composer in musical theatre. The recipient will be honored in November 2017 at the New Amsterdam Theatre, and will receive a prestigious grant of $10,000 plus a year of professional mentorship. The recipient will be selected by an expert panel chosen by The Ziegfeld Club Board of Directors.
The grant which aims to celebrate an emerging female composer, or composer/lyricist who compellingly demonstrates outstanding artistic promise in musical theater composing was inspired by a noticeable lack of female composers being produced on Broadway today. The Ziegfeld Club enables the recipient to put the grant to the best use possible to help further the composer’s creative endeavors.
Anna K. Jacobs
Julianne Wick Davis