Beatrice Lillie

Beatrice Lillie

According to Axel Madsen in "The Sewing Circle", she was considered for the role of "The Good Witch" in The Wizard of Oz (1939) in 1936, but was thought too funny for the role.

Bea married Robert Peel in 1920, the extravagant heir of Lord Peel. When her father-in-law died in the mid-20s, she and Robert became Lord and Lady Peel. When husband Robert died of peritonitis in 1934, he left behind huge debts which forced Bea to continue working non-stop for years to come.

Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 361-363 New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Close intimate friends with such vast personalities as Noel Coward, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Chaplin and Sir Winston Churchill.

Her son was killed during military service with the navy.

In 1948, at age 54, she met singer/actor John Philip Huck, 28 years her junior. Despite their huge age difference, he became her manager and her companion for the rest of her life. Huck died of a heart attack the day after Bea passed away. They were buried side by side near her mother and sister in a small cemetery near Peel Fold.

Made her final stage appearance as Madame Arcati in "High Spirits" the musical version of Blithe Spirit. It was during the show that she began experiencing symptoms of Alzheimers Disease.

Profiled in the book, "Funny Ladies", by Stephen M. Silverman. [1999]

She won a Tony in 1953: "An Evening With Beatrice Lillie"

Won a Special Tony Award in 1953 for her show, "An Evening With Beatrice Lillie." She was also twice nominated for the Best Actress (Musical) Tony: in 1958 for "Ziegfeld Follies," and in 1964 for "High Spirits."