Framework

Billie Burke in 1936 ‘stockings suit’ court case

July 2, 1936. Actress Billie Burke, widow and benefactor of Follies founder Florenz Ziegfeld, in a Los Angeles courtroom during civil action over purchase of expensive clothing.

In a case nicknamed the “stockings suit,” a clothier sought to win payment of more than $500 from Burke for pajamas and stockings purchased six years before.

A short story in the July 3, 1936, Los Angeles Times reported:

Billie Burke, widow of Florenz Ziegfeld, won a legal tilt yesterday when she appeared in Municipal Judge (Joseph) Marchetti’s court and successfully defended herself in a civil action brought by a New York clothier.

The clothier contended Miss Burke owed $556 for pajamas and stockings bought in 1930.

“Among the articles which she ordered were some stockings of the same type worn by Marilyn Miller and which cost $6 a pair,” a deposition by the clothier, Nate Lewis, read.

Miss Burke on the stand denied buying the articles mentioned, declaring that Ziegfeld may have bought some of the clothing and sent it to her.

After Miss Burke admitted owing the clothier $40, Judge Marchetti gave judgment for that amount.

Florenz Ziegfeld had passed away on July 22, 1932, leaving Burke with  major debts.  She turned to film acting to help settle the debts.

Burke is best remembered for her portrayal of Glinda the good witch in “The Wizard of Oz.” She received a supporting actress Oscar nomination for the 1938 film “Merrily We Live.”

For more, check out Billie Burke on the Los Angeles Times Hollywood Star Walk.

A different photo of Burke appeared in the July 3, 1936, Los Angeles Times. This photo appears in the Los Angeles Times book, “High Exposure: Hollywood Lives: Found Photos from the Archives of the Los Angeles Times.”