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Oakley, Annie

Oakley, Annie

Oakley, Annie, 1860-1926, American theatrical performer, b. Darke co., Ohio. Her original name was Phoebe Anne Oakley Mozee. From childhood on she was a "dead shot" with a rifle. She defeated in contest the noted marksman and vaudeville star Frank E. Butler, who subsequently married her and became her manager and assistant. As a major attraction (1885-1902) of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show she performed remarkable feats of marksmanship. In 1901 she was partially paralyzed in a railroad accident but continued to delight audiences with her brilliant shooting for 20 years. Her life was the basis for Irving Berlin's popular musical Annie Get Your Gun (1946).

See biography by W. Havighurst (1954).

orig. Phoebe Anne Moses

Annie Oakley.

(born Aug. 13, 1860, Darke county, Ohio, U.S.—died Nov. 3, 1926, Greenville, Ohio) U.S. sharpshooter. As a child she won acclaim for her marksmanship. She later toured vaudeville circuits with her marksman husband, Frank Butler. In 1885 they joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show; she was one of the show's star attractions for most of the next 16 years. Oakley's famous act included shooting off the end of a cigarette held in Butler's lips, hitting the thin edge of a playing card from 30 paces, and shooting distant targets while looking into a mirror. In 1887 she was presented to Queen Victoria, and later in Berlin she performed her cigarette trick with, at his insistence, Crown Prince William (later Kaiser William II) holding the cigarette.

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