Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen (1908 - 2002)

A photo of Berniece Bird  (Stowell) Sellen
Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen
1908 - 2002
February 28, 1908
Pocatello, Bannock County, Idaho, United States
November 27, 2002
Granada Hills in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Other Names
Billie Bird
Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen was born on February 28, 1908 in Pocatello, Idaho, United States. Her maiden name is Stowell and she married into the Sellen family. According to her family tree, Berniece was mother to 3 children. She married Edwin Sellen, and they had children Dennis Sellen, William B. Sellen, and Terry Lee Sellen. She died on November 27, 2002 at Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States at 94 years old.
Updated: July 8, 2021
It is said that Birdie was discovered in an orphanage in Idaho at age 8. She began performing in vaudeville, moving on to tv and movies as an adult. As an adult, Birdie was active from 1951–1997. She appeared in supporting roles in films such as The Odd Couple, Sixteen Candles, Home Alone, and Dennis the Menace, and Police Academy 4. She also appeared in numerous tv shows - Happy Days, Silver Spoons, Ironside, Eight Is Enough, The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, and Knots Landing to name just a few. Performing her act "Flying High With Billie Bird" for troops in Vietnam, she was also made an honorary member of the Green Berets. Married to Edwin Sellen until his death in 1966, Birdie had 3 children during their marriage. She died in 2002 from complications from Alzheimer's disease.
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Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen
Most commonly known as
Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen
Full name
Billie Bird
Other names or aliases
Unknown. Did Berniece move a lot? Where was her last known location?
Last known residence
Berniece Sellen was born on in Pocatello, Bannock County, Idaho United States
Berniece Sellen died on at Granada Hills in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
Alzheimer's disease
Cause of death
Forest Lawn 1712 S Glendale Ave, in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California 91205, United States
Burial / Funeral

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Born in Idaho - US citizen


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Actress, comedian (1951-1997)

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Family Tree

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Berniece's Family Tree

Berniece Bird  (Stowell) Sellen Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen


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Edwin Sellen


Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen

Marriage: Date unknown
Status: Together
Berniece Bird  (Stowell) Sellen Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen


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Mother to 3 children, she died on November 27, 2002 at Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States at 94 years old. she was buried in Forest Lawn, Glendale, California United States. Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen was born on February 28, 1908 in Pocatello, Idaho, United States. According to her family tree, she married Edwin Sellen, and they had children Dennis Sellen, William B. Sellen, and Terry Lee Sellen.

1908 - 2002 World Events

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In 1908, in the year that Berniece Bird (Stowell) Sellen was born, President Theodore Roosevelt held the White House Conservation Conference, which lead to the establishment of the National Conservation Commission. Preparing the first inventory of the United State's natural resources, the commission was divided into four parts: water, forests, lands, and minerals.

In 1918, Berniece was only 10 years old when following European countries, Daylight Saving Time went into effect in the United States in March. It was an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power. This was a war effort and proved unpopular so in most areas of the United States, Daylight Saving Time ended after World War I. It returned during World War II.

In 1938, by the time she was 30 years old, on June 25th (a Saturday) the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt (along with 120 other bills). The Act banned oppressive child labor, set the minimum hourly wage at 25 cents, and established the maximum workweek at 44 hours. It faced a lot of opposition and in fighting for it, Roosevelt said "Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000 a day, ...tell you...that a wage of $11 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry."

In 1942, Berniece was 34 years old when on November 28th at 10:15p, a nightclub in Boston, the Cocoanut Grove, caught fire. The origins of the fire are unknown but it killed 492 people - the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. Hundreds more were injured. The disaster was so shocking that it replaced World War II in the headlines and lead to reforms in safety standards and codes.

In 1995, she was 87 years old when on May 19th, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil - before 9/11 - took place in Oklahoma City. A truck bomb went off outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown - killing 68 people, injuring more than 680 others, and destroying one-third of the building. The most disturbing images were of children - a daycare center was hit by the bomb. The deadliest incident of domestic terrorism ever, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Michael Fortier were convicted of the bombing.

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