Saturday, April 16, 2005

Doris Eaton Travis

There is a wire service story ( "At 101, Former Ziegfeld Girl Plans Return" ) circulating about Doris Eaton Travis, a dancer and showgirl and contemporary of Louise Brooks who is making an appearance on Broadway.

Part of a show business family, she began performing with her brothers and sisters at age 5. She was hired by the legendary showman Florenz Ziegfeld in 1918 and danced with the troupe for several years before heading to Hollywood, where she appeared in a number of films. In 1926, she was back on Broadway, starring with Jolson in Big Boy. In 1929, she was a featured dancer at the Music Box Review Theater on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, where she first introduced the song Singin' in the Rain."

Travis also published a memoir a couple of years ago, which is still available. "With memories that span almost a century, Doris recalls the state of the American theater during World War I, the "roaring twenties," the Great Depression - as well as the legendary names of the rich and famous celebrities with whom the Eatons worked and played."

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