Florenz Ziegfeld

Florenz Ziegfeld

American Broadway impresario.
Date of Birth: 21.03.1867
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Florenz Ziegfeld
  2. Success with "Ziegfeld Follies"
  3. Personal Life and Legacy
  4. Later Years and Films

Biography of Florenz Ziegfeld

Florenz Ziegfeld was an American Broadway impresario, best known for his series of theatrical shows "Ziegfeld Follies" (1907-1931). He was born on March 21, 1869 in Chicago. Ziegfeld's first appearance in the entertainment world was in 1893 at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where he worked as an agent for the famous strongman Eugene Sandow.

Success with "Ziegfeld Follies"

Ziegfeld's first major success came in 1907 when he launched his show "Ziegfeld Follies," which ran until 1931. His shows featured performances by chorus girls, with dances and musical acts, and attracted collaborations with composers such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Jerome Kern. The first star of Ziegfeld's shows was Anna Held.

Personal Life and Legacy

Besides their professional collaboration, Ziegfeld and Anna Held also had a romantic relationship that began in 1897 and lasted until 1913. In 1914, Ziegfeld married actress Billie Burke, who gave birth to their daughter Patricia in 1916. Ziegfeld went on to build the Ziegfeld Theatre on Sixth Avenue for $2.5 million. It opened in February 1927 with the hit show "Rio Rita," which ran until April 1928.

Throughout the years, many famous performers started their careers in Ziegfeld's shows. Some of them include Fanny Brice, Joan Blondell, Eve Arden, Louise Brooks, Paulette Goddard, Bessie Love, Barbara Stanwyck, and many others.

Later Years and Films

In 1932, Ziegfeld's "Ziegfeld Follies" began to be broadcast on the radio. However, in the same year, he lost almost all of his money during the Great Depression. He passed away on July 22, at the age of 63, from pleurisy. Two years after his death, the semi-biographical film "The Great Ziegfeld" was released, followed by the film "Ziegfeld Follies" in 1946, which depicted his shows.

Ziegfeld's character also appeared in the film "Funny Girl," which tells the story of Fanny Brice.