Doris Eaton Travis
May 12, 2010 by Post Team
Doris Eaton Travis:Doris Eaton Travis the former Ziegfeld Follies dancer who inspired the audience of the 21st century with their courage and goodwill – and fancy footwork – in 12 of 13 performances each year Easter Bonnet Competition for Broadway Cares / Equity fights AIDS, 11 May died at age 106, according to Tom Viola, executive director of BC / EFA.
Ms. Eaton was thought to be among “the last of the Ziegfeld Girls” – as we know all the jewels of the women who graced the stage at the New Amsterdam Theatre (and elsewhere) the largest producer Flo Ziegfeld journal in the first quarter of the 20th century.
Eight decades after his initial bout of fame, she returned to find an audience on stage at the New Amsterdam. He danced for an audience of 1998, when she appeared with four gray hairs in the first Ziegfeld veteran fundraiser Easter bonnet in the theater, newly renovated, on West 42nd Street.
“She was really our good luck charm,” Viola told Playbill.com. “In 1998, at 94, she was so amazing – so amazing. We brought it back every year, and she danced in the opening number. Sutton Foster taught to dance” The Black, “she danced the “Cagelles’ in the previous revival, we celebrated her 100th birthday on stage, she appeared with the cast of Billy Elliot.”
Ms. Travis had recently lived with his nephew Joe Eaton and his wife outside of Chicago. Previously lived in Norman, Oklahoma, where he had a horse ranch with her husband for 40 years.
Viola Playbill.com said she became ill Sunday and was taken to hospital to be rehydrated and released, but returned to hospital on 11 May. According to reports, talkative in the car, then chatting with the nurses about being a Ziegfeld girl and has just returned from Bonnet Competition in New York.
She slipped away quietly, without incident, in the hospital. Viola said: “I bet the extraordinary sound of the ovation he received at the Minskoff stage just two weeks ago today was ringing in his ears.”
Doris Eaton was March 14, 1904, in Norfolk, Virginia. Four of his seven brothers would go to jump on the stage, including the sisters Mary and Pearl, who were also Ziegfeld Girls, and the brothers Charles and Joseph, but Joe, no show business like, left the theater at a young age. For a brief period in early 1920, the three girls were famous enough to Eaton that his heart-shaped faces graced the covers of magazines.
Mama Eaton stage encouraged the ambitions of their children from the beginning, and ambitious older sister, Evelyn pushed her brothers and sisters to achieve. Maria, the most beautiful of the family, was the most famous, leading the 1926 Lucky billing the musical reception over Eddie Cantor in Kid Boots. Pearl split her time between acting and choreography, becoming quite accomplished in the latter.
Doris Eaton took the first step in the 1917 Broadway play Mother Carey’s Chickens. She got her big break in the casual manner often seen in Hollywood movies. His sister Pearl had been used to test a group of girls dancing in a road show of folly for the producer Ned Wayburn. Doris tagged along to watch.
“During the break, Mr. Wayburn wine pearls to give some instructions and he kept looking at me. Finally, he said,” Who is it? ‘Pearl said: “It is my younger sister, Doris. “Can you dance?” I am looking for someone to understudy Ann Pennington on the road. ” Pearl Pennington routines knew and I knew my ability and said: “I could not do that. But, Mr. Wayburn, only 14 and I think that her mother let her go on the road.” He said: “You tell your mother I want Doris to do this and can travel with it and I pay way your mother ‘.”
Doris Young was the youngest girl featured in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1918. She has also appeared in the 1920 edition of madness.
“Florenz Ziegfeld, for us and our family, was a charming person,” said Playbill.com in 2004. “My sisters Mary and Pearl, my brother Charlie and I all worked for him and he just treated us wonderfully, almost like a father. When I went with my mother to his office, he was always courteous and friendly. It was sort of a quiet person. He was always neat, a sort of elegant. ”
Ms. Eaton modestly admitted that he never was the star of the family. However, it had its moments. It runs a rhythm tap dance routine in the 1928 musical Cross My Heart left the show every night cold. In 1929 the show The Hollywood Music Box Revue, featuring the song “Singing in the Rain”, months before it gave Cliff Edwards in the movie “Hollywood Revue.” And then there was the love story that was born Herb Brown, author of “Singin ‘in the Rain” and other standards.
The height of the Eatons’ was brief. Offers both Broadway and Hollywood dried up with the arrival of the Great Depression. Suddenly, the fabulous family business was over. The clan did not handle the reversal of fortune as well. Charlie, Mary and all Pearl fought alcoholism. Glamorous Maria married “three drunks in a row”, like his brother Joe put it, and died of severe metamorphosis of the liver in 1948.
“The dance of ballet and the theater was in fact the whole life of my sister,” recalls Doris when speaking of Mary in 2004. “It was something inside her. With Pearl, she liked, but it was a job. In my case, it was just a job. I never had stars in my eyes on the theater.”
Pearl also ended badly. He died in 1958 in his apartment in Manhattan Beach, victim of a bizarre murder that remains unsolved. The robust and cheerful Charlie was better to carve out a long career, often joining Doris as half of a dance group. He died in 2004.
Asked why she survived the seeming tragedy to be out of show business while still in the bloom of youth, Ms. Eaton said: “I arrived at the age of 32 years and took a good look at me and said ‘What’s going on here? This is nothing. This is life. “I went to church and began to study and find myself. I have some inner strength from that. ”
Ms. Eaton joined showbiz, but later became the owner of 18 Arthur Murray dance studios in Michigan, which operated for 30 years. She also made a horse ranch in Oklahoma with her late husband, Paul Travis, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma at the age of 88.
In 2003, he published “The days Bailamos,” a frank biography of her family history on and off stage, a history full of glory and anguish even in numbers.
Ms. Eaton took his final bow on April 27, during the opening number of the fair 2010 Easter Bonnet. She set the stage in a giant Easter basket, giving the initial impression that I could not walk. But Ms. Travis brought the audience to their feet when she stood up and took center stage himself. Steadied by two young shirtless male dancers, performed a shot or two, and thanked the public for the love they had shown in the 12 years of his appearances in the event Bonnet. Then he turned to the wings under his own power.
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