Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The Ziegfeld Follies were elaborate theatrical productions that took place in New York from 1907 through 1931. Taking a cue from the Folies Bergères of Paris, Florenz Ziegfeld conceptualized the idea for his own lavish revues. The Ziegfield girls were chorus singers and the toast of Broadway. Their always talked about, often risque costumes were designed by Erté, Lady Duff Gordon or Ali Ben Hagan.

After Ziegfeld's death in 1932, his then wife Billie Burke, best known for her portrayel of Glinda in the Wizard of Oz, was consumed by the debt he left behind. In an effort to settle her money troubles she turned towards acting and authorizing the use of the name Ziegfeld Follies.

In 1936, the Best Picture winner was The Great Ziegfeld, based on the life of Florenz Ziegfeld. There was also a 1946 feature motion picture entitled Ziegfeld Follies with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, William Powell, Gene Kelly, Fanny Brice, Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse, Lucille Ball, Kathryn Grayson, and others performing songs and sketches similar to those from the original Follies.

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