What a difference a century makes...
Anna Held was brought to the New York stage from Europe by Broadway
producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. in 1896. Her risqué songs and hourglass
figure combined with Ziegfeld’s genius for publicity to make her
a star. She was the inspiration for Ziegfeld’s Follies
She wore dresses that emphasized her eighteen-inch waist and attributed
her creamy complexion to her daily milk baths.
When her show reached Pittsburgh in 1906 the local police raided the
theater and removed her picture from the lobby. A local paper noted that “the
local police refused to countenance the exhibition of her bare shoulders
and feet in the theater lobby.”
She died in 1918 after becoming ill onstage.