Sunday, May 16, 2010

Two eras ended this week

There are a couple of obituaries from earlier this week that I've been remiss in mentioning:

Doris Eaton Travis died on Tuesday at the age of 106. Travis was the last surviving member of the Ziegfeld Girls, and left Ziegfeld in the mid-1920s to go to Hollywood and appear in movies. She didn't make too many movies, and eventually used her dancing skills to become a franchise owner for the Arthur Miller dance schools. In later years, Travis danced for charity, making her last public appearance in April as part of an AIDS benefit.

Rosa Rio died on Thursday three weeks shy of her 108th birthday. Rio worked as an organist, providing music for silent movies in the days when they weren't played at revival houses, but when they were the only movies out there because talkies hadn't yet been created. After the demise of silent cinema, Rio got work as an organist with the NBC orchestra, and went on to play for live soap operas. In the 1990s, she and her husband moved to Florida for the weather, and she went back to her first career, performing on the organ at the Tampa Theater for revivals of silent movies. She's survived by her husband of 63 years.

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