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 Valeska Suratt

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Valeska Suratt Famous memorial

Birth
Owensville, Gibson County, Indiana, USA
Death
2 Jul 1962 (aged 80)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial
Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, USA
Plot
Section 14, lot 475.5, Grave Marker
Memorial ID
1718 View Source

Actress. She was an American stage and silent film actress. Born into a lower middle-class family, she lacked the refined graces and manners needed to climb the social ladder, but she had a beautiful face, an hourglass figure and long legs at 5'8." She left school without graduating, becoming an excellent seamstress, creating knock-offs for herself of the latest New York and Parisian gowns. She moved from Terre Haute, Indiana to New York City in 1905, hoping to become an actress. She had many published stories of her career, with a few being clearly embellished. A story goes that one evening in 1906 she was walking down a hotel staircase, wearing a backless gown when producer Edward Edelston saw this "beauty" and cast her as a Gibson Girl in "The Belle of Mayfield" on Broadway. Perfecting her song and dance routines while Oscar Hammerstein paid her $2,500 a week, she partnered with comic Billy Gould. She later married Gould. Meanwhile, she secured a femme fatale image in several Broadway comedies. "Cosmopolitan" magazine featured her as the "Belle of the Boulevards" in 1910. After one of her plays, "The Girl with the Whooping Cough," was forced to closed for having sexual overtones, she appeared in "Bouffe Variety" with Fletcher Norton, who became her second husband. The "New York Dramatic Mirror" called her "Vaudeville's Greatest Star." Her popularity engendered a syndicated beauty and skin care newspaper column as well as her high-fashion clothing ideas. In 1915, Jerry Lasky and Samuel Goldwyn cast her in the title role in "The Immigrant", her first silent movie. Later that same year, Fox Studios outbid Paramount for her services, converting her into a lustful "Vamp" image. She made a dozen popular films before returning to the New York Vaudeville scene. During World War I, she quietly donated $500 a week to the American Red Cross and was generous to other charities. With her last film in 1917, she appeared to have been "blacklisted" after suing director Cecil B. DeMille and receiving a settlement out of court. She claimed he stole a plot to a film she had. She made 11 silent films, all of which are now lost, mainly due to the 1937 Fox Studio vault fire. She appeared on the Broadway stage in 1922 in "Spice of 1922." She toured in Vaudeville houses until the 1930s. Aging, she found show business played a cruel game to older performers. She died penniless in a nursing home. Her cremated ashes were buried in an unmarked grave next to her mother's grave. According to a June 28, 2022 newspaper article, her grave was unmarked for 60 years but was marked in June of 2022. Her birthday is celebrated in her hometown as "Valeska Suratt Day."

Actress. She was an American stage and silent film actress. Born into a lower middle-class family, she lacked the refined graces and manners needed to climb the social ladder, but she had a beautiful face, an hourglass figure and long legs at 5'8." She left school without graduating, becoming an excellent seamstress, creating knock-offs for herself of the latest New York and Parisian gowns. She moved from Terre Haute, Indiana to New York City in 1905, hoping to become an actress. She had many published stories of her career, with a few being clearly embellished. A story goes that one evening in 1906 she was walking down a hotel staircase, wearing a backless gown when producer Edward Edelston saw this "beauty" and cast her as a Gibson Girl in "The Belle of Mayfield" on Broadway. Perfecting her song and dance routines while Oscar Hammerstein paid her $2,500 a week, she partnered with comic Billy Gould. She later married Gould. Meanwhile, she secured a femme fatale image in several Broadway comedies. "Cosmopolitan" magazine featured her as the "Belle of the Boulevards" in 1910. After one of her plays, "The Girl with the Whooping Cough," was forced to closed for having sexual overtones, she appeared in "Bouffe Variety" with Fletcher Norton, who became her second husband. The "New York Dramatic Mirror" called her "Vaudeville's Greatest Star." Her popularity engendered a syndicated beauty and skin care newspaper column as well as her high-fashion clothing ideas. In 1915, Jerry Lasky and Samuel Goldwyn cast her in the title role in "The Immigrant", her first silent movie. Later that same year, Fox Studios outbid Paramount for her services, converting her into a lustful "Vamp" image. She made a dozen popular films before returning to the New York Vaudeville scene. During World War I, she quietly donated $500 a week to the American Red Cross and was generous to other charities. With her last film in 1917, she appeared to have been "blacklisted" after suing director Cecil B. DeMille and receiving a settlement out of court. She claimed he stole a plot to a film she had. She made 11 silent films, all of which are now lost, mainly due to the 1937 Fox Studio vault fire. She appeared on the Broadway stage in 1922 in "Spice of 1922." She toured in Vaudeville houses until the 1930s. Aging, she found show business played a cruel game to older performers. She died penniless in a nursing home. Her cremated ashes were buried in an unmarked grave next to her mother's grave. According to a June 28, 2022 newspaper article, her grave was unmarked for 60 years but was marked in June of 2022. Her birthday is celebrated in her hometown as "Valeska Suratt Day."

Bio by: Linda Davis


Inscription

(Grave maker erected 2022)
"Vaudeville & Musical Comedy Star
Silent Movie Actress"


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 1718
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/1718/valeska-suratt: accessed ), memorial page for Valeska Suratt (28 Jun 1882–2 Jul 1962), Find a Grave Memorial ID 1718, citing Highland Lawn Cemetery, Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave .