Born: January 3, 1894 (Parsons, Kansas)
Died: June 7, 1963 (Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Famous For/Known For:
Silent Film Star, Motion Picture Actress, Comedian
A little about Zaus Pitts:
Pitts was born to parents, Rulandus and Nellie Pitts. Her father, during the Civil War era, had lost a leg.
Pitts first name, which is pronounced Zay-Soo, was derived from a combination of the names Eliza and Susan, which were the names of her mother’s sisters.
As a joke, Pitts was selected by her high school graduation class, who often made fun of her, to recite, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. Her over-dramatic performance caused laughter from the staff and students, who actually found her funny. It was this moment that a future comedian was born.
In 1915, she performed in Universal one-realer comedies which lead to her popularity.
In 1919, Pitts was cast in her first feature length lead in the movie, Better Times, in which she played Nancy Scroggs.
When her best friend, actress Barbara La Marr died from a drug overdose, Pitts decided to adopt her son.
Pitts acted in several movies over the years, such as Bright Eyes (1921) and A Daughter of Luxury (1922). Her greatest tragic role was in Greed (1924). In 1963, she played a switchboard operator named Gertie in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, which became her last performance.
In 1994, Pitts was included in a block of 29¢ stamps featuring Stars of the Silent Screen.
In 1960, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Pitts died of cancer at the age of 69.
Books About Zasu Pitts
ZaSu Pitts: The Life and Career
Hands With A Heart: The Personal Biography of Actress ZaSu Pitts
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