Violet Carlson

Famed vaudeville headliner and Broadway actress Violet Carlson, who headlined the Palace four times and later created the role of Gretchen in the original Broadway and London productions of “The Student Prince in Heidelberg,” died Dec. 3 of natural causes in Los Angeles. She was 97.

A native of Oak Park, Ill., and reared in Oklahoma, Carlson entered vaudeville when he was 8 years old and eventually headlined the Orpheum, Pantages and Keith circuits.

From 1922 to 1934, Carlson was a featured soubrette in nine Broadway musicals: “Spice of 1922,” “Caroline” (1923), “The Student Prince in Heidelberg” (1924), “The Nightingale,” “Ruddigore,” “The Love Call” (1927), “The Red Robe” (1928), “Sweet Adeline” (1929) and “Caviar” (1934).

Carlson also toured in “My Maryland,” “Earl Carroll Vanities” (1935), “Naughty Marietta” (1936) and in the early 1960s in “Harvey” with Joe E. Brown.

During World War II she joined the USO and entertained troops in North Africa and in the South Pacific.

During the 1960s she appeared on numerous TV shows, including “The Monkees,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Batman” and “Bewitched.”

In 1941 Carlson married businessman Henri Margo, who died in 1967.

She is survived by two nieces.

More Scene

  • Holiday Soul Party

    Lena Waithe on Inclusive Storytelling: 'There's Still a Long Way to Go'

    Famed vaudeville headliner and Broadway actress Violet Carlson, who headlined the Palace four times and later created the role of Gretchen in the original Broadway and London productions of “The Student Prince in Heidelberg,” died Dec. 3 of natural causes in Los Angeles. She was 97. A native of Oak Park, Ill., and reared in […]

  • 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' film

    Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart's 'Jumanji' Maintains 'Soul' of Robin Williams Original

    Famed vaudeville headliner and Broadway actress Violet Carlson, who headlined the Palace four times and later created the role of Gretchen in the original Broadway and London productions of “The Student Prince in Heidelberg,” died Dec. 3 of natural causes in Los Angeles. She was 97. A native of Oak Park, Ill., and reared in […]

  • John Cena Ferdinand

    'Ferdinand' Director on Why John Cena Was Perfect for Title Role

    Famed vaudeville headliner and Broadway actress Violet Carlson, who headlined the Palace four times and later created the role of Gretchen in the original Broadway and London productions of “The Student Prince in Heidelberg,” died Dec. 3 of natural causes in Los Angeles. She was 97. A native of Oak Park, Ill., and reared in […]

  • Mark Hamill'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

    'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Honors Late Carrie Fisher at Elaborate Premiere

    Famed vaudeville headliner and Broadway actress Violet Carlson, who headlined the Palace four times and later created the role of Gretchen in the original Broadway and London productions of “The Student Prince in Heidelberg,” died Dec. 3 of natural causes in Los Angeles. She was 97. A native of Oak Park, Ill., and reared in […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content