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Florenz Ziegfeld

Legit Icons of the Century

As showmen go, Florenz Ziegfeld remains the most famous, even 75 years after his death. From 1907 to 1932, he presented more than two dozen lavish revues, called “Follies” or “Midnight Frolics,” that featured Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, W.C. Fields and Will Rogers, and such scantily clad beauties as Barbara Stanwyck, Marion Davies and Paulette Goddard.

And who can’t hum Ziegfeld’s theme song: “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody”? His most lasting achievement, however, remains Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s 1925 hit “Show Boat,” the first classic of the American musical theater.

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