Helene Anna Held (19 March 1872 – 12 August 1918) was a Polish-French stage performer on Broadway. While appearing in London, she was spotted by impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, who brought her to America as his common-law wife. From 1896 through 1910, she was one of Broadway's most celebrated leading ladies, presented in a succession of musicals as a charming, coquettish Parisian singer and comedienne, with an hourglass figure and an off-stage reputation for exotic behavior, such as bathing in 40 gallons of milk a day to maintain her complexion. Detractors implied that her fame owed more to Ziegfeld's promotional flair than to any intrinsic talent, but her audience allure was undeniable for over a decade, with several of her shows setting house attendance records for their time. Her uninhibited style also inspired the long-running series of popular revues, the Ziegfeld Follies.
Helene Anna Held
19 March 1872
|Died||12 August 1918 46) (aged|
New York City, U.S.
|Resting place||Cemetery of the Gate of Heaven|
(m. 1894; div. 1908)
|Partner||Florenz Ziegfeld (1897–1913)|