Everybody's Magazine 1903
February 8, 1880|
Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Died||January 26, 1910
New York City, New York, United States
|Occupation||Actress, Dancer, and Singer|
Paul SchindlerRichard Ling
Lotta Faust (February 8, 1880 – January 25, 1910) was an American actress, dancer, and singer from Brooklyn, New York. She performed an interpretation of the Salome dance based on the Salome (1893) by Oscar Wilde.
Faust attended public schools in Brooklyn. Her first employment was working as a cash girl in a Brooklyn department store. She worked there until she went on stage at the age of 16.
Her first appearance in theater came in The Sunshine of Paradise Alley (1896), produced by Denman Thompson. In September 1901 she acted the role of Geraldine Fair in The Liberty Belles. The play had nine writers and composers, including Harry B. Smith, the primary librettist. Aine Lauchaume wrote most of the music. It was produced at the Madison Square Theatre, 24th Street, 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue.
She became popular in The Wizard of Oz (1904 - 1905), in which she sang the Sammy song. After this she joined the company of Joe Weber and appeared in Wonderland (1905). Later she was among the cast of The White Hen (1907), staged by Louis Mann at the Casino Theatre, Broadway at 39th Street.
In 1907 she was in the troupe of Lew Fields in The Girl Behind The Counter (1907 - 1908), The Mimic World in 1908 and The Midnight Sons in 1909. For the rest of her life she worked with Fields and in productions of the Shubert Theatre.
Faust's vaudeville career began at the Casino Theatre with the introduction of a unique cake walk. She teamed with Frank Bernard for this dance in April 1900. In August 1908 she appeared at the Casino Theatre. During an interview she admitted to being unaware of the Biblical story of Salome. Her rendition of the Salome dance came from what she was told regarding the Wilde play. She said she as if she really were the 14-year-old Salome while she was dancing on stage. She experienced both the horror and fascination during her performances. For each appearance Faust danced as if she would never be able to repeat what she was doing. There were a number of other women who presented their versions of the Salome dance in the same era as Faust. Among these were Eva Tanguay, Vera Olcott, and Gertrude H. Hoffman. Faust eventually was in a vaudeville show which featured her as a singer.
She was married twice. Her first husband was Paul Schindler, a musical director, whom she divorced in 1902. Her second husband was singer and comedian Richard Ling. However, in between marriages the beautiful Faust was popular with men. John Barrymore in recalling her is quoted as saying that "he used to grab a lotta back", this when dancing with the actress and because Faust had a penchant for wearing dresses with large open backs.
Faust died in January 1910 at a sanitarium on 33 East 33rd Street in New York City. The cause of death was pneumonia which resulted from an operation she had several weeks earlier. Just before she became ill, she played a primary role in The Midnight Sons. She sued Ling for divorce a short while before her death.
Faust was engaged to Malcolm A. Strauss, an illustrator, at the time of her death. He resided at 30 West 40th Street, Manhattan. Strauss painted a posthumous portrait of Faust. It was sold and the proceeds given to Faust's parents at a benefit.
- Lotta Faust Dead, New York Times, January 26, 1910, pg. 9.
- In Memoriam, New York Times, January 25, 1913, pg. 15.
- The Liberty Belles, New York Times, September 19, 1901, pg. 19.
- EJ Phillips Manhattan Retrieved on 12-29-07.
- Casino Theatre, Demolished Broadway Theaters C-D, Retrieved on 12-29-07.
- A Pictorial History of American Theatre, Chilton, 1960, pgs. 65,66,102,104,106,108,109
- This Week's New Bills, New York Times, April 29, 1900, pg. 18.
- Behind The Scenes With Five Salomes, Syracuse Herald, Sunday Morning, August 30, 1908, pg. 18.
- Malcolm A. Strauss Weds, New York Times, June 14, 1911, pg. 9.
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