Mitzi Hajos

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Head over Heels alternative cover

Mitzi Hajos (April 27, 1889 – June 1, 1970), sometimes written as Mizzi Hajos, was a Hungarian-born American stage performer, specializing in comic and musical roles.

Early life[edit]

Magdalena "Mitzi" Hajos was born in 1889 (some sources give 1891, and Hajos herself gave various dates), near Budapest, Hungary.

Career[edit]

As a young teenager she performed in music hall shows in Europe. At age 20, she moved to the United States at the invitation of William Morris, to appear in Barnyard Romeo, a show she had performed in Vienna. From 1914 to 1925, she worked exclusively for opera producer Henry Wilson Savage. She was often described as "tiny" and "diminutive", and often played children or characters pretending to be children.[1] A reviewer in the New York Times approved, saying "she makes such an adorable boy, too."[2] Because her surname was difficult for American audiences, she went by the single name "Mitzi" in programs and publicity materials, at the peak of her career.[3]

Mitzi Hajos in publicity still for Pom-pom (1916)

Broadway shows she appeared in included La Belle Paree (1911), Her Little Highness (1913),[4] Sari (1914, 1930),[5] Pom-pom (1916), Head over Heels (1918),[6] Lady Billy (1920-1921),[7] The Magic Ring (1923), Naughty Riquette (1926), The Madcap (1928),[8] You Can't Take It With You (1936-1938),[9] Mr. Big (1941), and Cafe Crown (1942).[10] She also toured the United States with several shows.[11][12]

In 1916, she was named vice president of Sunbeam Motion Picture Corporation.[13] She endorsed Mason & Hamlin Pianos in a 1919 advertisement.[14] The child actress Mitzi Green was given her stage name after Mitzi Hajos in the 1920s.[15] Hajos was drawn at least twice by Broadway illustrator Al Hirschfeld.[16]

In midlife, when roles became scarce and her husband was ill, Hajos worked as a secretary for The Shubert Organization.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Mitzi Hajos was married to her frequent co-star Boyd Marshall from 1920[18] until his death in 1950. By that marriage she became an American citizen.[19] She died in 1970, in Connecticut, aged 81 years. Her remains were buried in her husband's family's plot in Port Clinton, Ohio.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mitzi Hajos the Joy of Pretty 'Pom-Pom'" New York Times (February 29, 1916).
  2. ^ "They Wouldn't Believe Me" New York Times (April 9, 1916): X9.
  3. ^ "Pom-Pom Coming to the Academy" Reading Times (February 8, 1917): 10. via Newspapers.comopen access
  4. ^ Michael G. Ankerich, Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-stung Lips (University Press of Kentucky 2012): 31-32. ISBN 9780813136905
  5. ^ Cecil A. Smith and Glenn Litton, Musical Comedy in America: From the Black Crook to South Pacific, from The King and I to Sweeney Todd (Routledge 2013): 96. ISBN 9781136556753
  6. ^ Steven Suskin, Show Tunes: The Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway's Major Composers (Oxford University Press 2010). ISBN 9780199886159
  7. ^ "'Lady Billy' is Tuneful" New York Clipper (September 1, 1920): 5.
  8. ^ "Madcap Shows Mitzi to Fair Advantage" New York Times (February 1, 1928): 31.
  9. ^ Jared Brown, Moss Hart: A Prince of the Theatre (Backstage Books 2006): 199. ISBN 9780823078905
  10. ^ Albert Goldberg, "'Sari' and Mitzi Hajos" Chicago Tribune (April 23, 1944): 5.
  11. ^ "Mitzi Hajos Will Return to Clunie in 'Lady Bill'" Sacramento Union (November 19, 1922): 14.
  12. ^ "Mitzi Hajos in New Comedy" Jewish Telegraphic Agency (August 19, 1934).
  13. ^ "Modern Publishing Extends to Films" Motography 15(May 13, 1916): 1079.
  14. ^ Advertisement, Pittsburgh Press (March 13, 1919): 27.
  15. ^ "Mitzi Green Chooses the Los Angeles Limited" Union Pacific Magazine (April 1932): 17.
  16. ^ Al Hirschfeld Foundation, artwork search, Mitzi Hajos.
  17. ^ Shay Delcurla, "Searching for Mitzi: The Life and Career of Mitzi Hajos from 1910 to 1970" The Passing Show: Newsletter of the Shubert Archive 25(2006-2007): 2-18.
  18. ^ "Mitzi Hajos Weds Leading Man" New York Times (May 22, 1920): 15.
  19. ^ "Mitzi Hajos Weds Leading Man and Becomes American" New York Herald (May 22, 1920): 9. via Newspapers.comopen access

External links[edit]