Vera King ~ The Tragic Showgirl

Vera King

Vera King was a model and Ziegfeld Follies dancer who died mysteriously in 1956.

She was born Elvera Rita King on December 18, 1904 in New York City. At the age of seventeen she married Walter Benson Frix but she left him soon after. Vera started her career as an artists model posing for Chandler Christy. She danced in The Ziegfeld Follies and in The Passing Show of 1923. The shapely brunette also won first prize in the Long Beach bathing beauty contest. Then she was asked to join Earl Carroll's Vanities. While touring with the show in Cleveland she met Morris Lederer, a wealthy broker. The couple were married in 1924 and Vera gave up her career to be a housewife. She filed for divorce in 1928 claiming that he was physically violent. They reconciled but she filed for divorce again in 1930. She started dating Prince Mohammed Ali Abraham and there were rumors they were engaged. In 1931 she appeared on Broadway in Here Comes The Bride. Vera went to Hollywood in 1935 to become a film actress but she didn't get any roles.

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She married hotel magnate Milton J. Kramer in June of 1936. The couple had a rocky marriage and they separated several times. By 1955 they were divorced and she moved into a lavishly furnished apartment in New York City. She began a relationship with Bradley Hammond, a retired police detective. Unfortunately they were both alcoholics. On December 26, 1956 Vera and Bradley spent the evening drinking together. The next day he found her dead in her bed at the age of fifty-two. She had a fractured arm and a black eye. Bradley claimed she had injured herself by falling down the stairs drunk. The police said her death was "suspicious" but no charges were filed. Her autopsy showed she had died from a "traumatic subdural hemorrhage". Vera's mother, Ella King, told reporters that Bradley was abusive and that she believed he murdered her daughter.

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