Pearl Eaton ~ The Murdered Dancer

Pearl Eaton

Pearl Eaton was a dancer and choreographer who was tragically murdered.

She was born on August 1, 1898, in Norfolk, Virginia. When she was a child she started performing professionally with her six siblings. They were known as The Dancing Eatons. At the age of seventeen Pearl made her Broadway debut in Robinson Crusoe. Then she went on tour with The Passing Show. In 1917 she married musician Harry Levant and gave birth to a daughter named Doris. The following year she was hired to be in the chorus of the Ziegfeld Follies. She also danced in the Midnight Frolic and the Nine O'Clock Revue. Florenz Ziegfeld said she had the best legs in America. During the 1920s she appeared in the Broadway shows Criss Cross, The City Chap, and She's My Baby. Producer Charles Dillingham was so impressed with her skills that he made her the first female stage manager. Pearl developed a reputation as party girl who spent most of her evenings drinking at speakeasys. Although she had some success her younger sister Mary Eaton became more famous.

Pearl EatonPearl Eaton

She once said "Maybe one day they will refer to Mary as Pearl Eaton's sister. You know It's always been quite the other way around." Her marriage to Harry ended in 1928. Then she moved to Los Angeles and began working as a choreographer for RKO studios. She married Richard Enderly, a wealthy lumber dealer, on May 22, 1931. Pearl had bit parts in the films Men Of The Night and Klondike Annie with Mae West. By the early 1940s her show business career was over and she was suffering from alcoholism. She opened a dancing school in Encino. Sadly her sister Mary, who was also an alcoholic, died in 1948. Then in 1952 her husband Richard died from a heart attack. Pearl became very reclusive and rarely went out. Tragically on September 10, 1958 she was brutally beaten and murdered in her apartment. The sixty year old was found naked and lying in a pool of blood. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Her murder has never been solved.

Pearl EatonPearl Eaton Lois Wilde
                                                                                      With Lois Wilde

Pearl appeared in:
Ziegfeld Nine O'Clock Review (Sep 1919 - Closing date unknown)
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic [1920] (Feb 01, 1921 - Closing date unknown)
Ziegfeld Follies of 1922 (Jun 05, 1922 - Jun 23, 1923)
Ziegfeld Follies of 1923 [Summer Edition] (Jun 25, 1923 - Sep 15, 1923)