Caryl Bergman ~ The Most Beautiful Eyes

Caryl Bergman

Caryl Bergman was a Ziegfeld Follies dancer known for her beautiful eyes.

She was born on November 22, 1912 in New York City. Her parents were both Austrian immigrants and her father worked as a barber. During her childhood Caryl took ballet lessons and dreamed about becoming a dancer. At the age of fourteen she lied about her age so she could join the chorus of the Ziegfeld Follies. Flo Ziegfeld declared that "she had the most beautiful eyes in America". The petite blonde was cast in the Broadway musical Rosalie starring Marilyn Miller. Eventually she became Marilyn's understudy and close friend. When producer Earl Carroll saw her on stage he offered her a lucrative job in his show. Caryl turned it down because she was loyal to Ziegfeld. In 1929 she was featured in the Vitaphone short Hello Thar. Then she appeared in the Broadway musicals Show Girl and Sweet Adeline. She went to Europe in 1933 where she performed in London and Paris nightclubs. Caryl brought her pet pelican with her everywhere she traveled. One evening she danced for the Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson.

Caryl Bergman NudeCaryl Bergman Nude
Caryl posed nude for Alfred Cheney Johnston

She returned to New York in 1934 and began dating millionaire Herman Muehlstein. When Marilyn Miller died suddenly in 1936 she was devastated. In an interview she said "Marilyn was the greatest friend I ever had in the theater and all that I know about dancing I owe to her." Caryl continued to work in the theater and wrote a novel called Dance On, Tsgigane. After an eleven year courtship she married Herman in May of 1945. She shared her husband's interest in rare books and philanthropy. The couple, who never had children, remained together until Herman's death in 1962. Unhappy with the size of her inheritance she sued her husband's estate for more money. Caryl started dating Bertrand Castelli, a French writer, who was seventeen years younger than her. During the 1960s she became an activist and took out ads urging support for civil rights. Then she moved to Palm Beach, Florida and opened her own art gallery. She died in 2001 at the age of eighty-eight.

Caryl BergmanCaryl Bergman

Caryl Bergman Herman Muehlstein
With her husband Herman