Edith Babson ~ The Tragic Model

Edith Babson

Edith Babson was a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl and model who committed suicide in 1933.

She was born Edith L. Babson on March 12, 1908 in New Haven, Connecticut. Her father, Gerald Babson, managed the Academy Theater and she began performing there when she was a child. At the age of sixteen she joined the Ziegfeld Follies. While appearing in the Follies she started dating Lester Laden, a student at Yale. Edith was cast in the Broadway show Yours Truly in March of 1928. After just two weeks she abruptly quit. She suffered a nervous breakdown and attempted suicide. Her mother, Helen, had her briefly committed to Bellevue mental hospital. That Fall she returned to Broadway in Mr. Moneypenny. In November of 1928 she married her boyfriend Lester Laden who was now Rudy Vallee's secretary. Sadly their marriage was rocky and they separated in 1930.

Edith Babson Katherine RuscheEdith Babson With The Ziegfeld Girls
With Katherine Rusche                                                                                  Edith is on the right

 The beautiful brunette moved in with her mother and started working as a model. Then she had a brief romance with singer Russ Columbo. Edith and Lester tried to reconcile in 1933 but by this time she had developed a serious drinking problem. She was fired in December of 1933 for ordering cocktails on the job. On the evening of December 15 she tried to call her longtime friend Walter Winchell. When she couldn't get a hold of him she started yelling she was "cold and hungry". Edith ran up five flights of stairs in her apartment building and committed suicide by leaping off the roof. She was only twenty-five years old, Her mother became hysterical when she saw her body and had to be stopped from jumping too. Edith was buried at Saint Lawrence Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut.

Edith Babson 1924Edith Babson Suicide