Vera Maxwell ~ The Blonde Venus

Vera Maxwell

Vera Maxwell was the Ziegfeld Follies star known as The Blonde Venus.

She was born in New York City in 1892. Her father refused to let her take dance lessons and insisted she attend Vasar. At the age of fourteen she ran away from home and got a job in a travelling show. Producer Ned Wayburn hired her to be in the chorus of Mr. and Mrs. Broadway. Vera started dancing in the Ziegfeld Follies in 1911. Flo Ziegfeld nicknamed her "The Blonde Venus". She formed a dance team with Wallace McCutcheon and performed in vaudeville. The duo introduced the famous "Fox Trot" dance. Walter fell in love with her but she refused to marry him. Vera was also briefly engaged to railroad magnate George H. Taylor. In 1913 she appeared in the film Always Gay. Then she starred on Broadway in The Century Girl and Miss 1917. At the height of her fame she was earning $1000 a week and her toes were insured for $20,000.

Vera MaxwellVera Maxwell

Vera Maxwell Fox Trot

French painter Paul Helleu called her "the most beautiful woman in the world". During the early 1920s she fell madly in love with a married man. He was a Catholic and refused to divorce his wife. Their affair would last for more than twenty years until he died. Tired of performing she decided to retire in 1928. She owned an apartment in Park Avenue and had earned enough money to live a comfortable life. Vera devoted much of her time to doing charity work and helped former Ziegfeld girls who were down on their luck. She also enjoyed playing golf and going to the theater. Sadly on May 1, 1950 she died from throat cancer at the age of fifty-eight.  Her funeral was held at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York City.

Vera Maxwell Toes InsuredVera Maxwell Death

Vera appeared in:
Ziegfeld Follies of 1911 (Jun 26, 1911 - Sep 02, 1911)
Ziegfeld Follies of 1912 (Oct 21, 1912 - Jan 04, 1913)