Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pauline Armitage -- Read All About It

The Nashville, Tennessee-born actress appeared in several Broadway plays before accepting a role in a ten week roadshow production of Naughty Cinderella starring Irene Bordini.  During the tour, the production's "script doctor," Wilson Mizner, became enamored of the 28-year-old Armitage, and apparently promised to marry her when the show returned to open in New York City's Lyceum Theatre in early 1926.  Shortly after arriving in the city, however, Mizner broke off the engagement, and Armitage left the show at his request.  Ten days prior to her death, a visibly shaken Armitage visited a friend at a newspaper and stood transfixed before the large presses.  "Do you know my reaction to all this," she asked her acquaintance.  "I seem to see printed in great type across the front page of your newspaper, `Pauline Armitage Commits Suicide.'"

On the morning of February 16, 1926, Armitage was in the bedroom of her suite on the 14th floor of the Hotel Shelton at Lexington Avenue and Forty-ninth Street in New York City when the telephone rang in the sitting room.  When the maid left the room to answer the phone, the nightgown-clad actress locked the door, leaped from the window, and fell with a crashing thud on the sidewalk below between two laundry truck drivers.  Notified of the tragedy in Palm Beach, Florida, Mizner denied ever having been engaged to Armitage.

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