“The most beautiful girl in New York City”

In 1914, 20-year-old Pennsylvania native Olive Thomas was working in a Harlem department store when she entered a beauty contest run by a popular photographer.

olivethomasShe won the contest, was crowned the most beautiful girl in New York City, and went on to become a model, magazine cover girl, and socialite.

Her next move: joining the Ziegfeld Follies. Thomas performed as part of the racy Midnight Frolic, an after-hours show on the roof of 42nd Street’s New Amsterdam Theatre. 

Thomas hit the silent-film circuit, married the brother of actress Mary Pickford, and then died on vacation in France in 1920 after accidentally ingesting medicine containing mercury.

She’s buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Supposedly her ghost haunts the New Amsterdam Theater.

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4 Responses to ““The most beautiful girl in New York City””

  1. zohaib Says:

    he ee you r very beautiful and very sweet

  2. A socialite jumps to her death over Central Park « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] So the 16-year-old from Pittsburgh made her way here in 1919, where she got work as a chorus girl, then a Ziegfeld girl. […]

  3. Partying with Zelda Fitzgerald in the 1920s « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] shoulder bouquets . . . . It was just a lot of youngness: Lillian Lorraine would be drunk at the top of the New Amsterdam by midnight, and football teams breaking training would scare the waiters with drunkenness in the […]

  4. A relic of a 1920s theater on East 80th Street | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] theater, financed by William Randolph Hearst, opened to great fanfare; Florenz Ziegfeld’s renowned Follies were staged […]

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