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Vintage Ziegfeld Girl, Showgirl, Dancer, Actress: "Zelma B. O'Neal"


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Zelma B. O'Neal ... Vintage  Ziegfeld Girl, Dancer, Showgirl, Actress photo 1

Zelma O'Neal ...
"Ziegfeld Girl," "the Apostle of Pep," "the Diminutive parcel of Pep and Ginger," Varsity Drag Girl"


(aka: O'Neil,). Before entering the entertainment business, Zelma was a Chicago stockyards telephone operator. Zelma and her sister Bernice created a singing act, the called themselves the "O'Neal sisters" and "Glycerine Sisters" in a music store and then vaudeville. Later Zelma ventured on her own after a talent scout found her and she became famous an American Actress, Comedian, Singer and Dancer of stage and screen. Mentioned that she took dance lessons from Billy Pierce in the late 1920's.

She appeared in the New York and London companies of 'Good News' (1927) in which she originated¹ an all American dance called the Varsity Drag (in the role of Flo.) She is quoted many times that women would be better scrubbing floors than dancing for better health!. Did some Radio acting as well (KWK, KSD, WSM, WGN Radio etc.) such as the 'Nestle Radio Program' in 1930. Sang some songs with Al Goodman, Ben Bernie, Rudy Vallee Orchestras and recorded thru Brunswick Records.

While married to Bushnell (an immigrant actor who had very good reviews), she had a Pekingese dog named 'Chauvie' that traveled with her. By the mid 30's her star was starting to fade. Miss O'Neal passed away in Largo, Pinellas County, Florida in 1903. Zelma had two sisters and one brother.



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