The last of the Ziegfeld Follies showgirls, Doris Eaton Travis, passed away this Tuesday at the age of 106. Two weeks after she visited New York for the last time, Travis was found dead in her home in Michigan. At the time of writing, there has been no official statements as to the cause of death. Tonight, New York City will commemorate the life of this extravagant star by dimming the ever glowing lights of Broadway.
Doris Travis, known for her exaggerated headdresses and lavish costumes, was considered forever young in front of the Broadway stage lights. In 1918, when Travis was 14, she got her break into show business as a chorus girl by lying about her age, saying she was 16.
Ziegfeld Follies was a theatrical production that started out on Broadway in 1907, and ran through 1931. Travis made special appearances in 1918, 1919, and 1920. Parisian Follies Bergère, a music hall that is still in operation to this day, inspired Florenz Ziegfeld to create The Ziegfeld Follies Broadway show.
After the crash of the theater business in 1929, Doris took up teaching and tap dancing and then opened up her chain of Arthur Murray dance studios in Michigan, which grew to 18 locations.
"I could make a living doing something I loved," said Travis, according to Daily News.
Travis kept herself busy by purchasing a 400-acre ranch in Oklahoma with her husband and taking care of 40 horses, and if that wasn’t enough, she decided to get her bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma at the age of 88. Travis did not have children to leave her estate to.
"I probably have a few regrets, but I have no complaints," but The Daily News reported she once said.