Held, (Helena) Anna
- Gerald Bordman
(b Warsaw, Poland, March 8, 1873; d New York, NY, Aug 12, 1918). American singer of Polish birth. She spent her early years in poverty. After her father’s death Held and her mother moved to London, where she obtained work as a chorus girl; she also performed on the continent. Florenz Ziegfeld saw her in London and offered her a major part in his production of Hoyt’s A Parlor Match (1896), in which she won instant celebrity with her coquettish songs. Between 1897 and 1908 Held, a petite, slightly plump woman with reddish-brown hair and large brown eyes, starred in a succession of Ziegfeld’s musicals, becoming known particularly for her performance of songs such as “I just can’t make my eyes behave,” “It’s delightful to be married,” and “Won’t you come and play with me?”. After her professional and personal separation from the producer, Held appeared mainly in vaudeville. Her papers are held at the NYPL for the Performing Arts....