ZaSu Pitts Film Festival
Apr. 24-25, 1998 -- Parsons, Kansas
Held in the centennial year of ZaSu's
Labette Community College
|Z aSu Pitts was an actress
in silent American film, in talking pictures, and on television.
Born in Parsons, KS--possibily as early as 1884 or as late as 1900. Her birth
year is often published as 1898.
She was named after her father's two sisters: EliZa and
Her name is pronounced Say' Zoo.
Raised in Santa Cruz, California, she began her film career at the age
of 19 as a supporting player in two successive Mary Pickford films. In
1924 she was a lead in Eric von Stroheim's film, Greed. With the
advent of sound she steered her career almost exclusively into light comedy,
adding a delightful touch as a scatterbrained comedienne. She is remembered
also to1950's television audiences as Gale Storm's side-kick in "Oh, Susanna!"
ZaSu was married twice, had a daughter named Ann, and adopted the son
of her beautiful friend, Barbara LaMarr, when Barbara died-- raising him
as her own. She has two grandsons. One lives in California and the other
lives in Florida.
ZaSu died of cancer in 1963.
|These photos were taken at the
ZaSu Pitts Film Festival in Parsons, KS.
Select a photo to see a larger version
Friday, April 24
Registration and Reception
"Silent Film Comedy" presented by Sam Gill
"ZaSu Pitts & Mary Pickford" presented by John Tibbetts
The Little Princess -- film presentation
Saturday, April 25
ZaSu Pitts memoriablia was exhibited throughout the festival, with buttons
and teeshirts available for purchase. Selected episodes of The Gale
Storm Show (Oh, Susanna!) were included in the exhibit.
Registration and Memorabilia Exhibit
"Catch As Catch Can"/"Red Noses" -- two short films with Thelma
Todd/ZaSu Pitts team
"ZaSu Pitts' Parsons" presented by Randy Roberts
Parsons Museum open for tours over lunch break
"McTeague and Greed: Novel into Film" presented by
Greed -- film presentation
Reception: Candy Tasting Party (receipes from ZaSu Pitts' book Candy
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch -- film presentation
||Parsons is seven miles from Cherryvale, KS--home of two more famous
actresses: Louise Brooks and Vivian Vance. (See below.)
Click on photo to see enlargement.
Labette Community College
200 South 14th, P.O. Box 1037, Parsons, Kansas 67357
This program was funded in part by the Kansas Humanities
Council, a nonprofit cultural organization encouraging the appreciation
of history, heritage and values. Also sponsored by the Parsons Art &
Check these sites for more information:
Brooks (born in Cherryvale, KS)
Keaton (born in Piqua, KS)
Arbuckle (born in Smith Center, KS)
Silent Era --overview info site about silent film
And check the I
Love Lucy site for more about Vivan Vance (Ethel Mertz), born in Cherryvale,
© 1998 by Carol Yoho
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