Zelma O'Neal

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b. 29 May 1903, Rock Falls, Illinois, USA, d. 3 November 1989, Largo, Florida, USA. O’Neal became well known for her Broadway appearances as a singer and dancer in the mid- and late 20s. She had a flair…
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b. 29 May 1903, Rock Falls, Illinois, USA, d. 3 November 1989, Largo, Florida, USA. O’Neal became well known for her Broadway appearances as a singer and dancer in the mid- and late 20s. She had a flair for playing light comedy and among her successes was Good News (1927), which enjoyed a 557-performance run at Chanin’s 46th Street Theatre. The songs were by Buddy De Sylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson and O’Neal sang the title song and ‘He’s A Ladies’ Man’, and with Don Tomkins, Wally Coyle and Ruth Mayon, she sang ‘On The Campus’ and ‘Varsity Drag’. She was also in Follow Thru (1929), which featured Irene Delroy and Jack Haley.

O’Neal also appeared in a number of films, mostly in the 30s, including Sky Bound (1926), Follow Thru (1929), Paramount On Parade (1930), Peach O’Reno (1931), Give Her A Ring (1934) (a British film that featured Wendy Barrie and Clifford Mollison and gave Stewart Granger his first bit part), and Let’s Make A Night Of It (1937), another British film, with Buddy Rogers, Claire Luce and the popular bands of Joe Loss and Sydney Lipton, that is worth seeing if only for the many ‘turns’. A television documentary, Broadway: The American Musical (2004), made some years after O’Neal’s death includes footage of her.