Once upon a time, a one-legged Civil War veteran named Rulandus Pitts married a woman named Nelly Shay, and they partook of afternoon delights and made a baby, whom they named Eliza Susan Pitts, after Rulandus’s two sisters. By jamming the end of Eliza into the beginning of Susan, the baby became ZaSu. Because that’s normal.
ZaSu Pitts was born 120 years ago in Kansas and moved to California when she was nine, where she would grow up to star in both silent films and talkies. America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford, predicted that people would pronounce the uncommon name as Zaz-oo, as it appears. Pitts however, preferred “Say Zoo,” which is crazy talk because Za does not sound like Say, nor does Su sound like Zoo. So right off the bat, we know ZaSu was a curious dame.
Her first non-extra role was in the 1917 silent film, The Little Princess, as an orphaned slavey (Yes…
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