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Evelyn Laye


In 1927 Florenz Ziegfeld offered the British musical comedy actress Evelyn Laye a $500 weekly salary to come to New York to play the lead in "The Three Musketeers." It was the highest wage ever promised an English actress by an American producer to that date. She did not bite. He did not succeed in luring her across the Atlantic until he arranged for the 1929 importation of the Noel Coward operetta "Bitter Sweet" in which she played the lead. The piece's enormous success was due to "the delicate perfection of the workmanship and the radiant splendor of Evelyn Laye." David S. Shields/ALS