Anastasia Reilly: From Chorus Girl to Columnist

Born today in New York’s County of Kings, Ziegfeld Girl Anastasia Reilly (1904-1961).

Reilly has to have been one of the luckiest people who ever lived. She was discovered as a tap dancing eight year old by Raymond Hitchcock, who lived in her neighborhood. He is said to have mentored and encouraged her. After a period of seasoning in vaudeville, Hitchcock put her in the 1920 edition of his Hitchy-Koo revue. She then moved into the Ziegfeld orbit. She was in the Follies of 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1924; Annie, Dear (1924-1925) starring Billie Burke; Louie the 14th (1925); and No Foolin’ (1926), with Moran and Mack, Charles King, Ray Dooley, Paulette Goddard, Gladys Glad, Peggy Fears, Clare Luce, Susan Fleming, et al. Her last Broadway was Yours Truly (1927), produced by Gene Buck, and starring Leon Errol and Irene Dunne.

In 1927, all of 23, she married advantageously and retired out of the business. Her husband was Ziegfeld’s nephew, Theodore Buhl. The pair moved to Detroit, where his family were big wheels with interests in industry and banking. Buhl was said to be worth $20 million at the time of their marriage. In the 1930s, she wrote a column called “Grosse Exaggerations” under the pen name  A. Pryor for the Grosse Point Review. In 1940, she co-founded the Grosse Point News. She was the President of the company that published it, and continued her column at the paper until she died in 1961.

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