Lotta Faust ~ The Doomed Salome

Lotta Faust In Color

Lotta Faust was a popular Broadway musical comedy star who died tragically young.

She was born Charlotte Faust on February 8, 1880 in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, Frank Faust, was a machinist. When she was a teenager she started working as a cashier at a department store. At the age of sixteen she made her stage debut in the play The Sunshine of Paradise Alley. In 1898 she married Paul Schindler, a musical director. Lotta quickly became a popular musical comedy star. She appeared on Broadway in The Casino Girl, My Lady, and The Liberty Belles. Critics predicted she would become the next Lillian Russell.After divorcing her husband she had a brief fling with John Barrymore. Lotta married singer and comedian Richard Ling in November of 1902.  The charismatic brunette also sang and danced in vaudeville. She was best known for doing a seductive version of the Salome dance.

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Lotta Faust Salome Dance
Dancing as Salome

Lotta won rave reviews when she starred in the original production of The Wizard Of Oz. Then she joined the Lew Fields troupe and danced with Vernon Castle. On stage she often wore cut-out dresses that showed off her lovely back and shoulders. In 1909 she filed for divorce from Richard and became engaged to artist Malcolm A. Strauss. That same year she starred on Broadway in Our Midnight Sons. She developed an abscess in her heart and had to undergo an operation in December of 1909. Soon after  she came down with a serious case of pneumonia and entered a sanitarium. Tragically on January 25, 1910 she died at the young age of twenty-nine. Lotta was heard singing a song from Carmen just monmnts before she died. She was buried at Kensico Cemetery Valhalla, New York. Her devastated fiance Malcolm painted a posthumous portrait of her. He later sold it and gave the proceeds to her family.

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Lotta Faust Death