Mary Lygo ~ The Brokenhearted Showgirl

Mary Lygo

Mary Lygo was a showgirl who committed suicide after a millionaire broke her heart

She was born Irene L. Goodall on April 7, 1894 in Akron, Ohio. Her parents had immigrated from England shortly before she was born and Mary was the youngest of nine children. When she was a teenager she joined a traveling vaudeville show. In 1917 she moved to New York City and became a featured dancer in the Broadway show The Wanderer. Flo Ziegfeld saw her on stage and she was asked to join the Ziegfeld Follies. She quit the Follies when she fell madly in love with Gordon Thorne, a wealthy businessman from Chicago. He rented her an expensive apartment and lavished her with jewelry and clothes. Unfortunately he was married and did not want to leave his wife. Following a fight with Gordon in May of 1921 Mary attempted suicide by slitting her wrists in a Chicago hotel room. Soon after he finally agreed to get a divorce. They set a wedding date but he called it off when his mother threatened to disown him. Mary was heartbroken and attempted suicide again by swallowing a bottle of pills. 

Mary LygoMary Lygo

In 1922 she sued Gordon for $100,000 for breach of promise. She told reporters "I was not after his money. He said he loved me and would marry me as soon as he could.  And I believed him." Then she sued his mother for $100,000 for slander. Both suits were quickly settled for just $8,000. Mary got a job as Lillian Lorraine's understudy in The Blue Kitty. After the show closed she moved to Hollywood and started using the stage name "Irene Fuller". She had a small role in a stage production of production of the Miracle Play. When she didn't get any other work she became very depressed. On May 31, 1927 she took an overdose of veronal tablets. Her roommate found her unconscious on the floor of their apartment. Thirty-three year old Mary was taken a hospital where she died on June 2. She had left a note that said "I am not happy and therefore seek rest. Some of us are not made as strong as others." Mary was buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Akron, Ohio.

Mary LygoMary Lygo Suicide

Mary Lygo Suicide