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May de Sousa: The Tragic Story and Fabulous Photos of Singer and Broadway Actress

May de Sousa was a singer and Broadway actress. She was born in 1884 in Chicago. Frank L. Perley hired her after her first entire show season in 1901, when she was still a teenager, as one of the principals in his touring company for his musical comedy The Chaperons. Featuring 34 speaking roles and a chorus of sixty, it was the most prominent musical organization in America to date.

De Sousa portrayed the role of Sir Dashemoff Daily’ in the drama ‘ The Wizard of Oz’ in 1904. She also appeared as an actress in ‘Babes in Toyland’ the same year. Her success had now become established, and she was in high demand. However, she found fame in her own right in London, where she made her stage debut at the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane as Cinderella. In addition to Castles in Spain, The Geisha and The Girls of Gottenberg. She was now an international star both on these sides of the Atlantic, and it seemed as if she had the World at her feet.

In January 1910, her mother was found dead in a gas-filled room. It was not determined whether the tragedy resulted from suicide or an unfortunate accident. She continued to work on both sides of the Atlantic and was in France shortly before the outbreak of the Great War. She just barely avoided the German invasion. De Sousa portrayed a model Juliette in the 1911 play “The Count of Luxembourg” at Daly’s Theater in London. De Sousa declared bankruptcy in 1913.

De Sousa retired in 1918 and eventually settled in Shanghai. She returned to the United States on the Gripsholm after being imprisoned under the Japanese for seven months in Chapei Civil Assembly Center in Shanghai, China. She took a Chicago job as a scrubwoman in the public school system. Her years of internment had weakened her health, and soon she was unable to work due to her weakness. Her condition deteriorated through malnutrition, and she died in the county hospital on 8 August 1948, penniless and alone. While her voice once delighted royalty and nobility as well as countless masses, she died alone, unloved, unable even to feed herself. Her body lay unclaimed in the morgue and was interred in a pauper’s grave at age 66.

Below are some fabulous photos of May de Sousa.

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Written by Alicia Linn

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet....... I’ve never been able to figure out what would i write about myself.

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