29¢ ZaSu Pitts
Silent Screen Stars
Issue Date: April 27, 1994
City: San Francisco, CA
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Color: Red, black and bright violet
Unbeknownst to her, ZaSu Pitts was discovered one rainy day in 1915 on a crowded Hollywood trolley. Pitts had moved to Hollywood that year in search of a career as an actress. Her big break didn’t come however, until two years later when she co-starred in several movies with America’s sweetheart - Mary Pickford. By 1919 she had made 28 movies.
The following year she was hired by director King Vidor. Exclaiming “I discovered you,” he went on to explain how he had seen her on the trolley on that rainy day in 1915. “Had I not been just a struggling screenwriter at the time,” he told her, “ I would have hired you on the spot!” Pitts went on to make four movies with Vidor.
In 1924 she starred in her most important role - the leading lady of Erich von Stroheim’s psychodrama Greed. He also cast her in his 1928 film The Wedding March. Called “the screen’s greatest tragedienne,” Pitts went on to star in numerous comedies. Her brilliant career ended in 1963 when she fell ill from cancer.