Zazu PittsZaSu Pitts
(3 January 1894
- 7 June 1963
) was a United States movie
actress. In many of her film credits and contemporary articles, her name is rendered as Zazu Pitts
Zazu Pitts in 1923
ZaSu Pitts was born in Parsons, Kansas
and grew up in Santa Cruz, California
. Her unusual first name was coined from parts of the names "Eliza" and "Susan", female relatives who both wanted ZaSu's mother to name the child after them.
Pitts debuted in silent film in 1917, including a number of leading roles. Perhaps her most famous early role was in Erich von Stroheim's Greed (1925)
When Hollywood switched to talkies, Pitts, who had a distinctive nasal voice with a wavering vibrato, switched to comedy character actor roles.
When Mae Questel was called on to create the screen voice of the character "Olive Oyl" for the Fleischer Studios animated cartoon version of the comic strip "Popeye", Questel created a caricature of Zazu Pitts' voice.
From the 1940s through the early 1960s ZaSu Pitts also made numerous television appearances, including her role in The Gale Storm Show, Oh! Susanna'' (1956-1960), with Gale Storm.
ZaSu Pitts died of cancer in Hollywood, California at age 69. She was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.