Doris Eaton Travis and Bill George
at the 2008 Easter Bonnet Competition
(© Tristan Fuge)
Doris Eaton Travis and Bill George
at the 2008 Easter Bonnet Competition
(© Tristan Fuge)
Doris Eaton Travis, who is believed to have been the last remaining Ziegfeld Follies girl and who found a second career appearing in a host of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefits, passed away earlier today, according to Tom Viola, Executive Director of BC/EFA. She was 106 years old.

In honor of Travis, Broadway theaters will dim their marquee lights for one minute, beginning at 8pm on Wednesday, May 12.

Travis made her Broadway debut (under her maiden name Eaton) in 1917 in Mother Carey's Chickens. The following year she made her debut with the Ziegfeld Follies. She appeared in the two subsequent editions of the popular spectacle and was also seen in such plays as The Sap, Page Pygmalion, and the original production of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's Merrily We Roll Along.

Travis first appeared in 1998 at BC/EFA's Easter Bonnet Competition and participated in every one thereafter, including the 24th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition, which was held last month, in which she appeared in the opening number. For many years, she performed "Ballin' the Jack," a number she had introduced in 1921, at the shows.

"Doris was simply a delight," said Viola in a statement. "Broadway loved her, giving her a standing ovation just two weeks ago that I know she took to heart and I'm certain has taken with her. She taught us all a little bit about how to celebrate the past and live for today. We will miss her forever."