Fritzi Scheff

Fritzi Scheff (August 30, 1879 – April 8, 1954) was an American actress and vocalist.

Fritzi Scheff
Fritzi Scheff in 1913
Friederike Scheff

(1879-08-30)August 30, 1879
DiedApril 8, 1954(1954-04-08) (aged 74)
OccupationActress and opera singer
Spouse(s)Baron Fritz von Bardeleben
John Fox, Jr.
George Anderson


Born Friederike Scheff in Vienna to Dr. Gottfried Scheff and Anna Yeager, she studied at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt and made her début in Munich in the title röle of Martha (1898).

In 1901 she first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, singing rôles in La Bohème, Die Meistersinger, Die Walküre, and Don Giovanni. She sang in the Victor Herbert operetta Babette at Washington, D.C. and New York (1903).

Toward the end of the 1904-05 season, Scheff became ill and was replaced by her understudy Ida Hawley to close out the remaining performances of Babette.[1] Scheff had immense success as Fifi in Mlle. Modiste (1905–1908, 1913) and appeared also in The Prima Donna (1908), The Mikado (1910), The Duchess (1911), and The Love Wager (1912). From 1913-18, she appeared principally in vaudeville, returning in the latter year to the musical opera stage in Glorianna.[2] Among the rôles she sang with the Fritzi Scheff Opera Company was that of Adele in Johann Strauss operatta Die Fledermaus including at the Belasco Theater in Washington, D.C. in 1912.

Movies and television

In 1915 Scheff appeared in her first film, Pretty Mrs. Smith, based on a Broadway play she starred in. It was produced and directed by Hobart Bosworth. She made no other silent pictures. In the late 40s and early 50s Scheff ventured into sound movies and television. She appeared in night clubs and on talk shows such as Ralph Edwards' This is Your Life shortly before her death.


She married, first, Baron Fritz von Bardeleben a Prussian nobleman, then in 1908 John Fox, Jr. author of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, and, in 1913, George Anderson, an actor. The unions were all childless.[3]


  1. Daily Gazette And Bulletin - May 23, 1904, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  2.  Reynolds, Francis J., ed. (1921). "Scheff, Fritzi" . Collier's New Encyclopedia. New York: P. F. Collier & Son Company.
  3. "Saucy Kiss Me Again Girl Singer Fritzi Scheff Is Dead". The Milwaukee Journal. April 9, 1954. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
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