1910: Woman in a chicken suit

Fritzi Massary aged 28. An actress and singer, by 1912 her fame was such that she was known simply as “The Massary”.


“Further to the comment about Charlie Chaplin in “The Gold Rush”, the bird which appeared before Big Jim’s delirious eyes was indeed a chicken. It is possible Chaplin knew Edmond Rostand’s play “Chantecler”, the 1911 New York production of which starred a chicken-clad Maud Adams, the famous, much beloved American actress who played Peter Pan in NYC.

The Massary had appeared in Victor Hollaender’s revue “Hurra! Wir Leben noch!” at the Metropoltheater, Berlin, in which she and Josef Giampietro sang the duet, “Goldfasanenhenne und Chantecler” presumably dressed appropriately as a pheasant and a chicken. They recorded it for the Odeon label in Berlin on Thursday 1st September, 1910.”

John Culme

Source: John Culme
Submitted by: John Culme

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Goggles aficionado. Retronaut’s founder and curator.

3 Responses

  1. Hans Peter Bovolden

    Reminds me of the costume Charlie Chaplin wears in “Gold Rush”. His buddy is starved and
    in his delirium he sees Chaplin as a huge bird :)


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