Fashionable dancer/actress Irene Castle with her Griffons 1922
To all my fellow Griffoniacs out there, I have to say that this is my new favorite Vintage Griffon photo. Irene was FIERCE and I want her hat👒!!
Irene Castle (17 April 1893 – 25 January 1969) was born Irene Foote in New Rochelle, New York.
Irene Castle and her husband Vernon Castle (born Vernon Blyth) were the best known ballroom dancers of the early 20th C. Beginning about 1914 they operated several clubs and studios in the NYC area, toured the country dancing, and were able to charge as much as a thousand dollars an hour for lessons.
The couple reached the peak of their popularity in Irving Berlin's first Broadway show, Watch Your Step (1914), in which they refined and popularized the Foxtrot. They also helped to popularize ragtime, jazz rhythms African-American music for dance. Irene became a fashion icon, and the two were in demand as teachers and writers on dance.
After serving with distinction as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, Vernon died in a plane crash in 1918. Irene continued to perform and made silent films over the next decade.
Irene later married Robert Treman, an Ithaca NY businessman who stole her money and lost it on the stock market. In 1923 she married Frederic McLaughlin, a man sixteen years older than her. She married him for his money, divorcing him when he proved to be possessive and physically violent. Her fourth and final husband was George Enzinger an advertising executive from Chicago. She spent the later years of her life championing animal rights.
In 1939, her life with Vernon was dramatized in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. Irene Castle was so fabulous that the movie based on her and Vernon’s life starred the day’s top stars, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Stay tuned fellow Griffoniacs, more Irene Castle Griffon fabulousness coming your way in future posts.
Here is the always fashionable dancer/actress Irene Castle with her doggies in 1922.