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Alfred Willard Marriage to Ziegfeld Follies Dancer

San Francisco Chronicle 28 Sept 1921, p. 8



Mrs. Florence Sharp Willard Asks Heart Balm From Father-in-Law


Mrs. Florence Sharp Willard, former member of the Ziegfeld Follies, filed suit in the Superior Court yesterday for $25,000 damages from Maurice Willard, wealthy broker and clubman, and Mrs. Emma Willard, parents of Alfred J. Willard, who married the former stage beauty in July, 1920. She charges that in March and April of this year they unlawfully “persuaded, enticed and abducted” her husband from her.


A week ago she obtained a warrant charging her husband with wife abandonment. At that time she said the parents of her husband objected to her stage career, that she gave it up to please them, was compelled to return to the stage to make a living, but became ill and was driven by necessity to legal proceedings to make her husband support her.


Mrs. Willard said that after their first separation Willard sent her many letters assuring her of his devotion. When she came to San Francisco recently seeking a reconciliation, she said, her husband’s parents rebuffed her and took steps to keep her from seeing her husband. She is living at 682 Twenty-second avenue. She is represented by Crabbe, Webster & Mayer.


During the war the younger Willard was in trouble for impersonating an army officer, and a charge that he was mentally incompetent was preferred against him by his father. He was in a hospital when the war ended.



San Francisco Chronicle 21 Sept 1921, p. 12


Former Ziegfeld Folly Star Airs Marital Trouble

Alfred J. Willard Charged With Deserting N.Y. Stage Beauty


Alfred J. Willard, 1405 Van Ness avenue, was yesterday served with a warrant charging him with wife desertion on the complaint of Florence Sharp Willard, former stage beauty and members of the Ziegfeld Follies.


The objection of Maurice Willard, San Francisco broker and clubman, to his daughter-in-law’s mode of making a living is cited by the former Follies dancer as the cause of her husband’s desertion, although the elder Willard says his son is physically unable to support a wife.


Willard married the Follies favorite in July, 1920, and nine days later he left her, according to his wife.


“He sent me a special delivery letter every day while he was away, for a long time.” Said Mrs. Willard. “To please his people I left the stage, and he came back to New York.  Then we separated again, and I had to go back to the stage to make a living. But I became ill during rehearsals, and so I have come to get my husband.”


Willard’s last desertion is entirely due to the interference of his parents, the former dancer says.


“My father-in-law told me once that if he had known I was on the stage he would never have let me marry his son,” she declared. “I told them I was willing to leave the stage, and did leave it just to pacify them, but that did not please them either. Alfred wants me just as bad as I want him. I have letters from him written very recently in which he tells me how lonely he is without me.”

Owner/SourceSan Francisco Chronicle
DateSep 1921
Linked toFlorence SHARP; Maurice WILLARD; Alfred J. "Donald" WILLARD DUNCAN

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