French (?) actress (1873-1918). Actually, she is more likely to have been Russian, Polish, or even American. She was a minor actress who is better remembered for the various scandals that followed her throughout her life.

She was once involved in a messy lawsuit with a dairy company, which claimed that Held refused to pay them $64 for 400 gallons of milk delivered to her hotel suite. Held believed that bathing in milk would keep her complexion rosy, and she claimed that the dairy delivered sour milk. The suit was eventually settled out of court.

Her main claim to fame was the most astounding hourglass figure of all time. Exact data on her measurements don't seem to be available, but she did have an 18-inch waistline. Some photos that exist of Held make her look almost cartoonish--like Jessica Rabbit squeezed into a Victorian-era dress. When she died at age 41, doctors officially listed her cause of death as myeloma, but reporters investigating her death discovered that Held had been crash dieting and had actually had her lower ribs surgically removed to preserve her waistline. The reporters ultimately concluded that she had died of internal injuries caused by lacing her corset too tightly.

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