7 Amazing Historical Stories That Would Make Oscar-Worthy Movies

6. America’s First Supermodel, Who Died In A Mental Asylum

Audrey Marie Munson was an American artist’s model and film actress, who is considered nowadays to have been “America’s First Supermodel.” She was also known as “Miss Manhattan”, the “Panama–Pacific Girl”, the “Exposition Girl” and “American Venus.”

As a matter of fact, Munson was the model used to create some of the most iconic sculptures in New York City, including the massive, 25-foot-tall statue perched atop Lower Manhattan’s Municipal Building: Civic Fame.

Born in Rochester, New York in 1891, she moved to New York City when she was still just a teenager. Munson was actually discovered when a photographer spotted her beauty in a Fifth Avenue store window.

This led to Munson’s initial collaborative work with various photographers and sculptors, who were impressed by her tall, photogenic frame and “neoclassical” features. This fame also led to her being cast in silent films of the era.

Despite her fame, Munson actually received little compensation and was not able to save up enough to support herself. By the 1920s, her popularity decreased therefore, she and her mother moved to upstate New York.

With virtually no savings to survive, Munson accepted a job as a waitress. This actually happened when she began to demonstrate signs of serious mental illness, such as her insistence on being known as “Baroness Audrey Meri Munson-Munson.”

She blamed her downfall on Jewish people, and her outspoken anti-Semitism led her so far as to contact the U.S. House of Representatives, insisting that they create a law that would protect her from “the Hebrews.”

At the age of 40, Munson was sent even further upstate to Ogdensburg, along the Canadian border. There, she occupied a room at St. Lawrence State Hospital, where she actually died at the age of 104.

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