Louise Falk

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Louise Falk
Louise Kanasireff-1936.jpg
Biographical information
Born: October 25, 1911
Died: August 4, 1999
Nationality: Mini usa.gif American

Louise Falk (née Kanazireff) was the first wife of Lee Falk from 1935 until 1944 (1945 ?). The surname has been written slightly differently as a result of the transliteration from Bulgarian Cyrillic orthography to the Latin alphabet.


Vladimir Kanazireff was born in Razlog (Bulgaria) and was educated at the military college in Sofia [1]. In 1908 [2] [3] he was in US, and early 1909 he visited the Rooch family in St. Louis [4]. He and Lillian Rooch fell in love, but he had to leave due to his new job as an attache of the Bulgarian legation at Paris. Early 1910 Lillian announced her engagement to Capt. Vladimir Kanazireff [4] and said that she was leaving to Eureka Spring to stay for a time before starting to Paris where the wedding will take place in June. Louise was born October 25, 1911 when Lillian visited her family St. Louis [5].

In October 1912 Lillian wrote her mother that her husbond's healt has been falling for some time, and her mother decided to go to Paris. But in Paris Louise Rooth was taken ill and her daughter decided to take her mother home to St. Louis. At sea Louise Rooth suddenly succumbed to heart disease and died [6][7]. Lillian left St. Louis after the funeral, but returned when her husband joined the 7th Rila Infantery Division, to fight in the Balkan Wars.

Vladimir Kanazireff - 1931

During the WW1 Vladimir Kanazireff was in the Bulgarian army, retiring with the rank of major [8]. He then attended the Sorbonne University in Paris where he specialized in history and law at the School of Political Science [1] [footnotes 1].

Louise Kanazireff - 1917

In St. Louis Louise's first first public stage performance was as one of the pupils of the Mahler School of Dancing in 1916, as one of the dancers in the musical comedy "Undine" at Shubert Theatre [9]. The next year she was one of the specialty dancers ("Chickens") in the play "The Broken Doll" [10]. The play was presented at the Jefferson Theatre in St. Louis, to celebrate the end of the scholastic year of the Mahler School of Dancing. Then she danced dressed as a aeroplane in the play "Miss Yankey Doosle" at Jefferson Theatre [11]. At the Odeon she was part of the cast, performing in the play "The Golden Years" to celebrate Jacob Mahler's fiftieth anniversary as a teacher of dancing in St. Louis [12].

Miss Irma Summa[footnotes 2] had returned to St. Louis to teach dancing in 1918 and Louise became one of her pupils.

After the WW1 Lillian had tried to obtain passport for her husband and finaly, after the services of senator Spencer, Vladimir Kanazireff could move to St. Louis [13]. In St. Louis he found his work as a teacher at McKinley, Soldan, Beaumont and Southwest High Schools [14].

Louise performed as one of Irma Summa's pupils in a dance recital at Wedensday Club Auditorium in 1921 [15] and the dance and song recitals at Pershing Theater in 1923 [16]. The dance poem, "Fairies' Midnight Frolie" was originated by Irma Summa.

In the US Fedral Census of 1930 [17] only Vladimir Kanazeriff is listed (as boarder). Lillian and Louise returned from France in August [18], and Louise graduated Roosevelt High School [19] in 1932.

Louise attended the Washington University [20]. At the University she joined Thyrsus, the dramatic society of the Washington University. She had a role in the annual production, "Mr. Pim Passes By", at the Wednesday Club May 13 and 14 [21].

Louise acted in The Little Theatre of St. Louis' [footnotes 3] production of "The Little Clay Cart" [22], at an outdoor amphitheatre of John Burroughs School July 12-16. Louise was to be part of The Little Theatre's next play, "Night Over Taos" to opened 25 Jan 1934 [23]. But due to the sudden death of Neal Caldwell, the associate director, the play was abandoned[24].

Louise Kanazireff - 1933
One Small Cheer - Fox Theatre

At the Washington University Louise joined the Quadrangle Club. In 1933 (May 11-13) at the January Courtroom they presented the revue "One Small Cheer", a tabloid version of "French Class" and "Rose of Arizona", with Louise as part of the cast in "Rose of Arizona" [25]. The engagement in the January Courtroom was a success and "One Small Cheer" was put up at Fox Theatre [footnotes 4] the week of June 2-8 [26]. Louise played her first leading role in the student play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" (by Jane W Blackmer) at the Washington Univesity [27].

In Prof. Carson's class in technique of the drama Louise wrote the play "Veils (The) Veil))", which later became one of ten plays in a Play Service. Established to give high school, college and church theatrical groups the opportunity to produce plays written by students at the university [28].

Louise married Leon H. E. Falk in 1935 [29], and after graduating in 1936 they moved to New York City. In NY Louise studying with Frances Robinson Duff [30], but the newly married couple also traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East the next two years.

In 1939 Louise made her debut in the Farragut Playhouse at Rye Beach (New Hampshire) as part of their resident company [31]. Louise and Lee's daughter Valerie was born May 23, 1940. This year Lee Falk had been involved in the Cambridge Summer Theatre and Louise acted as part of their resident company from 1941. Due to Lee Falk's WWII obligation Louise also took care of Lee's responsibilities at the Cambridge Summer Theatre in the years 1942 to 1944.

Louise changed her acting name to Louise Valery in 1943. Lee Falk and Louise were divorced, and in 1945 Louise remarried with Richard Hart. After the death of her husband in 1951 Louise remarried Peter Cadby.

Behind the scenes

Louise have been used as name for characters in Mandrake strips once:

Year Daily/Sunday Title Comments
1956 Sunday "The Miss Galaxy Beauty Contest" as Louisa of Bulgarn


  1. He might have been Bulgarian consul in Petrograd (Leningrad) after his education according to "Vladimir Kanazireff dies; ex-teacher in High Schools" St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) 31 December 1962, p 9
  2. Irma Summa and Louise Kanazireff were cousins
  3. A group of semiamateur players. Interesting, two of the members were Samuel and Louis Westheimer
  4. Early 1940s Lee Falk said he saw a beatiful girl (Louise) in a drama one night and thought: "That's the girl I'm going to marry". He became a stage-door Johnny and later married her. - This might be the play Lee Falk referred to.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Vladimir Kanazireff", Caduceus (St. Louis, Missouri) Yearbook for Beaumont High School 1949, p 77
  2. Canadian Passenger List, 1865-1935
  3. U.S., Index to Alien Arrivals at Canadian Atlantic and Pacific Seaports. A4079 - St Albans, Vermont - 1904-1909, p 5
  4. 4.0 4.1 "To Wed Bulgarian Captain", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 11 March 1910, p 11
  5. New York, Passenger List, 1820-1957 - "La Touraine" Arrival Date 24 Jul 1911
  6. New York, Passenger List, 1820-1957 - "La Lorraine" Arrival Date 10 Nov 1912
  7. "Sea Burial of Mother is Halted", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 17 November 1912, p 1
  8. "Kanazireff Wed St. Louis Girl in This City in 1910" St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) 28 April 1921, p 4
  9. "Mahler Pupils to Give "Indine" May 19 and 20", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 15 May 1916, p 9
  10. "New Children's Play to be Given at Jefferson", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 16 May 1917, p 4
  11. "Society", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 17 May 1918, p 11
  12. "Society", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 27 May 1919, p 9
  13. Federal Naturalization Records, 1856-1942. Decleration Number 26282
  14. "Vladimir Kanazireff dies; ex-teacher in High Schools" St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) 31 December 1962, p 9
  15. "Dance Recital Saturday", St. Louis Post-Dispatc (St. Louis, Missouri) 22 May 1921, p 46
  16. "Dance and Song Recitals", St. Louis Post-Dispatc (St. Louis, Missouri) 13 May 1923, p 44
  17. 1930 United States Census, St. Louis
  18. New York, Passenger List, 1820-1957, Aug 24 1930
  19. Bwana Yearbook (St Louis, Missouri) - Class of 1932
  20. The Hatchet (St Louis, Missouri), p 47, 107
  21. "Washington U. Drama Society", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 07 April 1932, p 16
  22. "Cast is Selected for The Little Clay Cart", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 25 June 1932, p 14
  23. "New Faces in Cast of Night Over Taos", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) 25 December 1932, p 23
  24. "Interupted by Neal Caldwell's Death", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 26 January 1933, p 28
  25. "Quadrangle Club Gives Revue at Washington U.", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 12 May 1933, p 4
  26. "Quadrangle Club Show Opens at Fox Tomorrow", The St. Louis Star and Times (St. Louis, Missouri) 01 June 1933, p 5
  27. "Patriotic Societies", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) 05 November 1933, p 44
  28. "Play Service Established at Washington University", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) 12 October 1934, p 27
  29. St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) 1 October 1935, p 21
  30. "obituaries - Louise K. Cadby" The Star-Democrat (Easton, Maryland), p 12
  31. Portsmouth Herald: August 2, 1939 p 6; August 23, 1939 p 6

External links

See also

Spotlight on Lee Falk - The Theatre Years