Elsie Janis


Elsie Janis

Elsie Janis (March 16, 1889 – February 26, 1956) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and screenwriter. Entertaining the troops during World War I immortalized her as "the sweetheart of the AEF" (American Expeditionary Force).

Early career

Born Elsie Bierbower (or Beerbower) in Marion County, Ohio, she first took to the stage at age 2. By age 11, she was a headliner on the vaudeville circuit, performing under the name "Little Elsie". As she matured, using the stage name Elsie Janis, she began perfecting her comedic skills.

Acclaimed by American and British critics, Janis was a headliner on Broadway and London. On Broadway, she starred in a number of successful shows, including "The Hoyden" (1907), "Very Good Eddie" (1915) and "The Century Girl" (1916).

Elsie performed at the grand opening of the Brown Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky on October 5, 1925.

Janis also enjoyed a career as a Hollywood screenwriter, actor and composer; her song "Oh, Give Me Time for Tenderness" was featured in Bette Davis' 1939 movie, "Dark Victory".

World War I

Janis was a tireless advocate for British and American soldiers fighting in World War I. She raised funds for Liberty Bonds. Janis also took her act on the road, entertaining troops stationed near the front lines - one of the first popular American artists to do so in a war fought on foreign soil. Ten days after the armistice she recorded for HMV several numbers from her revue "Hullo, America", including "Give Me the Moonlight, Give Me the Girl." [Rust, Brian, introduction to facsimile reprint of HMV catalogues 1914-18, David & Charles, Newton Abbot, ISBN 0715368427] She wrote about her wartime experiences in "The Big Show: My Six Months with the American Expeditionary Forces" (published in 1919), and recreated them in a 1926 Vitaphone musical short, "Behind the Lines".

Later life

Janis maintained her private home, ElJan, on the eastside of High Street in Columbus, Ohio, across the street from what was Ohio State University's "Buckeye Field", the precursor to Ohio Stadium. Janis sold the house following her mother's death; a McDonalds now occupies the site of ElJan.

In 1932, Janis married Gilbert Wilson, who was sixteen years her junior. The couple lived in Tarrytown, New York until Janis moved to the Los Angeles area of California where she lived until her death. Her final film was the 1940 "Women in War" co-starring Wendy Barrie and Peter Cushing.

Elsie Janis died in 1956 at her home in Beverly Hills, California, aged 66, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Elsie Janis has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6776 Hollywood Blvd.

External links

*
*
*
* [http://library.osu.edu/sites/exhibits/Janis/ Extensive biographical site] at Ohio State University


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Elsie — may refer to: NOTOC NounsPlaces* Elsie, Michigan, a village in Clinton County * Elsie, Nebraska, village in Perkins County * Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospital, was a hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland, founded in 1925 * Elsie Island, NunavutItems*Elsie …   Wikipedia

  • Janis — may refer to *Janis Joplin (1943 1970), American singer and songwriter *Janis Bojars (born 1956), Soviet shot putter *Janis Kelly (born 1971), Canadian volleyball player *Irving Janis, a social psychologist who pioneered the groupthink theory… …   Wikipedia

  • Janis, Elsie — (1889 1956)    Although her Broadway stage career was in musicals, Elsie Janis merits inclusion here for her authorship of produced plays. Born Elsie Janet Bierbower in Marion, Ohio, Little Elsie began performing at age five. At 10, she was noted …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Very Good Eddie — Infobox Musical name= Very Good Eddie subtitle= caption= Original Cast Recording music= Jerome Kern lyrics= Schuyler Green Elsie Janis P. G. Wodehouse Anne Caldwell Frank Craven Harry Graham Herbert Reynolds John E. Hazzard book= Philip… …   Wikipedia

  • Donald "Monk" Watson — Donald Watson, a vaudeville performer, acrobat, magician, radio personality, musician and emcee, started the great Bob Hope and toured with Elsie Janis. He also performed during World War I. World War I Monk Watson fought on each of the five… …   Wikipedia

  • Marion, Ohio — City of Marion   City   West Center Street in downtown Marion in 2007. Nickname(s): World s Pop …   Wikipedia

  • Madam Satan — Infobox Film name = Madam Satan image size = caption = director = Cecil B. DeMille producer = Cecil B. DeMille writer = Jeanie Macpherson Gladys Unger narrator = starring = Kay Johnson Reginald Denny Lillian Roth music = Clifford Grey Elsie Janis …   Wikipedia

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame/Kategorie Film — A Name Adresse Bud Abbott 1611 Vine Street Art Acord 1709 Vine Street Renée Adorée 1601 Vine Street Philip Ahn 6211 Hollywood Blvd. Frank Albertson 6754 Hollywood Blvd. Rex Allen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • List of people from Columbus, Ohio — The following list includes notable people who were born or have lived in Columbus, Ohio or from the surrounding suburbs. Contents 1 Actors 2 Athletes 3 Entrepreneurs 4 Journalists …   Wikipedia

  • Liste Des Étoiles Du Hollywood Walk Of Fame — Cette liste répertorie les étoiles présentes sur le Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sommaire : Haut A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A …   Wikipédia en Français