Friday, 20 December 2013

Elsie Janis - American writer, actress, music hall entertainer, lyricist, composer, film director and film producer

I have just been writing up an Exhibition Panel for Inspirational Women of WW1 and discovered that Elsie Janis, the American actress, composer, film star, film producer and film director, was also a poet! 
Elsie was born Elsie Bierbower in Ohio in 1889. By 1917, Elsie was a famous actress, silent film star and music hall entertainer and went to entertain the American Expeditionary Force on the Western Front, travelling in a chauffeur-driven Cadillac accompanied by her Mother, Jennie. Elsie was one of the first American women to entertain the troops. 
After a long and illustrious career, Elsie died in Los Angeles in 1956 with her friend Mary Pickford by her side. She left her estate to be divided between her housekeeper and her chauffeur - who had stayed with her after driving her about on the Western Front.  Truly an Inspirational Woman of WW1.
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