Janis, Elsie

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Elsie Janis (1889-1956) was a performer in musical comedy, vaudeville, and motion pictures, and also a composer and screenwriter. Born Elsie Bierbower in Columbus, Ohio, March 16, 1889, Elsie Janis made her stage debut at the age of eight in THE CHARITY BALL, and quickly rose to popularity in vaudeville as "Little Elsie." She made her Broadway debut in THE VANDERBILT CUP in 1906, and also appeared in THE HOYDEN (1907), THE FAIR CO-ED (1909), THE SLIM PRINCESS (1910) and THE LADY OF THE SLIPPER (1912). Silent film appearances by Elsie Janis included THE CAPRICES OF KITTY (1915), 'TWAS EVER THUS (1915) and THE IMP (1919). Known as the "Sweetheart of the A.E.F" for entertaining Allied troops during World War I, Elsie Janis continued performing in vaudeville through the 1920's. After talking pictures were introduced she contributed songs and dialogue to several films, including MADAME SATAN (1930) and THE SQUAW MAN (1931) for Cecil B. DeMille, and REACHING FOR THE MOON (1931) for Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Aside from a brief return to the screen in WOMEN IN WAR (1940), Elsie Janis retired from show business after the death of her mother in 1932. She died in Los Angeles on February 26, 1956.

From the guide to the Elsie Janis diaries, 1920-1928, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Charles Bancroft Dillingham (1868-1934) was one of the leading theatrical producers in New York City during the first three decades of the 20th century. With his own company, the Dillingham Theatre Corp., and in partnership with A.L. Erlanger and Florenz Ziegfeld, he produced more than 200 comedies, musical comedies, operettas and vaudeville shows for the Broadway stage. He built and owned The Globe Theatre (at Broadway and 46th St.) and for many years he managed The Hippodrome, reputed to be the largest theatrical house in the world.

From the guide to the Charles B. Dillingham papers, 1903-1931, 1910-1927, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Elsie Janis (1889-1956) was a performer in musical comedy, vaudeville, and motion pictures, and also a composer and screenwriter.

Born Elsie Bierbower in Columbus, Ohio, March 16, 1889, Elsie Janis made her stage debut at the age of eight in THE CHARITY BALL, and quickly rose to popularity in vaudeville as "Little Elsie." She made her Broadway debut in THE VANDERBILT CUP in 1906, and also appeared in THE HOYDEN (1907), THE FAIR CO-ED (1909), THE SLIM PRINCESS (1910) and THE LADY OF THE SLIPPER (1912). Silent film appearances by Elsie Janis included THE CAPRICES OF KITTY (1915), 'TWAS EVER THUS (1915) and THE IMP (1919). Known as the "Sweetheart of the A.E.F" for entertaining Allied troops during World War I, Elsie Janis continued performing in vaudeville through the 1920's. After talking pictures were introduced she contributed songs and dialogue to several films, including MADAME SATAN (1930) and THE SQUAW MAN (1931) for Cecil B. DeMille, and REACHING FOR THE MOON (1931) for Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Aside from a brief return to the screen in WOMEN IN WAR (1940), Elsie Janis retired from show business after the death of her mother in 1932. She died in Los Angeles on February 26, 1956.

From the description of Elsie Janis diaries, 1920-1928. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144651972

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Drugan, Allen J. Robert W. Wagner collection [graphic]. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Beryl Hoare photograph album collection, 1914 - 1923 V & A Department of Theatre and Performance
referencedIn Felix Mendelsohn scrapbook, 1927-1962, 1927-1935 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Elsie Janis diaries, 1920-1928 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Sayers, Isabelle S. Papers from the Isabelle Sayers collection, circa 1886-1980 (bulk 1920-1980). Library of Congress
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Charles B. Dillingham papers, 1903-1931, 1910-1927 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Janis, Elsie, 1889-1956. A star for a night [collection] : [in four acts] / by Elsie Janis. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
creatorOf Swanson, Gloria. Papers. Series VII. Formats, 1889-1983. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Valentine Theatre (Toledo, Ohio). Programs -- Season 1910-1911. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Capra, Frank, 1897-1991. Robert W. Wagner Cinema Collection. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Stidger, William Leroy, 1885-1949. Letters to William Leroy Stidger, 1917-1949. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
creatorOf Janis, Elsie, 1889-1956. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1927. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Rosenberg, Manuel, 1897-1967. Drawings & Sketches, ca.1920-1950. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Fred C. Kelly Papers, 1867-1966 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn American Vaudeville Museum collection, 1845-2007, (bulk 1910-1940) University of Arizona Libraries, Library Special Collections
creatorOf Swanson, Gloria. Papers. Series II. Career, ca. 1914-1983. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Papers from the Isabelle Sayers Collection, circa 1886-1980, 1920-1980 Library of Congress. Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division
creatorOf Janis, Elsie, 1889-1956. Mary Burns, Inc., [193-] / by Elsie Janis. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Mendelsohn, Felix, Jr. Felix Mendelsohn scrapbook, 1927-1962, bulk 1927-1935. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Victoria Theatre (Dayton, Ohio). Season 1910-1911. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Photographs of American and European actors, actresses and singers [manuscript], ca.1890-1910. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn R.H. Burnside Papers, 1893-1949 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Robert Benney research materials, 1926-1978 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Edison Sheet Music Collection, 1830-1958, (bulk 1890-1940) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Janis, Elsie, 1889-1956. Elsie Janis diaries, 1920-1928. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Elsie Janis collection. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Higgins, E. R. Robert Barton family photographs [graphic] UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn The Railroad hour, radio program [sound recording], 1948-1954 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Heineman theatrical collection, ca. 1902-1915. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Alumni Association (University of Michigan), Individual Photographs, ca. 1880-ca. 1960s Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ade, George, 1866-1944 person
associatedWith American Museum of Vaudeville corporateBody
associatedWith Belasco, David, 1853-1931 person
associatedWith Benney, Robert, 1904-2001 person
associatedWith Berlin, Irving, 1888-1989 person
associatedWith Burnside, R. H., 1870-1952 person
associatedWith Butt, Alfred, Sir, 1878- person
associatedWith Chambers, C. Haddon (Charles Haddon), 1860-1921 person
associatedWith Cohan, George M. (George Michael), 1878-1942 person
associatedWith Crowninshield, Frank, 1872-1947 person
associatedWith Cullen, Frank, 1936- person
associatedWith Dillingham, C. B. (Charles Bancroft), 1868-1934 person
associatedWith Dillingham Theatre Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith Edwards, Bruce person
associatedWith Erlanger, Abraham Lincoln, 1860-1930 person
associatedWith Fields, W. C., 1879-1946 person
associatedWith Frohman, Charles, 1860-1915 person
associatedWith Frohman, Daniel, 1851-1940 person
associatedWith Globe Theatre (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hippodrome Theatre (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hoare, Beryl person
associatedWith Houghton, Arthur person
associatedWith Kelly, Fred C. (Fred Charters), 1882-1959 person
associatedWith Latham, Fred G., 1853-1943 person
associatedWith Lonsdale, Frederick, 1881-1954 person
associatedWith Maude, Cyril, 1862-1951 person
associatedWith McNeilly, Donald, 1945- person
associatedWith Mendelsohn, Felix, Jr person
associatedWith Mendelsohn, Felix, Jr. person
associatedWith Nethersole, Louis person
associatedWith Penniman, James Hosmer, 1860-1931. person
associatedWith Railroad Hour Radio Program corporateBody
associatedWith Rosenberg, Manuel, 1897-1967. person
associatedWith Sayers, Isabelle S. person
associatedWith Stidger, William Leroy, 1885-1949. person
associatedWith Swanson, Gloria. person
associatedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Thomas A. Edison, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Alumni Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Valentine Theatre (Toledo, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Victoria Theatre (Dayton, Ohio). corporateBody
associatedWith Ziegfeld, Flo, 1869-1932 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New York (State)--New York
Subject
Motion picture actors and actresses
Motion picture actors and actresses
Musical theater
Theater management
Vaudeville
Vaudeville
Theater
Theater
Theater
Theater
Actors
Actresses
Actresses
Drama
Occupation
Theatrical producers and directors
Theatrical managers
Composers
Activity

Person

Birth 1889-03-16

Death 1956-02-26

Americans

Information

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SNAC ID: 15645254