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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fifi D'Orsay
Fifi d'Orsay.jpg
Born
Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier

(1904-04-16)April 16, 1904
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedDecember 2, 1983(1983-12-02) (aged 79)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California
Occupationactress, singer
Years active1929-1973
Spouse(s)Maurice Hill (1933-1939)
Peter LaRicos (1947-1952) (divorced)[1]

Fifi D'Orsay (Born Yvonne Lussier; April 16, 1904 – December 2, 1983) was a Canadian-born actress.[2]

Early life

Fifi D'Orsay was born Yvonne Lussier in Montreal, Canada,[3] to a father who was a postal clerk. The couple had a large family, with Fifi having 11 siblings. She was educated at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Montreal before graduating and finding work as a secretary.

Biography

As a young stenographer, she wished to become an actress, and moved to New York City.[4] Once there she found work with the Greenwich Village Follies,[3] after an audition in which she sang "Yes! We Have No Bananas" in French. When asked where she was from, she told the director she was from Paris, France, and that she had worked in the Folies Bergère. The impressed director hired her, billing her as "Mademoiselle Fifi".

While working in the Follies, she became involved with Ed Gallagher, a veteran actor who was half of the successful Broadway comedy team of Gallagher and Shean. Gallagher and D'Orsay put together a vaudeville act, and he coached her in the art of show business. After touring in vaudeville, she headed to Hollywood and adopted the surname "D'Orsay" (after a favorite perfume (fr). Soon after she began working in films, often cast as the "naughty French girl" from "gay Paris".

She became a U.S. citizen in 1936, just as her career as a film star came to a sharp halt when she walked out on her contract at Fox Studios and was blacklisted.[5]

While never becoming a major top-billing name, she found steady work - appearing with such stalwarts as Bing Crosby and Buster Crabbe. For years she worked in both film and vaudeville; pacing her appearances in film with continued performances in vaudeville. When age put an end to the glamour roles, she took jobs in television; including 2 appearances each on ABC's Adventures in Paradise (as a mother superior in the episode "Castaways"), and the CBS legal drama Perry Mason (in the episode "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather" and in the episode “The Case of the Bountiful Beauty”)- as well appearing in the CBS sitcom Pete and Gladys. She was a contestant on Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life (Feb. 23, 1956), and at the age of sixty-seven she bookended her career with a return to the Broadway stage in the Tony Award-winning musical, Follies.

Personal life

D'Orsay married twice. Her first husband was Earl Hill (also billed as "Maury Hill" & "Morgan Hill"), the son of a Chicago manufacturer. She divorced Hill in 1939 and married Peter LaRicos in 1947, a restaurateur and agent.[5]

D'Orsay died from cancer at the age of seventy-nine on December 2, 1983, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.[2] She was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Legacy

D'Orsay was credited as the girl who made the phrase "Ooh La La" widely known.[6]

Partial filmography

Those Three French Girls (1930)
Those Three French Girls (1930)

See also

References

  1. ^ "Fifi D'Orsay, Hollwood's 'French Bombshell' of the 1930s --..." UPI.
  2. ^ a b United Press International (December 4, 1983). "Fifi d'Orsay, Movie Actress; Played French Flirts in 30's". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2013. Fifi d'Orsay, the French Bombshell of 1930's motion pictures who was never able to visit France, has died at the age of 79. Miss d'Orsay was ill with cancer for several months before her death Friday at the Motion Picture and Television Country Hospital in suburban Woodland Hills.
  3. ^ a b "Fifi d'Orsay, Movie Actress; Played French Flirts in 30's". The New York Times. United Press International. December 4, 1983. p. A 52. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  4. ^ "Young Star's Rapid Rise". The New York Times. October 5, 1930. p. X 3. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Ralph Lucas. "Fifi D'Orsay – Biography". Northern Stars. Ralph Lucas, NortherStars.ca. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  6. ^ UPI (December 3, 1983). "Fifi D'Orsay, Hollwood's 'French Bombshell' of the 1930s --..." upi.com. UPI. Retrieved August 25, 2019. It was written of her years ago that "Ooh-la-la" went into our vocabulary more by Fifi's doing than anybody else's.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 May 2021, at 01:50
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