Elsie Janis was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and screenwriter. Entertaining the troops during World War I immortalized her as “the sweetheart of the AEF”. Born Elsie Bierbower 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 Vanderbilt Cup, The Hoyden, The Slim Princess, and The Century Girl. Elsie performed at the grand opening of the Brown Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky on October 5, 1925.