Lillian Roth was an American singer and actress.
Born as Lillian Rutstein in Boston, Massachusetts, she was only 6 years old when her mother took her to Educational Pictures, where she became the company’s trademark, symbolized by a living statue holding a lamp of knowledge. In her book, she described being molested by the man who painted her as a statue. The following year she made her Broadway debut in The Inner Man. Her motion picture debut came in 1918 in Pershing’s Crusaders. Together with her sister Ann she toured as “Lillian Roth and Co.” At times the two were billed as “The Roth Kids.” One of the most exciting moments for her came when she met U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The President took Lillian and her sister for a ride around the block in his chauffeur driven car, after attending a performance of their vaudeville act.
Roth entered the Clark School of Concentration in the early 1920s. She appeared in Artists and Models in 1923 and went on to make Revels with Frank Fay. During production for the former show, she told management she was nineteen years of age. When she was seventeen, she made the first of three Earl Carroll Vanities with comedienne Ray Dooley. This was soon followed by Midnight Frolics, a Flo Ziegfeld production.
Soon the young actress signed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures. Among the films she made for Paramount were The Love Parade with Maurice Chevalier, “The Vagabond King,” the all-star revue Paramount on Parade, Honey, in which she introduced “Sing You Sinners,” Cecil B. DeMille’s Madam Satan with Reginald Denny, “Sea Legs” with Jack Oakie, and the classic comedy Animal Crackers with the Marx Brothers. She also played Ethel Merman’s stage role in the film version of “Take a Chance,” singing “Eadie Was a Lady.” After leaving Paramount, she had a supporting role in the women’s prison film Ladies They Talk About with Barbara Stanwyck.