Image of Fifi D'Orsay

Fifi D'Orsay

Fifi D'Orsay was born Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier in Montreal, Canada, 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. As a young typist she wished to become an actress, and moved to New York City. Once there she found work with the Greenwich Village Follies, 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). 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. 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, 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.


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Born:
Apr 16, 1904 In Montréal, Québec, Canada
Movie/TV Credits:
32
First Appeared:
In the movie They Had to See Paris 1929-09-18
Latest Project:
Movie That's Entertainment, Part II 1976-05-16
Known For
Poster of Combat!
Poster of Adventures in Paradise
Poster of Perry Mason
Poster of Women Everywhere
Filmography
Movie That's Entertainment, Part II (archive footage) 1976-05-16
Movie Assignment to Kill Mrs. Hennie 1968-08-15
Movie The Art of Love Fanny 1965-06-30
Movie Wild and Wonderful Simone 1964-06-09
Movie What a Way to Go! Unknown 1964-10-12
Series Bewitched Unknown 1964-09-17
Series Combat! Unknown 1962-10-02
Series Thriller Unknown 1960-09-13
Series Pete and Gladys Unknown 1960-09-19
Series Adventures in Paradise Unknown 1959-10-05
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Series Mr. & Mrs. North Unknown 1952-10-03
Movie The Gangster Mrs. Ostroleng 1947-11-25
Movie Nabonga Marie 1944-01-25
Movie Delinquent Daughters Mimi 1944-07-15
Movie Dixie Jamboree Yvette 1944-08-15
Movie Submarine Base Maria Styx 1943-07-20
Movie Piano Mooner Maid 1942-12-11
Movie Three Legionnaires Olga 1937-07-10
Movie Wonder Bar Mitzi 1934-03-31
Movie The Life of Jimmy Dolan Budgie 1933-06-03
Movie Going Hollywood Lili Yvonne 1933-12-22
Movie The Girl from Calgary Fifi Follette 1932-10-23
Movie Young as You Feel Fleurette 1931-08-06
Movie The Stolen Jools Fifi D'Orsay 1931-04-04
Movie Mr. Lemon Of Orange Julie La Rue 1931-03-22
Movie Women of All Nations Fifi 1931-05-31
Movie Women Everywhere Lili La Fleur 1930-06-01
Movie Those Three French Girls Charmaine (as Fifi Dorsay) 1930-10-10
Movie They Had to See Paris Fifi 1929-09-18
Movie Hot for Paris Fifi Dupre 1929-12-22