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Janis, Elsielocked

(16 March 1889–26 February 1956)
  • Lorien A. Corbelletti

Extract

Janis, Elsie (16 March 1889–26 February 1956), variety artist and writer, was born Elsie Jane Bierbower in Marion, Ohio, the daughter of John Eleazer Bierbower, a railway worker, and Jane Elizabeth Cockrell, a real estate agent. At the age of four she was a natural mimic, adept at picking up the mannerisms and idiosyncrasies of visitors to her parents’ home. Though she was considered a dreadful child by the proper ladies of Marion, “Little Elsie” soon became a popular addition at church gatherings, dinner parties, and club affairs. Her formal career began with a local stock company, where she made her debut as Cain in ...

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