Actress, Dancer, Comedienne. Born Frances Charlotte Greenwood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she got her acting start in vaudeville. She received her first speaking part in a 1907 musical comedy starring the Rogers Brothers, a dialect team. She formed a vaudeville act called "Two Girls and a Piano," then performed solo specialty spots in such revues as The Passing Show, bringing houses down with her wisecracks and high kicks. Her famous kick, higher than her head, reportedly came about accidentally when, during a performance, she kicked her long flowing gown out of the way which drew a huge laugh from the theater audience and a tradition began. In 1913 she was cast as Queen Ann Soforth of Oogaboo late in the run of L. Frank Baum and Louis F. Gottschalk's musical play "The Tik-Tok Man of Oz" and made her first talking appearance in the film "So Long Letty" (1930), which is the role that made her a star. One of her most successful roles was that of Juno in Cole Porter's play "Out of This World" in which she introduced the Porter classic "I Sleep Easier Now". She had some reservations with appearing in the play as she had become a more ardent believer in Christian Science and feared it too risqué. She appeared in other films, most notably "Palmy Days" (1931, with Eddie Cantor and Barbara Weeks), "Parlor, Bedroom and Bath" (1931, with Buster Keaton and Reginald Denny), "Down Argentine Way" (1940, with Don Ameche and Betty Grable), "Moon over Miami" (1941, with Don Ameche and Betty Grable), "Springtime in the Rockies" (1942, with Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda), "The Gang's All Here" (1943, with Alice Faye and Carmen Miranda), and "Oklahoma!" (1955, with Gordon MacRae, Gene Nelson, and Shirley Jones). She was married first to Cyril Ring in 1915 which ended in a scandalous divorce in 1922 and in 1924 she married Martin Broones which lasted until his death in 1971. In 1956 she officially retired but came out of retirement to do two television episodes in 1961. She died in Los Angeles, California at the age of 87. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio.
Bio by: William Bjornstad