Fifi D'Orsay (1904-1983)

Fifi D’Orsay, whose real name was Yvonne Lussier, was born in 1904 on St. André Street in Montreal. By 1929-30, first on Broadway and then in Hollywood, she had been baptised “the French bombshell”.

Her early years in cinema were her glory years. Between 1929 and 1935, Fifi had major roles in 17 films, including three directed by Raoul Walsh, two by Frank Borzage and one by Ernst Lubitsch. She was a sex symbol, a sort of Betty Boop in flesh and blood, who lisped when imitating a Parisian accent. Later, from 1937 to 1947, she played in eight films, almost all of them B features. Then, from 1962 to 1968, she was an extra in six films.

Between 1950 and 1970, Fifi was widely visible on television as an actress but also as a guest on variety shows. She attracted attention one last time with her role in Follies on Broadway in 1971-72. Between these periods, she went back to her roots—vaudeville, musical comedies and radio. At the end of her life, she devoted herself to painting and to public lectures on religion.