Irene Bordoni was one of a long line of French coquettes on the American stage and screen. While her career indeed began in Paris, she was born on this day 1895 in Corsica (thus explaining the Italian last name despite her French cultural identity). She began performing on Broadway and in big time vaudeville in 1912.
Her first big shows Broadway to Paris also featured Doyle & Dixon, Gertrude Hoffman and Louise Dresser. Though she starred in some 15 Broadway shows, her Hollywood career was less extensive. Her most notable efforts were film versions of her Broadway hits, such as Paris (stage version 1928; film version 1930) and Cole Porter’s Louisiana Purchase (stage version 1940; film version 1942). The latter project was really her last hurrah. There really isn’t much call for a 50 year old coquette. Her last few years were quiet; she passed away in 1953.
To find out more about vaudeville and stars like Irene Bordini, please, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous,