"I could neever luv someone madly, but I could do it for you..."
Born in Montreal as Yvonne Lussier, Fifi D'Orsay never came closer to Paris than New York. She was the quintessential supporting movie actor. Like a feather duster, her job at Fox Films in the early 1930s was to pass across the surface of things, brightening but disturbing nothing.
Fifi, Mimi, Lili LaFleur, Charmaine, Julie LaRue, and eventually Fleurette—the names evolved while the character chirped— "Fifi D'Orsay" passed as French perfume through eight Fox movies from 1929 to 1931.
In 30s and 40s newspapers, columns separating ads filled with Fifi D'Orsay "o-la-la" stories. "I am not a girl with talent. I am a girl with energy, I sing French songs—not good, but happy. I am happy," she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (October 22, 1948).
Fifi D'Orsay sings above with (and to) Will Rogers in They Had to See Paris (1929), dir. Frank Borzage.