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March 5, 2017

18 Beautiful Portrait Photos of Elsie Janis, the Sweetheart of the American Expeditionary Force

Elsie Janis (1889-1956) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and screenwriter. Entertaining the troops during World War I immortalized her as "the sweetheart of the AEF" (American Expeditionary Force).

Janis’s career in the performing arts was long and varied – from her childhood when she began doing imitations of celebrities in vaudeville, to her starring roles on the stages of New York, London, and Paris, to the battlefield where she entertained troops in France and England during World War I, to Hollywood where she acted, wrote for film, and supervised productions.

From her teen years on, Janis wrote songs for herself and for others as well as a number of books, magazine articles, and poems. Janis’s mother Jennie was, until her death in 1930, Elsie’s constant companion and manager, and was known as one of show business’s most infamous stage mothers.

While her career took her away from Columbus, Janis always had a fondness for Ohio and Columbus. She was always proud to be an Ohioan. As she often shouted to the troops she entertained in France in 1918, “Do I come from Ohio? By Damn Yes!”


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