Woman in children’s checkered jumper and big head scarf with handmade doll in hand. Photo Credit: Hennepin County Public Library

Photo Credit: Hennepin County Library

Frances White


Excerpt from the Frances White Wikipedia Page:

Frances White, born in 1896 as Frances Mae Caples, was an American singer and actress on Broadway, on the vaudeville stage, and in silent film.

White began her stage career in Los Angeles in 1910. She joined William Rock; the duo Rock & White found success on the vaudeville circuit with a musical comedy and dance act before they split in 1919. She was a “child impersonator,” wearing gingham rompers and an oversized hair bow; in this guise, she was known for popularizing the spelling song “M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I”. She was also known for a very short “neat and smart” haircut, brushed back to the nape with oil.

White played “Fanny Warden” in The New Adventures of J. Rufus Wallingford (1915), a series of silent short films starring Burr McIntosh and Max Figman. Her Broadway credits included roles in Ziegfeld Follies of 1916, Hitchy-Koo (1917), Let’s Go (1918), Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (1919), Jimmie (1921) and The Hotel Mouse (1922).

White’s last film role was in Face to Face (1922), with Marguerite Marsh. “This unique actress knows her limitations and flatly refuses to be anything but her breezy, slangy, fresh young self,” said a 1925 newspaper profile. Also in 1925, she explained to Lorena Hickok that the distinctive sound of her voice was the result of a tonsillectomy. White passed away in 1969.

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