Roth was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Katie (Silverman) and Arthur Rutstein. Her family was Jewish. She was only 6 years...

The following year she made her Broadway debut in The Inner Man. Her motion picture debut came in 1918 in Pershing's Crusaders as an extra. Together with her sister Ann she toured as "Lillian Roth and Co." At times the two...

Roth entered the Clark School of Concentration in the early 1920s. She appeared in Artists and Models in 1923 and went on to make Revels with Frank Fay. During production for the former show, she told management she...

Soon the young actress signed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures. Among the films she made with Paramount were The Love Parade (1929) with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette...

She headlined the Palace Theatre in New York City and performed in the Earl Carroll Vanities in 1928, 1931, and 1932. She continued to make strides as a singer in an era when so much was being set to...

Unfortunately, her personal life was increasingly overshadowed by her addiction to alcohol. Although her parents were not stereotypical stage parents, as a response to their influence Roth...

Roth was out of the limelight from the late 1930s. Roth’s personal and spiritual feelings led her to convert to Catholicism in 1948. Friends accused her of forsaking Judaism; however, in her...

In 1962, she was featured as Elliott Gould's mother in the Broadway musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale, in which Barbra Streisand made her Broadway debut. Despite the acclaim for...

She was also featured as Mrs. Brice in the national touring company of Funny Girl in 1964, again getting top billing, though a feud with co-star Marilyn Michaels led to her being brought up on charges by Actors Equity. She was signed for...

Roth was married at least five times, to aviator William C. Scott ("Willie Richards"), Judge Benjamin...

In 1955, she met her last husband, Thomas Burt McGuire, scion of Funk and Wagnalls Publishing Company at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. (Roth joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 1946.) The two wed and McGuire managed Roth...

In 1948, she converted to Catholicism, though she later stated that she could not really "forget" her...

In 1970, Roth was sharing a penthouse on Manhattan's West Fifty-Eighth Street. Her fellow occupants were...

In 1971, however, she made a triumphant return to Broadway in the Kander and Ebb musical 70, Girls, 70, which despite its short run was recorded by Columbia and has remained a popular cast album. She also returned to feature films,...

Roth's autobiography, I'll Cry Tomorrow, was written with author-collaborator Gerold Frank in 1954, and a toned-down version of it was made into a hit film the following year starring Susan Hayward,...

In 1958, Roth published a second book, Beyond My Worth, which was not as successful as its predecessor, but told the compelling story of what...

Roth died from a stroke in 1980, at the age of 69. The inscription on her marker in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in...


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