Born Lillian Rutstein, she began working in show business at the age of six; appearing in films, plays, and revues, she was billed as "Broadway's youngest star." In the late '20s and early '30s she starred onstage in Earl Carroll's Vanities and Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolics, meanwhile also starring in a number of successful Hollywood films. However, by the late 30's her career declined and she no longer performed anywhere. In 1953 she told her story on the TV series This Is Your Life; a year later she released her autobiography, I'll Cry Tomorrow, which became an international best seller and was made into a hit film starring Susan Hayward (1955). She made a modest comeback in nightclubs, onstage (she appeared in the Broadway shows I Can Get It For You Wholesale and 70 Girls 70), and on TV, and in 1977 she appeared in the film Communion. She was married eight times.