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Nanette Bordeaux biography

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Nanette Bordeaux in a publicity photo for the Three Stooges short film, Slaphappy Sleuths
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Biography of Nanette Bordeaux ( April 3, 1911 – September 20, 1956)

Nanette Bordeaux is remembered for her roles in the Three Stooges short films as the French-speaking “Fifi” in shorts such as Hugs and Mugs and Pest Man Wins.  Her French accent was quite authentic — she was born on April 3, 1911 in St. George, Québec, Canada as Helene Olivine Veilleux. She moved with her family to New York City in the 1930’s where she began auditioning for various theatrical productions, using the name of Francine Bordeaux.

In 1938, she successfully passed a screen test for Hal Roach Studios, and signed a contract with them – although her name doesn’t show up on any of the Roach studio films of that time period.  She did make films for other studios, such as I Married an Angel (1942), So Dark the Night (1946), and Homecoming (1948).  She then changed her stage name once more, to Nanette Bordeaux.

Larry, Moe, and Shemp backstage with Nanette Bordeaux and the other showgirls in Three Hams on Rye
Larry, Moe, and Shemp backstage with Nanette Bordeaux and the other showgirls in Three Hams on Rye

Nanette Bordeaux next caught the eye of Jules White, producer of the Three Stooges short films at Columbia Pictures, who cast her in several of the Three Stooges short films that she’s best remembered for, as well as with other comedians.

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Her career was cut short, however, due to illness — in September of 1956 she became ill, and was admitted to the Beverly Hills Doctors Hospital.  On September 20, 1956 Nanette Bordeaux died from complications of acute bronchopneumonia. She was buried at the Calvary Cemetary in Flushing, Queens, New York.

 Films of Nanette Bordeaux

  • Topper Takes a Trip (1938)
  • Are Husbands Necessary? (1942)
  • I Married an Angel (1942)
  • Women in Bondage (1943) as Francine Bordeaux
  • So Dark the Night (1946)
  • The Voice of the Turtle (1947)
  • Homecoming (1948)
  • Flung by a Fling (1949)
  • French Fried Frolic (1949)
  • Hugs and Mugs (1950)
  • Innocently Guilty (1950)
  • Three Hams on Rye (1950)
  • Slaphappy Sleuths (1950)
  • Wine, Women and Bong (1951)
  • Fun on the Run (1951)
  • Pest Man Wins (1951)
  • A Missed Fortune (1952)
  • Loose Loot (1953)
  • He Popped his Pistol (1953)
  • Income Tax Sappy (1954)
  • My Little Margie (TV series)
  • Come on Seven (1956)
  • A Merry Mix Up (1957)


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