Family & Companions
This brilliant blonde stage comic went on to appear in a handful of early 1930s films. Born into a Polish circus family, Roberti spent her youth trouping through Russia, China, Egypt, France and Germany before she and her sisters came to the US in the late 1920s. She was discovered in a Brooklyn vaudeville house and went on to Broadway fame with "You Said It" (1931), singing "Sweet and Hot" and "Minnie the Moocher" in her broad Polish accent. From time to time, Roberti returned to Broadway, with "Pardon My English" (1932) and the successful "Roberta" (1933-34).
Paramount signed Roberti in 1932, putting her in a small role in "Dancers in the Dark" (1932) before showcasing her as the delightfully wicked 'Mata Machree' in the bizarre comedy "Million Dollar Legs" that same year. She supported Eddie Cantor in "The Kid from Spain" (also 1932) and Claudette Colbert twice in 1933, as an unwed mother in "Torch Singer" and as a Swedish cook in the wonderful screwball "Three Cornered Moon." "College Rhythm" (1934) and "The Big Broadcast of 1936" (1935) finished out her Paramount contract, after which Roberti freelanced.
Roberti made a series of short comedies for Hal Roach, co-starring Patsy Kelly, as well as playing supporting roles in the features "George White's 1935 Scandals," "Nobody's Baby" and "Pick a Star" (both 1937) and the Joe E Brown vehicle "Wide Open Faces" (1938). But a congenital heart condition curtailed her work late in the decade. Roberti died at home in 1938.
Cast (Feature Film)
Wound up in Shanghai when family circus went broke
Broadway debut, "You Said It"
Film debut, "Dancers in the Dark"
Signed with Paramount
Final feature film, "Wide Open Faces"