Born Franciska Silberspitz in Budapest, she was groomed by Joe Pasternak as a singer to become a very popular stage and cabaret performer in Central Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. After appearing in several films made in Hungary, Germany and Austria - two of which were directed by Henry Koster - she came to Hollywood to star in Cecil B. De Mille's epic adventure film, The Buccaneer, opposite Fredric March. She followed this with the comedy The Girl Downstairs (1938) with Franchot Tone, and in 1939, co-starred with Bing Crosby in the musical Paris Honeymoon. She returned to Budapest because of her mother's illness and remained there for the duration of World War II.
She died in New York City.