"Francis Renault was an active and popular ‘femme mimic' from the early 1900s to the 1950s. He was born Antonio Auriemma in Naples Italy on September 5, 1895. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where, after a show, he reportedly met and was inspired by the great Edwardian female impersonator Julian Eltinge. Francis made his vaudeville reputation impersonating Lillian Russell, the great American beauty whose career and pulchritude spanned decades before and after the turn of the twentieth century. Like Lillian, he wore gorgeous gowns. His investment in gowns was extensive, tallying in the tens of thousands of dollars."