b. 17 September 1899, Greenport, New York, USA, d. 6 March 1971, Sherman Oaks, California, USA. A popular Broadway showgirl of the early 20s, Lightner appeared in the 1922-24 editions of George White’s Scandals, as did her sister Thea Lightner. She was featured prominently in Gay Paree in 1925 and its revivals through the next two years. She appeared in six of the scenes, three being solo spots. In 1927 she was in the revue Harry Delmar’s Revels.
Lightner’s film career appears to have started with a Vitaphone short, Winnie Lightner, Broadway’s Favorite (1928), then went on with Gold Diggers Of Broadway (1929), in which she, Ann Pennington and Nancy Welford played the titular trio who set out to marry for money. Also in 1929 she was in The Show Of Shows, singing two songs, ‘Pingo Pongo’ and ‘Singin’ In The Bathtub’, segueing, with Bull Montana, into ‘You Were Meant For Me’. In the early 30s she appeared in She Couldn’t Say No, co-starring with Chester Morris, Hold Everything! and The Life Of The Party (all 1930), and Sit Tight and The Stolen Jools (1931). In the latter, she played herself as did many other actors, the film being designed to raise money for a tuberculosis sanatorium (and financed by a tobacco company). She was later in Manhattan Parade (1932), Dancing Lady (1933, which starred Joan Crawford and Clark Gable and saw the film debuts of Fred Astaire and Nelson Eddy), and I’ll Fix It (1934).