Julian Eltinge (1881-1941), born William Julian Dalton, near Boston Mass., was one of the most famous female impersonators of the 20th century. Making his Broadway debut in 1904, just a few years before this portrait was made, he soon rose to international stardom, both in vaudeville, and on the silent screen.
At the height of his fame, he starred with a young Rudolph Valentino (not as a woman, but as a man, a la Jack Lemmon's character in "Some Like it Hot"), had stage sets for one of his reviews designed by Erté, a theater named after him on 42nd Street in NYC, and lived in one of the most palatial mansions of Southern California.
As to the most often asked question, it remains unanswered. No lover of either sex ever emerged, though he himself (those days being what they were) is said to have adopted a hyper-masculine demeanor when out of character, going so far as physically attacking stage hands, or even members of the audience, who were careless enough to suggest out loud that he might be homosexual. When stars of the period who knew him were asked, it is said they could go either way...oops :)