Born Virginia McSweeney in Chicago, Illinois, she got her acting start in Milwaukee with a stock company. She also did some film work with Essanay Studios in her hometown of Chicago, starting in 1916.
Valli would continue to appear in films throughout the 1920s. She also would be an established star at the Universal studio by the mid-1920s. The bulk of her films would be between 1924 and 1927.
In 1925 Valli performed in The Man Who Found Himself with Thomas Meighan. The production was made at a Long Island, New York studio.
Among these movies was Paid To Love (1927), with William Powell, and Evening Clothes (1927), which featured Adolphe Menjou.
Her first sound picture was The Isle of Lost Ships in 1929, but her film career would not last much longer due to declining fame. Unable to find a suitable studio, she quit films after making the quickie Night Life in Reno, in 1931.
Valli was first married to George Lamson and the two shared a small bungalow in Hollywood, in close proximity to the Hollywood Hotel.
In 1931, she married her second husband, actor Charles Farrell, to whom she remained married until her death. They moved to Palm Springs, where she was a social fixture for many years.
She suffered a stroke in 1966, and died two years later, aged 70, in Palm Springs, California. She was buried in the Welwood Murray Cemetery of that city. She had no children.