Martha Sleeper, comedienne and fashion designer

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silentfilm

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Martha Sleeper, comedienne and fashion designer

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George O'Brien

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PostSun Jun 27, 2010 5:19 pm

I love Martha Sleeper!

Her splendid work with Charley Chase stands by itself, but doesn't any one remember her as Patsy's vaguely errant mother in "Bells of St. Mary's"? Leo McCarey who had directed her in the Charley Chase silents, must surely have been doing her a favor, but she needed no apology and did a superb job. Iin fact, she was most memorable in her silent acting: when Ingrid Bergman who had been remonstrating with Patsy,looks out the window, and seeing Martha standing there and looking searchingly, asks "Who is that?"

And the look Martha gives Patsy as the girls clumpily make their graduation procession is pure gold.

Martha also gives as good as she gets opposite Noel Coward, rolling her Rs even better than the master, in Hecht and MacArthur's unique "The Scoundrel"(1935).
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FrankFay

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PostSun Jun 27, 2010 5:30 pm

"The Scoundrel"- I hope that makes it to video some day. The vicious dialogue is to DIE for, although the film turns into sentimental crap.
Eric Stott
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George O'Brien

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PostMon Jun 28, 2010 11:15 am

I've got it on video, but don't hold your breath waiting for the dvd. In the meantime, there's a rare screening, in 35mm no less, at Manhattan's Film Forum in July. Even better, Richard Kozarski will be doing the evening showing's introduction.

The dialogue is out of this world. I used to have sound bites on my home answering machine message,which resulted in a friend pleading with me to put a particular line on hers. I did, and certain lines became catch phrases among our group of friends.
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Brent Walker

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PostMon Jun 28, 2010 11:35 am

Actually the story on Martha Sleeper being in THE BELLS OF ST. MARYS was that she was doing Leo McCarey a favor. She had left Hollywood to go to Broadway, but was mostly concentrating her energies on creating her bakelite jewelry (for which she soon retired from acting altogether). She was supposedly visiting Leo McCarey in Malibu from New York when the actress who was supposed to do the role in BELLS bowed out for some reason and it was too late to recast, so McCarey asked her to fill in.
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JFK

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Martha Sleeper-Puerto Rico Comic + sister-Annette "Lorraine"

PostFri Aug 18, 2017 8:16 pm

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The recent Duffy's Tavern book treads lightly on Ed Gardner's Olympian elbow-bending and "eccentricities" (for stories concerning those, see the The Laugh Crafters.) But otherwise, Martin Grams' 735 page epic is a well-researched look at the program and Gardner's career. In 1949, Gardner moved his creation from NYC to "tax free Puerto Rico."
And, it turns out, at least 12 of the program's island broadcasts (1949-1951) - as logged by Grams - featured a new cast member: San Juan resident Martha Sleeper ! Here is one of Sleeper's Duffy's shows.

Martha, her Russian dance instructor, and her Scottish sparring partner
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Comedienne Writes
Sometime ago it was announced that Martha Sleeper, Hal Roach's 16-year-old comedienne, was writing a book about Hollywood, just to be sure that her four hours' schooling per day and her screen work didn't leave her with any monotonous Idleness. Now it's known to her friends that she is writing a romance of work, adventure and success in Hollywood, in which the young heroine is neither a sudden success nor a flat failure just one of Hollywood's ordinary pretty picture girls. And the tentative title is "Hollywood Be Thy Name."
California and Californians, Volume 4
Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez
Lewis publishing Company, 1930

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just the girl to do the important role of Betty in the forthcoming picture. While she had never faced a camera before, she was given the part and made an instant success. She also did a picture with Warner Baxter called "Danger Street," and when she was only thirteen years old she had met Mr. Baxter, and several years later she was playing his lead. Miss Martha Sleeper was engaged for Hal Roach Comedies on a three years' contract. From there she went to F. B. O. Studios, made
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She also has a desire to get into comedy drama."

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Annette Sleeper

Annette Grace Errvilla Tuthill (born Sleeper), 1906 - 1990
Annette Grace Errvilla Tuthill (born Sleeper) was born on month day 1906, at birth place, Illinois,
to William Bancroft Sleeper and Minnie Belle Sleeper (born Akass).
William was born on June 16 1865, in New Jersey, United States.
Minnie was born in December 1874, in Indiana, United States.
Annette married Horace Stephen Tuthill on month day 1930, at age 23 at marriage place, California.
Horace was born on February 13 1905, in New York City, New York, New York.
They had 2 children: Thomas Howard Tuthill and one other child.
They divorced.
Annette passed away on month day 1990, at age 83 at death place.
Last edited by JFK on Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
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JFK

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Martha Throws a Party

PostSun Aug 20, 2017 10:57 am

Image"Martha Sleeper, the former actress, is now one of the most prominent women in Puerto Rico, where she operates a fashionable shop for women. She formerly lived in these parts and I remember her best for the housewarming she gave. She had made all arrangements about food and drinks and music and the guest list kept growing and then she began to worry about parking space for all the cars. An inspiration came. The house across the road was vacant and had plenty of parking space, so she phoned the real estate agent who had it listed and asked if her guests could leave their cars there. He said it was all right. So Martha fixed a sign and went across the road to post it, and then inspected the parking area, and after that found a door open in the big vacant house and went in to have a look at it. There was no furniture in it but it had large rooms and and pretty light fixtures and nice woodwork. Martha thought: “I've got my house all organized, all fixed with new things. Why should I have these people come piling in and wrecking it? They'll all get drunk and spill things and break furniture." So she moved the music and the bar and the buffet over to the vacant house and held her housewarming there. ."
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Tommie Hicks

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Re: Martha Sleeper, comedienne and fashion designer

PostSun Aug 20, 2017 2:28 pm

She was the most talented and beautiful comedienne of the Hal Roach Studios IMHO.
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R. Cat

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Re: Martha Sleeper, comedienne and fashion designer

PostSat Aug 26, 2017 12:01 pm

Martha Sleeper's work in Max Davidson's comedies like Pass The Gravy demonstrates both athleticism and perfect comedic timing. In fact, by itself this has to be one of the funniest silent comedies I've ever seen. The brilliance of Gravy's pantomime scenes would've worked in any era, but they're especially effective here. Those who don't already own the EditionFilmMuseum Max Davidson Collection should give serious thought to snapping this up! Highly recommended.

https://www.edition-filmmuseum.com/prod ... edies.html

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