Martha Sleeper

Active - 1921 - 1945  |   Born - Jun 24, 1907   |   Died - Mar 25, 1983   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance

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Winsome brunette leading lady Martha Sleeper was 17 when she was signed by Hal Roach Studios in 1925. Sleeper was tried out as a member of Our Gang in Better Movies (1925), but she was obviously too mature -- and too well-developed -- to continue appearing in Roach's "kiddie comedies." She went on to play opposite most of Roach's top comedians, most notably in a series of amusing domestic farces starring Charley Chase. She left Roach to appear in feature films in 1928, and the following year made her Broadway debut in Stepping Out. Closing out her film career in 1935, she established a solid reputation as a stage actress: Her theatrical credits included Dinner at Eight, Russet Mantel, and Christopher Blake. In 1945, she was coaxed back before the cameras by her onetime Hal Roach colleague Leo McCarey to play a small but crucial role in McCarey's The Bells of St. Mary's (1945). After retiring from show business, she became a successful costume designer. In later years, Martha Sleeper managed a boutique in Charleston, SC, where she'd settled with her third husband, a high-ranking military officer (her first husband was actor Hardie Albright).

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