Martha Wentworth

Active - 1940 - 1963  |   Born - Jun 2, 1889   |   Died - Mar 8, 1974   |   Genres - Western, Drama, Comedy, Children's/Family, Historical Film

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Former radio actress Martha Wentworth played the Duchess, Allan Lane's robust-looking aunt, in seven of Republic Pictures' popular Red Ryder Westerns from 1946-1947. The original Duchess, Alice Fleming, had left the series along with William Elliott, who was being groomed for Grade-A Westerns. As the new Duchess, Wentworth joined Lane, Elliott's replacement, and little Bobby Blake (later Robert Blake), the former Our Gang star, who played Indian sidekick Little Beaver in all the Republic Red Ryder films. For a great majority of the series' fans, the Lane-Wentworth-Blake combination turned out the quintessential Red Ryder films, the trio becoming one of the most successful combinations in B-Western history. Republic sold the Red Ryder franchise to low-budget Eagle-Lion in 1948 and four additional films were produced, but Wentworth was replaced with former silent-action heroine Marin Sais. In her later years, Wentworth did quite a bit of voice-over work for Walt Disney.

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