Martha Sleeper (Martha Sleeper)

Martha Sleeper

Martha Sleeper reputedly spent her first years on a sheep ranch in Wyoming. Her father, William B. Sleeper, was an official of the Keith-Albee-Orpheum vaudeville circuit in New York City. Her mother was Minnie Akass. He retired to Los Angeles, California in 1923 because of ill health. She was under contract to Hal Roach studios beginning in 1924, when she was 14 years old. Her father was found dead of heart disease on September 1, 1925, in bed at his home on 1756 N. Tamarind Street. Martha, then 15 years old, with her mother and sister, were away, having taken a short trip to New York City. In 1926, aged 16, the young actress wrote and published a book, Hollywood Be Thy Name. She wrote the story while doing screen work and performing four hours of school work daily. The volume was a romance of work, adventure, and success in Hollywood. Martha Sleeper’s film career began in 1923 and continued until 1945. Her early comedy efforts with Hal Roach include The Mailman (1923), The Racing Kid (1924), Trailing Trouble (1924), Please, Teacher! (1924), A Ten Minute Egg (1924), Sweet Daddy (1924), and Outdoor Pajamas (1924). She also appeared in a handful of silent Our Gang shorts including: Better Movies (1925), Baby Clothes (1926) and Thundering Fleas (1926),and also had a small role in a Laurel and Hardy short The Chimp (1932). Martha’s final movies were mainly in the late 1930s, concluding with a small role in The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945). Martha Sleeper died of a heart attack, aged 72, in Beaufort, South Carolina, where she had lived with her third husband, Col. Howard C. Stelling, who survived her. She had no children.

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  • June, 24, 1910
  • USA
  • Lake Bluff, Illinois


  • March, 25, 1983
  • USA
  • Beaufort, South Carolina

Cause of Death

  • heart attack

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