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Martha Sleeper

Martha Sleeper (June 24, 1910 – March 25, 1983) was a silent film comedienne of the 1920s and Broadway actress of the 1940s. 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. 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 North Tamarind Street. Martha, then 15 years old, with her mother and sister, had taken a short trip to New York City. Martha Sleeper is a direct descendant of Edward Akass who emigrated to the USA from England around 1858. She studied dancing for five years with the Russian ballet master, Louis H. Chalif, in his New York dancing studio. Her first public exhibitions were at Carnegie Hall at his class exhibitions. One of her dancing photos was sent to an uncle in Los Angeles, California. He framed and displayed it on a wall of his home. The home was sold to Emory Johnson and his mother, Emily Johnson.

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