Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 15 September 1908Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of Death 12 November 2003Sherman Oaks, California, USA  (complications of a stroke)
Birth NameMariana Dorothy Agnes Letitia McNulty

Mini Bio (1)

Her father was Irish Philadelphian newspaperman, Benny McNulty. He was related to Jim Farley Roosevelt's campaign managers and later Postmaster General. As a child, she sang songs at a silent movie theater. After the sixth grade she joined a touring vaudeville act called "The Kiddie Kabaret." Billed as Penny McNulty, she sang and danced with Milton Berle and Gene Raymond. Her first speaking part was in a Jack Benny Broadway show "Great Temptations".

Moving to Hollywood, she took a new name after marrying dentist Lawrence Singleton. Her first name derived from having saved large amounts of penny coins. She played a tough nightclub dancer in After the Thin Man (1936) and acted/sang/danced in Swing Your Lady (1938), one of the movies Humphrey Bogart regarded as his worst. Though naturally a brunette, she bleached her hair blonde ever since she got the role of Blondie in that long-lived series.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Spouse (2)

Robert Sparks (1 January 1941 - 22 July 1963) (his death) (1 child)
Dr. Laurence Scoggs Singleton (15 October 1937 - 22 December 1940) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (12)

Elected president of AGVA (American Guild of Variety Artists) in 1969.
Led first strike of Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, gaining improved working conditions (1966).
First woman president of an AFL-CIO union.
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree, St. John's University (1974).
Sister of Barney McNulty and June McNulty.
Sister-in-law of cinematographer Ray Flin.
Despite her prolific film career, she was not included in the Dearly Departed video montage of the 2004 Oscar show.
Probably most well remembered today for her portrayal of the comic strip character "Blondie." She starred in 28 movies in this series during the years 1938-1950.
Was the voice of Jane Jetson in The Jetsons (1962) and in later Jetson animated movies & specials.
She was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 6811 Hollywood Boulevard and for Motion Pictures at 6547 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Aunt-in-law of Susinn McFarlen.
Aunt of Kevin McNulty.

Personal Quotes (4)

Women are really leaders. A lot of them don't even know they are leaders. But they are.
"God bless Chic Young." - on playing Blondie in the series of films based on Young's comic-strip character.
"They threw parts at me that Claire Trevor didn't want" - on how she broke into the movies.
I was the economical Claire Trevor. I just didn't want to be typed. It goes to show you how you can eat your words. I became probably the most typed actress in the world. But, at least it had some dignity. I'm proud and grateful I was Blondie. She was dumb and shrewish sometimes. But she was real and sympathetic and warm, a real woman, a human being. And that's how I tried to play her.

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