Ned Sparks Poster


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Overview (5)

Born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Died in Victorville, California, USA  (intestinal obstruction)
Birth NameEdward Arthur Sparkman
Nickname Cold Pan
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ned Sparks proved himself a top character support whose style would be imitated for decades to come. Although less remembered now, he was an inimitable cinematic player back in 1930s Hollywood. The nasal-toned, deadpan comedian Sparks was born Edward A. Sparkman in Guelph, Canada, and was raised for a time in St. Thomas, Ontario. He attended the University of Toronto and, after a period of soul-searching, decided upon acting. He began, believe it or not, as a honky-tonk balladeer in Dawson Creek, Alaska. In 1907, he went to New York and developed his stone-faced reputation in comic outings. His first film in 1915 did not lead to other offers, particularly during a black-balling incident as a one of the founding members of Actors Equity. In 1922, his movie career headed full steam, but it was the advent of sound with Ned's cynical tones, raspy whines and sour disposition that sparked a comfortable film niche, making close to 100 films in all. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), Going Hollywood (1933), the Caterpillar in the all-star Alice in Wonderland (1933), the Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers version of Imitation of Life (1934) were just a few of his more noticeable roles. His cigar-chomping puss became so well-known at Warner Bros., in fact, that Walt Disney's short animated film Broken Toys (1935) had a Jack-in-the-Box character based exclusively on Ned's image. A few years later, when Disney made Mother Goose Goes Hollywood (1938), Ned's caricature played The Jester. In 1939, Tex Avery portrayed him as a hermit crab in Fresh Fish (1939). A radio favorite over the years, he performed alongside Bing Crosby quite frequently. His last disagreeable Hollywood role would be alongside James Stewart in Magic Town (1947). In 1957, he died of an intestinal blockage.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Mercedes Cabalerro (1931 - 17 April 1936) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (4)

He became one of the founding members of the Actors Equity Association.
His on-screen persona became so famous he was able to get Lloyd's of London to issue an insurance policy for $10,000 in the Depression-era 1930s, against damage to his professional reputation should anyone ever get a photograph of him smiling.
Got his start singing in a saloon in Dawson City, Yukon after he failed to find gold.
Father: William Joseph Sparkman; Mother: Mary Anne Lawton.

Personal Quotes (1)

I speedily realized that I was not destined to cause the ladies to swoon with romantic ecstasy as they watched me make love to one of their sex. I have also divined that comedy and not romantic acting was my special forte.

See also

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