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Martha Raye ACTOR


Martha Raye was born on August 27th, 1916 in Butte, Montana with the birth name Margaret Teresa Yvonne Reed, born to Peter F. Reed and Maybelle Hooper.  Both of her parents were vaudeville performers and had an act called, "Reed and Hooper". 
From the young age of three she was already performing on stage with her parents and soon was also performing on stage with her brother Bud and their act was re-named "Margie and Bud".
She remained working as a stage performer and for a short time even attended the Professional Children's School in New York, however she received such a small amount of formal education that throughout her time in the industry she had to have her scripts read to her.
Along with her early work on stage she was also a singer and became a vocalist with a band called the Paul Ash and Boris Morros Orchestra.  In 1934 she appeared in her first short film, "A Nite in the Nite Club" followed by being signed with Paramount Pictures and appeared in such films as, "Rhythm on the Range" (1936) co-starring Bing Crosby, Frances Farmer, Bob Burns and an uncredited Roy Rogers, "College Holiday" (1936) starring George Burns, Gracie Allen, Jack Benny, Marsha Hunt and Mary Boland, "Waikiki Wedding" (1937) also starring Bing Crosby, Shirley Ross, Anthony Quinn and Bob Burns, "Mountain Music" (1937) with Bob Burns, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Rufe Davis and John Forrest 'Fuzzy' Knight and "Keep 'Em Flying" (1941) starring Abbott and Costello, Dick Foran, Carol Bruce and William Gargan
Along with her early film work, she also was heard on the CBS radio show, "The Lifebuoy Program" also known as "CafĂ© Trocadero" from 1936 through 1939.  She also earned the nickname, "The Big Mouth" as the proportion of her mouth to her facial features was quite large.  This however, helped her get cast in commercials for Polident denture cleaner later in her career during the 1980's.
When World War II occurred, she would travel and entertain the American troops and also worked as a nurse when she was not entertaining.  After the war she returned to Hollywood and continued pursuing her career in entertainment but turned her focus for a while on television acting appearing in such shows as, "The Martha Raye Show" (1954-1956) and "What's My Line?".
Although her professional career was going well, her personal life was not as easy.  With a number of failed marriages, a feat of flying and an addiction to alcohol to get her comfortable enough to travel, Martha Raye tried to take her own life in 1956 by over-dosing on sleeping pills.
After recovering from her attempted suicide she continued working appearing on more television series as such as, "Burke's Law", "Love, American Style", "The Love Boat", "The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show", "Murder, She Wrote", "The Andy Williams Show" and "McMillan & Wife" starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James.  
In 1969 she was awarded the Jean Humanitarian Award for her work with a number of different charities and service to the troops.  She was also honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the Motion Picture and Television industry.   
Throughout her lifetime. she married a total of seven times and only had one child.  Her first husband was Bud Westmore from 1937 through 1938.  She then married David Rose in 1938 but by 1942 this marriage came to an end.  Her third husband was Neal Lang whom she married in 1941 but again this marriage was short lived ending in 1944.  Her fourth husband was Nick Condos with him she had her only child with and remained married from 1944 through 1953.  Raye then chose to marry for a fifth time to Ed Begley from 1954 through 1956.  Her sixth time to marry was to Robert O Shea, again short lived from 1956 through 1960.  Her seventh and final husband was Mark Harris who was forty two years old and she was seventy five.  They married in 1991 and they remained together until she passed away three years later on October 19th, 1994 in Los Angeles, California after suffering from pneumonia.  
When Martha Raye passed away she left most of her estate to her last husband but donated some money to PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  Her remains were buried in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


1985   Alice in Wonderland

1985   Murder, She Wrote

1979-1984  Alice

1979-1981  The Love Boat

1981   Pippin: His Life and Times 

1980   The Gossip Columnist 

1979   Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol

1979   The Concorde... Airport '79

1977   'Twas the Night Before Christmas

1976-1977  McMillan & Wife 

1973   Love, American Style

1963-1971  The Red Skelton Hour 

1970-1971  The Bugaloos 

1970   Pufnstuf 

1970   The Phynx

1966   Clown Alley 

1966   Magic Mansion 

1965   Burke's Law

1962   Billy Rose's Jumbo 

1954   Producers' Showcase 

1950   Musical Comedy Time 

1947   Monsieur Verdoux 

1944   Pin Up Girl

1941   Hellzapoppin' 

1941   Keep 'Em Flying 

1941   Navy Blues

1940   The Boys from Syracuse 

1940   The Farmer's Daughter 

1939   $1000 a Touchdown 

1939   Never Say Die 

1938   Give Me a Sailor 

1938   Tropic Holiday 

1938   College Swing 

1938   The Big Broadcast of 1938

1937   Double or Nothing

1937   Artists & Models

1937   Mountain Music 

1937   Waikiki Wedding

1936   College Holiday

1936   Hideaway Girl 

1936   The Big Broadcast of 1937 

1936   Rhythm on the Range

Matinee Classics - McMillan and Wife starring Rock Hudson, Susan Saint James, John Schuck, Nancy Walker, Martha Raye, Bill Quinn, Mildred Natwick, Linda Watkins, Donna Mills, Richard Gilliland, Gloria Stroock, Maudie Prickett and Connie Sawyer
Matinee Classics - The Martha Raye Show starring Martha Raye

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