Sally Eilers

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Sally Eilers
Sally Eilers Photoplay133.jpg
Eilers in the January 1933 edition of Photoplay Magazine
Dorothea Sally Eilers

(1908-12-11)December 11, 1908
New York City, U.S.
DiedJanuary 5, 1978(1978-01-05) (aged 69)
Years active1927–1950
Spouse(s) Hoot Gibson (1930–1933)
Harry Joe Brown (1933–1943); 1 child
Howard Barney (1943–1946)
Hollingsworth Morse (1949–1958)
Children1 [1]

Dorothea Sally Eilers [2] (December 11, 1908 – January 5, 1978) was an American actress.


Early life

Eilers was born in New York City to a Jewish-American mother, Paula or Pauline Schoenberger, and a German-American father, Hio Peter Eilers (an inventor). [3] She had one sibling, a brother, Hio Peter Eilers Jr. When Eilers was young, she moved to Los Angeles with her parents, and in 1927 she graduated from Fairfax High School. [4] She went into films because so many of her friends were in pictures. She studied for the stage, specializing in dancing. Her first try was a failure, so she tried typing, but then went back into pictures and succeeded.[ citation needed ]


She made her film debut in 1927 in The Red Mill , [5] directed by Roscoe Arbuckle. After several minor roles as an extra, in 1927-1928 she found work with Mack Sennett as one of his "flaming youth" comedians [2] in several comedy short subjects, along with Carole Lombard, who had been a school friend. In 1928, she was voted as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars, a yearly list of young actresses selected by publicity people in the film business, with selection based on the actresses' having "shown the most promise during the past 12 months." [6]

Eilers was a popular figure in early-1930s Hollywood, known for her high spirits and vivacity. Her films were mostly comedies and crime melodramas such as Quick Millions (1931) with Spencer Tracy and George Raft. By the end of the decade, her popularity had waned, and her subsequent film appearances were few. She made her final film appearance in Stage to Tucson (1950). [7]

Personal life

Eilers and Hoot Gibson in 1951 Sally Eilers and Hoot Gibson, 1951 (cropped).jpg
Eilers and Hoot Gibson in 1951

She was married four times, beginning with Western actor Hoot Gibson. [8] She and her second husband, Harry Joe Brown, had one child, a son, Harry Joe Brown Jr. (1934-2006). She lived in a mansion in Beverly Hills, California [9] designed by architect Paul R. Williams. [9] Eilers was a Democrat who supported Adlai Stevenson's campaign during the 1952 presidential election. [10] Like her mother, Eilers adhered to Judaism. [11]


During her final years, Eilers suffered poor health, and died from a heart attack on January 5, 1978, in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 69. She was cremated and her remains were interred in a small niche in the Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Understanding, Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California. [12]

Partial filmography

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  1. "Harry Joe Brown Jr., 71, Innovative Developer, Dies -". May 29, 2015. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. 1 2 Walker, Brent E. (2013). Mack Sennett's Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel. McFarland. p. 501. ISBN   9780786477111 . Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  3. Parish, J.R.; Leonard, W.T. (1976). Hollywood Players: The Thirties . Arlington House. ISBN   9780870003653 . Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  4. "How They Broke Into the Movies: Sally Eilers". Ames Daily Tribune. Iowa, Ames. June 15, 1935. p. 5. Retrieved February 28, 2018 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. "Historiette". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. May 15, 1932. p. 64. Retrieved February 28, 2018 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. "13 Lucky Girls Of Filmland Given Boost To Fame And Fortune". The Times-Herald. Michigan, Port Huron. January 27, 1928. p. 20. Retrieved February 28, 2018 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  7. Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 217–218. ISBN   9781557835512 . Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  8. "Hoot Gibson Weds Miss Sally Eilers". Lebanon Daily News. Pennsylvania, Lebanon. Associated Press. June 28, 1930. p. 10. Retrieved January 15, 2017 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  9. 1 2 Victoria Talbot, 'Beverly Hills Cultural Heritage Commission Splits 2 To 2 on Mountain Drive Landmark Vote', The Beverly Hills Courier, October 3, 2014, Vol. XXXXVIIII, No. 39, p. 4
  10. Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 33, Ideal Publishers
  11. "Jewish Post 21 August 1936 — Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program".
  12. Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries