Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Penny Singleton

Penny Singleton (September 15, 1908 - November 12, 2003) was a Hollywood actress best known for her role in the series of motion pictures based on the comic strip Blondie.

Born Mariana Dorothy Agnes Letitia McNulty in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and known as Dorothy McNulty, she was the daughter of a newpaperman Benny McNulty. She began her show business career as a child by singing at a silent movie theater, and toured in vaudeville as part of an act called The Kiddie Kabaret. She sang and danced with Milton Berle and Gene Raymond, and appeared on Broadway in Jack Benny's Great Temptations.

She married a dentist, Lawrence Singleton, in 1937, and moved to Hollywood, where she was first billed as Penny Singleton. They had one child, a daughter, and divorced in 1939. She married Robert Sparks in 1941. They had one child, a daughter. Sparks died on July 22, 1963.

She appeared as a nightclub dancer in After the Thin Man. She was cast opposite Arthur Lake in a radio show, Blondie, based on a comic strip by Chic Young. They repeated their roles on film, and as Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead they proved so popular that a succession of 27 sequels were made from 1938-1950. Her husband produced a number of these sequels. Singleton dyed her brunette hair blonde for the rest of her life.

She was active in union affairs and led a strike by the Radio City Rockettes.

She was the voice of Jane Jetson in the television cartoon series The Jetsons from 1962-1988, and toured in nightclubs and roadshows of plays and musicals.

She died in Sherman Oaks, California following a stroke.