- Ned Sparks
Ned Sparks Born Edward Arthur Sparkman
November 19, 1883
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Died April 3, 1957(aged 73)
Victorville, California, United States
Other names Ned A. Sparks Occupation Actor Spouse Mercedes Cabalerro (1931 - April 17, 1936)
Early life and career
Born Edward Arthur Sparkman in Guelph, Ontario, Sparks left home at age 16 where he attempted to work as a gold prospector on the Klondike Gold Rush. After running out of money, he won a spot as a singer on a traveling musical company's tour. At age 19, he returned to Canada where he briefly attended a Toronto seminary. After leaving the seminary, he worked for the railroad and worked in theater in Toronto. In 1907, he left Toronto to try his hand in the Broadway theatre in New York City.
While working on Broadway, Sparks developed his trademark deadpan expression while portraying the role of a desk clerk in the play Little Miss Brown. His success on the stage soon caught the attention of MGM's Louis B. Mayer who signed Sparks to a six picture deal. Sparks began appearing in numerous silent films before finally making his "talkie" debut in the 1928 film The Big Noise.
In the 1930s, Sparks became known for portraying dour-faced, sarcastic, cigar-chomping characters. He became so associated with the type that, in 1936, The New York Times reported that Sparks had his face insured for USD$100,000 with Lloyd's of London. The market agreed to pay the sum to any photographer who could capture Sparks smiling (Sparks later admitted that the story was a publicity stunt and he was only insured for $10,000). Sparks was also caricatured in cartoons including the Jack-in-the-Box character in the Disney short Broken Toys (1935), and the jester in Mother Goose Goes Hollywood (1938), a hermit crab in Tex Avery's Fresh Fish (1939), a chicken in Bob Clampett's Slap Happy Pappy (1940) and a brief appearance in Friz Freleng's Warner Brothers cartoon Malibu Beach Party (1940).
During his career, Sparks appeared in ten stage productions and over 80 films. He retired from films in 1947.
Year Title Role Other notes 1915 The Little Miss Brown Night clerk 1919 A Virtuous Vamp Mr. Bell 1920 Good References Peter Stearns 1922 The Bond Boy Cyrus Morgan 1923 Easter Bonnets 1924 The Law Forbids Clyde Vernon 1925 The Only Thing Gibson Alternative title: Four Flaming Days 1926 The Hidden Way Mulligan 1927 The Small Bachelor J. Hamilton Beamish 1928 The Magnificent Flirt Tim 1929 The Canary Murder Case Tony Sheel 1929 Nothing But the Truth (1929 film) Clarence van Dyke 1930 The Devil's Holiday Charlie Thorne 1931 Iron Man Riley 1932 The Miracle Man Harry Evans Credited as Ned A. Sparks 1932 The Crusader 1933 42nd Street Barry Gold Diggers of 1933 Barney Hopkins Going Hollywood Mr. Bert Conroy, Director Alternative title: Cinderella's Fella Alice in Wonderland The Caterpillar Lady for a Day Happy McGuire 1934 Servants' Entrance Hjalmar Gnu Imitation of Life Elmer Smith 1935 George White's 1935 Scandals Elmer White 1937 One in a Million Daniel "Danny" Simpson 1937 Wake Up and Live Steve Cluskey 1938 Hawaii Calls Strings 1939 The Star Maker Speed King 1941 For Beauty's Sake Jonathan B. Sweet 1947 Magic Town Ike
- ^ Foster, Charles (2003). Once Upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Dundurn Press Ltd.. pp. 971–972. ISBN 1-550-02464-7.
- ^ Foster, Charles (2003). Once Upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Dundurn Press Ltd.. pp. 973, 977. ISBN 1-550-02464-7.
- ^ Foster, Charles (2003). Once Upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Dundurn Press Ltd.. pp. 980. ISBN 1-550-02464-7.
- ^ Lucas, Ralph. "Ned Sparks". northernstars.ca. http://www.northernstars.ca/actorsstu/sparks_ned_bio.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
- ^ "Milestones". Time. 1957-04-15. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,862585,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
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