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Martha Sleeper (1907 – 1983) was a comedic actress in the early days of silent film. She was a teenager when she was signed by Hal Roach Studios in 1923 or 1925. She played opposite most of Roach’s top comedians, most notably Charley Chase. She left Roach to appear in feature films in 1928, and the following year made her Broadway debut in Stepping Out. She established a solid reputation as a stage actress: Her theatrical credits included Dinner at Eight, Russet Mantel, and C_hristopher Blake_. In 1945, she returned to films to play a small role in McCarey’s The Bells of St. Mary’s.

She abruptly left show business in 1949. She sailed from New York on vacation with her husband. When she reached Puerto Rico she fell in love with the island and stayed.

Before World War II, Sleeper designed and sold jewelry. She is best known for her whimsical adornments from bakelite, wood and metal. Eventually she found the jewelry business too confining and in 1950 she started designing clothing and selling native dress fashions, many with silk screened fabrics that she designed and had produced on the island. She opened a handmade clothing shop in San Juan and was proficient in selling many of her Martha Sleeper Creations to stores in neighboring islands and by 1955, her island-inspired clothing was being exported to other islands and to the U.S. mainland.

In 1964, Ms. Sleeper opened a shop in Palm Beach, Florida at the urging of her friends, and divided her time between Palm Beach and Puerto Rico. In later years, she managed a boutique in Charleston, SC, where she’d settled with her third husband.

Written by affairedamour

from a 1950s skirt - Courtesy of denisebrain

from a 1950s skirt

Courtesy of denisebrain