Sally Eilers

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Sally Eilers
Sally Eilers in Pursuit trailer.jpg
from the trailer for the film Pursuit (1935)
Born Dorothea Sally Eilers
(1908-12-11)December 11, 1908
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 5, 1978(1978-01-05) (aged 69)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1927–1950
Spouse(s) Hoot Gibson (1930–1933)
Harry Joe Brown (1933–1943); 1 child
Howard Barney (1943–1946)
Hollingsworth Morse (1949–1958)
Children Harry Joe Brown Jr. (1934-2006)[1]

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

Early life[edit]

Dorothea Sally Eilers[2] 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][4] 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.[5] 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,[6] 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."[7]

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).[8]

Personal life[edit]

She was married four times, beginning with Western actor Hoot Gibson.[9] 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[10] designed by architect Paul R. Williams.[10]


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.[11]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Harry Joe Brown Jr., 71, Innovative Developer, Dies -". 29 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b 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 28 February 2018. 
  3. ^ Parish, J.R.; Leonard, W.T. (1976). Hollywood Players: The Thirties. Arlington House. ISBN 9780870003653. Retrieved 2014-11-23. 
  4. ^ "Pauline "Paula" Schoenberger Eilers (1875 - 1952)". Retrieved 2014-11-23. 
  5. ^ "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 publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Historiette". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. May 15, 1932. p. 64. Retrieved February 28, 2018 – via  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "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 publication – free to read
  8. ^ 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 2 March 2018. 
  9. ^ "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 publication – free to read
  10. ^ a b Victoria Talbot, 'Beverly Hills Cultural Heritage Commission Splits 2 To 2 on Mountain Drive Landmark Vote', The Beverly Hills Courier, October 03, 2014, Vol. XXXXVIIII, No. 39, p. 4
  11. ^ Sally Eilers at Find a Grave

External links[edit]