$19.99


This is an ORIGINAL Autograph Scrapbook Page measuring 4" x 5" from the 1940's of legendary Hollywood Superstar,

MARTHA RAYE

This Original Autograph was signed in person, and came from an extensive collection from a co-worker who worked for 40 years at Warner Bros. Studios, and would obtain signatures of many celebirities, where she would keep in a scrapbook.

Shop with confidence! This is part of our in-store inventory from our shop which is has been located in the heart of Hollywood where we have been in business for OVER 40 years!

MORE INFO ON MARTHA RAYE: Martha Raye (August 27, 1916 October 19, 1994) was an American comic actress and standards singer who performed in movies, and later on television. She was honored in 1969 with an Academy Award as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient for her volunteer efforts and services to the troops.

Raye's life as a singer and comedic performer began very early in her childhood. She was born at St. James Hospital, in Butte, Montana as Margy Reed, where her Irish immigrant parents, Peter F. Reed and Maybelle Hooper, were performing at a local vaudeville theatre as "Reed and Hooper." Two days after Martha was born, her mother was already back on stage, and Martha first appeared in their act when she was three years old. She performed with her brother, Bud, and soon the two children became such a highlight that the act was renamed "Margie and Bud." Some show business insiders speculated that the Judy Garland song from A Star Is Born, "I was born in a trunk in the Princess Theater in Pocatello, Idaho" was inspired by Raye's beginnings.

Raye continued performing from that point on and even attended the Professional Children's School in New York City, but she received so little formal schooling, getting only as far as the fifth grade, that she often had to have scripts and other written documents read to her by others.

In the early 1930s, Raye was a band vocalist with the Paul Ash and Boris Morros orchestras. She made her first film appearance in 1934 in a band short titled A Nite in the Nite Club. In 1936, she was signed for comic roles by Paramount Pictures, and made her first picture for Paramount. Her first feature film was Rhythm on the Range with crooner Bing Crosby. From 1936-39, covering 39 shows, she was a featured cast member on Al Jolson's weekly CBS radio show, "The Lifebuoy Program" aka "Cafe Trocadero." In addition to comedy, Martha sang both solos and duets with Jolson. Over the next 26 years, she would eventually appear with many of the leading comics of her day, including Joe E. Brown, Bob Hope, W. C. Fields, Abbott and Costello, Charlie Chaplin, and Jimmy Durante. She joined the USO soon after the US entered World War II.

Martha Raye was known for the size of her mouth, which appeared large in proportion to the rest of her face, thus earning her the nickname The Big Mouth. She later referred to this in a series of commercials for Polident denture cleaner in the 1980s: "So take it from The Big Mouth: new Polident Green gets tough stains clean!" Her large mouth would come to relegate her motion picture work to largely supporting comic parts, and was often made up in such a way that it appeared even larger than it already was. In the Disney cartoon Mother Goose Goes Hollywood, she is caricatured dancing alongside Joe E. Brown, another actor known for having a big mouth. In the Warner Bros. cartoon The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (1937), she is caricatured as a jazzy scat-singing donkey named Moutha Bray.

During World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, she travelled extensively to entertain the American troops, even though she had a lifelong fear of flying.

In October 1966, she went to Soc Trang, Vietnam, to entertain the troops at the base which was the home base of the 121st Aviation company, the Soc Trang Tigers, their gunship platoon, the Vikings; and the 336th Aviation company, the Warriors, and their gunship platoon, the Thunderbirds. Shortly after her arrival, both units were called out on a mission to extract supposed POWs from an area nearby. Raye decided to hold her troupe of entertainers there until the mission was completed so that all of the servicemen could watch her show. She often served as a nurse while on these trips.

During that time, a serviceman flying a "Huey Slick" helicopter carrying troops recalls that his ship received combat damage to the extent that he had to return to base at Soc Trang:

I was the pilot of that "slick" which had received major damage to the tail-rotor drive shaft from a lucky enemy rifle shot. The maintenance team at the staging area inspected and determined that a one-time flight back to base camp would be okay but grounded the aircraft after that. Upon arriving back at Soc Trang, I informed Martha (she came right up to us and asked how things were going) that we had a gunship down in the combat area and additional efforts were being made to extract the crew. I don't recall if we had received word of the death of the pilot at that time. Martha stated that she and her troupe would remain until everyone returned from the mission. As there were no replacements, the servicemen could not return to the mission. While the servicemen waited, Raye played poker with them and helped to keep everyone's spirits up. I enjoyed playing cards with Martha but regretted it somewhat. It appears that she had plenty of practice playing poker with GIs during her USO service in multiple wars. But I still love her for who she was and what she did. When the mission was completed, which had resulted in the loss of a helicopter, gunship and a Viking pilot, there was also an officer, the Major who was in command of the Vikings who had been wounded when the ship went down. He was flying pilot position but was not in control of the ship when the command pilot, a Warrant Officer, was shot. When he and the two remaining crewmen were returned to Soc Trang, Raye volunteered to assist the doctor in treating the wounded flyer. When all had been completed, Raye waited until everybody was available and then put on her show. Everyone involved appreciated her as an outstanding trouper and a caring person. During the Vietnam War, she was made an honorary Green Beret because she visited United States Army Special Forces in Vietnam without fanfare, and she helped out when things got bad in Special Forces A-Camps. As a result, she came to be known affectionately by the Green Berets as "Colonel Maggie."

On November 2, 1993, Martha Raye was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Bill Clinton, for her service to her country. The citation reads:

"A talented performer whose career spans the better part of a century, Martha Raye has delighted audiences and uplifted spirits around the globe. She brought her tremendous comedic and musical skills to her work in film, stage, and television, helping to shape American entertainment. the great courage, kindness, and patriotism she showed in her many tours during World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam Conflict earned her the nickname 'Colonel Maggie.' The American people honor Martha Raye, a woman who has tirelessly used her gifts to benefit the lives of her fellow Americans. "

Raye was an early television star when that medium was very young; for a while she had her own program, The Martha Raye Show (19541956) in which she was the lead and her awkward boyfriend was portrayed by retired middleweight boxer Rocky Graziano. (The writer and producer was future The Phil Silvers Show creator Nat Hiken). Other stars appearing on her show included Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cesar Romero and Broadway dancer Wayne Lamb. She also appeared on other TV shows in the 1950s, such as What's My Line?. Following the demise of her TV variety show, the breakup of her fifth marriage, and a series of other personal and health problems, she attempted suicide with sleeping pills on August 14, 1956. Well-wishers gave her a St. Christopher's medal, a St. Genesius medal and a Star of David. After her recovery, she wore these amulets faithfully, although she was neither Roman Catholic nor Jewish. At the conclusion of each episode of her TV shows, she would thank the nuns at The Sisters of St. Francis Hospital in Miami, Florida, where she recovered from her health problems. She would always say, "Goodnight, Sisters" as a sign of appreciation and gratitude.

Later in her career, Raye served as the television spokesperson for Polident denture cleanser, principally during the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1970, she portrayed Boss Witch, the "Queen of all Witch-dom" in the feature film Pufnstuf for Sid and Marty Krofft. This led to her being cast as villainess Benita Bizarre in The Bugaloos (1970), which the Kroffts produced the same year.

She often appeared as a guest on other programs, particularly ones that often had older performers as guest stars, such as ABC's The Love Boat and on variety programs, including the short-lived The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show, also on ABC. She also appeared from the third to ninth season as Mel Sharples' gruff mother, Carrie, on the CBS sitcom Alice, making two or three appearances a season. She made guest appearances or did cameo roles in such series as Murder, She Wrote on CBS and The Andy Williams Show and McMillan & Wife, both on NBC. She appeared again as housekeeper Agatha for the six episode run of the retooled McMillan.

Raye's personal life was complex and emotionally tumultuous. She was married seven times.

Raye's religion has been disputed although she received a Star of David and St. Christopher's Medal in honor of her military work Raye was a devout Methodist who regularly attended church, read the Bible daily, and even taught Sunday School classes.

She was married to Hamilton "Buddy" Westmore from May 30, 1937 until September 1937, filing for divorce on the basis of extreme cruelty; to conductor and composer David Rose from October 8, 1938 to May 19, 1941 (he left her to marry Judy Garland); to Neal Lang from May 25, 1941 to February 3, 1944; to Nick Condos from February 22, 1944 to June 17, 1953 to Edward T. Begley from April 21, 1954 to October 6, 1956; to Robert O'Shea from November 7, 1956 to December 1, 1960; and to Mark Harris from September 25, 1991 until her death in 1994. She had one child Melaye Condos with fourth husband Nick Condos (born July 26, 1944)

It is part of our in-store inventory from our shop which is located in the heart of Hollywood where we have been in business for the past 40 years

MARTHA RAYE Original SIGNED in PERSON Autograph Page
Item #BMM0000680