Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ned Sparks (born Edward Arthur Sparkman, November 19, 1883 – April 3, 1957) was a Canadian-born character actor of the American stage and screen. Sparks was known for his deadpan expression and deep, gravelly voice.

Born in Guelph, Ontario, Sparks left home at age 16 and 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 and 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 for New York City to try his hand in the Broadway theatre, where he appeared in his first show in 1912.

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 both Tex Avery's Fresh Fish (1939) and Bob Clampett's Goofy Groceries (1941), a chicken in Bob Clampett's Slap Happy Pappy (1940), Friz Freleng's Warner Bros. cartoon Malibu Beach Party (1940), and Tex Avery's Hollywood Steps Out (1940). Sparks also voiced the cartoon characters Heckle and Jeckle from 1947 to 1951.

Sparks appeared in ten stage productions on Broadway and over 80 films. He retired from films in 1947, saying that everyone should retire at 65

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ned Sparks (born Edward Arthur Sparkman, November 19, 1883 – April 3, 1957) was a Canadian-born character actor of the American stage and screen. Sparks was known for his deadpan expression and deep, gravelly voice.

Born in Guelph, Ontario, Sparks left home at age 16 and 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 and 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 for New York City to try his hand in the Broadway theatre, where he appeared in his first show in 1912.

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 both Tex Avery's Fresh Fish (1939) and Bob Clampett's Goofy Groceries (1941), a chicken in Bob Clampett's Slap Happy Pappy (1940), Friz Freleng's Warner Bros. cartoon Malibu Beach Party (1940), and Tex Avery's Hollywood Steps Out (1940). Sparks also voiced the cartoon characters Heckle and Jeckle from 1947 to 1951.

Sparks appeared in ten stage productions on Broadway and over 80 films. He retired from films in 1947, saying that everyone should retire at 65

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 59

Birthday 1883-11-19

Day of Death 1957-04-03

Place of Birth Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Edward Arthur Sparkman
  • Ned A. Sparks

Acting TV ShowsMovies

Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse (124 episodes)
1956 The Heckle and Jeckle Show (54 episodes)
1947 Magic Town as Ike
1943 Stage Door Canteen as Ned Sparks
1941 For Beauty's Sake as Jonathan B. Sweet
1939 The Star Maker as 'Speed' King
1938 Hawaii Calls as Strings
1937 This Way Please as Inky Wells
1937 Wake Up and Live as Steve Cluskey
1936 One in a Million as Danny Simpson
1936 The Bride Walks Out as Paul Dodson
1936 Collegiate as 'Scoop' Oakland
1935 George White's 1935 Scandals as Elmer
1935 Sweet Music as 'Ten Percent' Nelson
1934 Sweet Adeline as Dan Herzig
1934 Imitation of Life as Elmer Smith
1934 Marie Galante as Plosser
1934 Servants' Entrance
1934 Down to Their Last Yacht as Captain 'Sunny Jim' Roberts
1934 Sing and Like it as Toots McGuire
1934 Hi, Nellie! as Shammy
1933 Alice in Wonderland as Caterpillar
1933 Going Hollywood as Conroy
1933 Too Much Harmony as Lem Spawn
1933 Lady for a Day as Happy McGuire
1933 Gold Diggers of 1933 as Barney Hopkins
1933 Secrets as Sunshine
1933 42nd Street as Barry
1932 The Crusader as Eddie Crane
1932 Big City Blues as Mr. 'Stacky' Stackhouse
1932 Blessed Event as George Moxley
1932 The Miracle Man as Harry Evans
1932 Big Dame Hunting
1931 Corsair as Slim
1931 The Secret Call as Bert Benedict
1931 Iron Man as Riley
1931 Kept Husbands as Hughie Hanready
1930 Leathernecking as Sparks
1930 Conspiracy as Winthrop 'Little Nemo' Clavering
1930 The Fall Guy as Danny Walsh
1930 The Devil's Holiday as Charlie Thorne
1930 Double Cross Roads as Happy Max
1930 Love Comes Along as Happy
1929 Street Girl as Happy Winter
1929 Nothing But the Truth as Clarence van Dyke
1929 Strange Cargo as Yacht First Mate
1929 The Canary Murder Case as Tony Skeel
1928 The Magnificent Flirt as Tim
1928 The Big Noise as William Howard
1927 The Small Bachelor as J. Hamilton Beamish
1927 Alias the Lone Wolf as Phinuit
1926 Twinkletoes
1926 The Hidden Way as Mulligan
1926 Money Talks as Lucius Fenton
1925 The Only Thing as Gibson
1925 Bright Lights as Barney Gallagher
1925 Faint Perfume
1925 His Supreme Moment as Adrian
1920 Good References as Peter Stearns

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