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Famous Like Me > Director > S > Joseph Santley

Profile of Joseph Santley on Famous Like Me

Name: Joseph Santley  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 10th January 1889
Place of Birth: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Profession: Director
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Joseph Santley in "Billy the Kid", 1906

Joseph Santley (January 10, 1889 - August 8, 1971) was an American actor, singer, dancer, writer, director, and producer of musical theatrical plays and motion pictures.

Born Joseph Mansfield in Salt Lake City, Utah, he adopted the stage name of his stepfather, actor Eugene Santley. As a boy, he and older brother Fred began performing in live theatre appearing in summer stock and touring with their parents. In 1906, at age seventeen, Joseph Santley co-wrote and starred on Broadway in the play, "Billy the Kid." In 1907, he acted in film for the first time for Sidney Olcott at the Kalem Company in a silent Western film short called "Pony Express."

Santley continued to work almost exclusively in musical comedy plays, returning to Broadway five more times as well as touring nationally. A gifted dancer, Santley created the "Santley Tango" and the "Hawaiian Butterfly." After he married actress/singer and cabaret dancer Ivy Sawyer, beginning in 1916 the two danced as a team, performing together in a number of Broadway musicals and at other major venues across the United States such as the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.. Their final collective Broadway presentation was in 1927's "Just Fancy" which Santley co-wrote, produced and directed. He and Ivy Sawyer had a son Joseph born in 1916 and a daughter Betty born in 1928.

In 1928, Joseph Santley directed his first motion picture, making a short talkie for Paramount Pictures that featured the singing Ruth Ettig. The next year, Paramount had Santley direct three more films that were short singing productions, again featuring one with Ruth Ettig, another with crooner Rudy Vallee, plus a third titled "High Hat" with Broadway singing star Alice Boulden. As well, he did "A Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic," another music film featuring Eddie Cantor along with Eddie Elkins and his orchestra. In 1929 Joseph Santley co-directed "The Cocoanuts," a feature-length musical comedy for which he would be long remembered. Based on the George S. Kaufman play, the film starred the Marx Brothers and was billed as "Paramount's All Talking-Singing Musical Comedy Hit." His other notable directorial efforts include 1935's "Harmony Lane," a biographical musical on the life of composer Stephen Foster. In 1940, he directed Melody Ranch starring the "singing cowboy," Gene Autry. The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

During World War II, Joseph Santley worked for the war effort and in 1942 made the film Remember Pearl Harbor. In 1950, he made his last feature film but came back at age sixty-five to produce the 1954-55 television comedy, "The Mickey Rooney Show." In 1956 he put together two segments of "Jazz Ball," a made-for-TV musical revue created from various filmed performances by jazz greats from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Joseph Santley died in 1971 in Los Angeles.

Selected filmography - director:

  • When You're Smiling (1950)
  • Make Believe Ballroom (1949)
  • Rosie the Riveter (1944)
  • Sleepy Lagoon (1943)
  • Remember Pearl Harbor (1942)
  • Down Mexico Way (1941)
  • Melody Ranch (1940)
  • Music in My Heart (1940)
  • Always in Trouble (1938)
  • Walking on Air (1936)
  • Waterfront Lady (1935)
  • The Cocoanuts (1929)

External link

  • Joseph Santley at the Internet Movie Database
  • Joseph Santley at the Internet Broadway Database

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Joseph Santley