Image of Ned Sparks

Ned Sparks

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

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Nov 19, 1883 In Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie A Temperamental Wife 1919-09-14
Latest Project:
Series Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse 1960-01-01
Known For
Poster of Magic Town
Poster of George White's 1935 Scandals
Poster of Gold Diggers of 1933
Poster of The Hidden Way
Series Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse Unknown 1960-01-01
Series The Heckle and Jeckle Show Unknown 1956-10-21
Movie Magic Town Ike 1947-10-07
Movie Stage Door Canteen Ned Sparks 1943-06-24
Movie For Beauty's Sake Jonathan B. Sweet 1941-06-06
Movie The Star Maker 'Speed' King 1939-08-25
Movie Hawaii Calls Strings 1938-03-12
Movie One in a Million Danny Simpson 1937-01-01
Movie Wake Up and Live Steve Cluskey 1937-08-23
Movie This Way Please Inky Wells 1937-10-15
Movie Collegiate 'Scoop' Oakland 1936-01-22
Movie The Bride Walks Out Paul Dodson 1936-07-10
Movie Sweet Music 'Ten Percent' Nelson 1935-02-23
Movie George White's 1935 Scandals Elmer 1935-03-29
Movie Sing and Like it Toots McGuire 1934-04-20
Movie Hi, Nellie! Shammy 1934-01-20
Movie Down to Their Last Yacht Captain 'Sunny Jim' Roberts 1934-08-31
Movie Sweet Adeline Dan Herzig 1934-12-29
Movie Servants' Entrance Hjalmar Gnu 1934-09-25
Movie Imitation of Life Elmer Smith 1934-11-23
Movie Marie Galante Plosser 1934-10-25
Movie Secrets Sunshine 1933-03-16
Movie 42nd Street Thomas Barry 1933-03-11
Movie Gold Diggers of 1933 Barney Hopkins 1933-05-27
Movie Too Much Harmony Lem Spawn 1933-09-23
Movie Lady for a Day Happy McGuire 1933-09-13
Movie Going Hollywood Conroy 1933-12-22
Movie Alice in Wonderland Caterpillar 1933-12-18
Movie The Miracle Man Harry Evans 1932-04-01
Movie Big Dame Hunting Unknown 1932-01-15
Movie Blessed Event George Moxley 1932-09-10
Movie Big City Blues Mr. 'Stacky' Stackhouse 1932-09-18
Movie The Crusader Eddie Crane 1932-10-04
Movie Kept Husbands Hughie Hanready 1931-02-22
Movie Iron Man Riley 1931-04-29
Movie The Secret Call Bert Benedict 1931-07-24
Movie Corsair Slim 1931-11-28
Movie Double Cross Roads Happy Max 1930-04-20
Movie Love Comes Along Happy 1930-01-05
Movie The Devil's Holiday Charlie Thorne 1930-05-09
Movie Leathernecking Sparks 1930-09-12
Movie The Fall Guy Danny Walsh 1930-06-15
Movie Conspiracy Winthrop 'Little Nemo' Clavering 1930-08-10
Movie The Canary Murder Case Tony Skeel 1929-02-16
Movie Strange Cargo Yacht First Mate 1929-03-31
Movie Street Girl Happy Winter 1929-08-21
Movie Nothing But the Truth Clarence van Dyke 1929-04-20
Movie The Big Noise William Howard 1928-03-25
Movie The Magnificent Flirt Tim 1928-06-02
Movie Alias the Lone Wolf Phinuit 1927-08-22
Movie The Small Bachelor J. Hamilton Beamish 1927-11-06
Movie Money Talks Lucius Fenton 1926-05-10
Movie The Hidden Way Mulligan 1926-07-26
Movie Twinkletoes Unknown 1926-11-28
Movie His Supreme Moment Adrian 1925-04-12
Movie Faint Perfume Unknown 1925-06-08
Movie Bright Lights Barney Gallagher 1925-11-15
Movie The Only Thing Gibson 1925-11-22
Movie Good References Peter Stearns 1920-01-01
Movie The Perfect Woman Unknown 1920-07-01
Movie A Temperamental Wife Unknown 1919-09-14