Penny Singleton: A Biography (paperback)
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Penny Singleton: A Biography (paperback)

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Penny Singleton: A Biography

by Steve Randisi

6”x9” size

328 pages

ISBN 9798887712727 

In 1938, Penny Singleton achieved worldwide fame for her movie portrayal of Blondie, the beloved comic-strip character created by Chic Young.  

Penny Singleton: A Biography traces the life and times of the gifted entertainer who brought Blondie to cinematic life. Born Dorothy McNulty in 1908, she worked for years in vaudeville, eventually progressing to Broadway for such musical extravaganzas as The Great Temptations, Good News, and Follow Thru. Hollywood beckoned, and the sprightly newcomer was soon before the cameras alongside William Powell, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and other iconic stars of the 1930s. But it was the role of Blondie, in 28 popular movies and a concurrent radio adaptation, that endeared the actress to audiences. In 1952, with her film and radio commitments completed, Penny launched a highly successful nightclub act. She later ventured into regional theatre and then television, providing the voice of Jane Jetson in the futuristic animated series The Jetsons. Beneath the laughter and applause, however, was a woman determined to make use of her most fervent desire — to improve working conditions for her fellow variety performers. In 1958, Penny made headlines as the first female president of an AFL-CIO union. Thus began a 20-year journey that would be marked by legal challenges, financial setbacks, and even anonymous death threats.      

Drawing upon archival materials, and exclusive interviews with family members, close friends, former costars, and the actress herself, Steve Randisi presents a revealing portrait of a trailblazing show-business personality.


BOOK REVIEW by James Neibaur