November 15, 2003 by

Penny Singleton

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Categories: Actors

psingleton.jpgMariana Dorothy Agnes Letitia McNulty, the brunette actress who colored her hair to star in 28 “Blondie” films, died on Nov. 12 from complications of a stroke. She was 95.
McNulty was always an entertainer. She sang at a silent movie theater as a child, and in her teens, began touring with vaudeville. After briefly attending Columbia University and appearing on Broadway, McNulty married dentist Lawrence Singleton and took the stage name Penny Singleton.
Her big break in show business came in 1938 when she landed the role of Blondie Bumstead in a feature film based on the Chic Young comic strip series. Twenty-seven Blondie films followed, including “Blondie Meets the Boss,” “Blondie Plays Cupid” and “Blondie Knows Best.” Singleton also divorced Lawrence and married “Blondie” producer, Robert Sparks.
In her later years, Singleton played the voice of Jane Jetson, the matriarch on the futuristic cartoon, “The Jetsons.” The Hanna-Barbera show ran in prime time for one season, but achieved lasting fame in syndication.
Singleton toured with road shows of plays and musicals and made guest appearances on the TV shows, “The Twilight Zone” and “Murder She Wrote.” She also served as a vocal member of the American Guild of Variety Artists, the union that represents touring performers, chorus girls and other entertainers.

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