Sally Eilers

Sally Eilers

from the trailer for the film Pursuit (1935)
Born (1908-12-11)December 11, 1908
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 5, 1978(1978-01-05) (aged 69)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1927–1950
Spouse(s) Hoot Gibson (1930–1933)
Harry Joe Brown (1933–1943) 1 child
Howard Barney (1943–1946)
Hollingsworth Morse (1949–1958)
Children Harry Joe Brown Jr. (1934-2006)[1]

Sally Eilers (December 11, 1908 – January 5, 1978) was an American actress.


Early life

Dorothea Sally Eilers was born on December 11, 1908, in New York City to a Jewish-American mother, Paula (née Schoenberger), and an Irish-American father, Hio Peter Eilers (who was an inventor).[2][3] She was educated in Los Angeles, California and went into films because so many of her friends were in pictures. She studied for the stage, specializing in dancing. Her first try was a failure, so she tried typing, but then went back into pictures and succeeded.


She made her film debut in 1927 in The Red Mill, directed by Roscoe Arbuckle. After several minor roles as an extra, she found work with Mack Sennett, perhaps as one of his Sennett Bathing Beauties, in several comedy short subjects, along with Carole Lombard, who had been a school friend. In 1928, she was voted as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars, a yearly list of young actresses nominated by exhibitors based on their box-office appeal.

Eilers was a popular figure in early-1930s Hollywood, known for her high spirits and vivacity. Her films were mostly comedies and crime melodramas such as Quick Millions (1931) with Spencer Tracy and George Raft. She was married for a short time to Hoot Gibson, though the marriage ended in divorce in 1933.

By the end of the decade, her popularity had waned, and her subsequent film appearances were few. She made her final film appearance in 1950.

Personal life

She was married four times. With her second husband, Harry Joe Brown, she resided in a mansion located at 625 Mountain Drive in Beverly Hills, California.[4] It was designed by architect Paul R. Williams and built from 1937 to 1938 by O' Neal and Son.[4]


During her final years, Eilers suffered poor health, and died from a heart attack on January 5, 1978, in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 69. Eilers' cremated remains were interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California, her small niche located in the Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Understanding.

Partial filmography


  2. Parish, J.R.; Leonard, W.T. (1976). Hollywood Players: The Thirties. Arlington House. ISBN 9780870003653. Retrieved 2014-11-23.
  3. "Pauline "Paula" Schoenberger Eilers (1875 - 1952) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2014-11-23.
  4. 1 2 Victoria Talbot, 'Beverly Hills Cultural Heritage Commission Splits 2 To 2 on Mountain Drive Landmark Vote', The Beverly Hills Courier, October 03, 2014, Vol. XXXXVIIII, No. 39, p. 4
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