|Molly O'Day and Sally O'Neil|
So, I was going to do another dual entry about another pair of sisters but I read so much gossip (aka crap) about these sisters that I wanted to do a separate one for each and call out some of these 'journalists' from the 20's who insulted these lovely ladies.
Oldest sister first!
Sally O'Neil was born Virginia Louise Noonan on October 23, 1908 in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was the ninth child born to Judge Thomas Noonan and his wife, Hannah. She joined older siblings Thomas, Mary, Gerard, George, Vincent, John, Isabel, and Edmund. (I have read that there were 11 children in the Noonan family, but I can't find any trace of it, so either someone miscounted or a child died in infancy). Sister Suzanne (Molly O'Day) was born the following year.
The Noonans had a pretty privileged upbringing. They employed servants and the children were educated in a convent. But, after such a stuffy learning environment, Sally was looking for some excitement, so she went off to join the vaudeville circuit under the name "Chotsie Noonan."
She made her film debut in the 1925 short, Yes, Yes, Nanette which also featured Oliver "Babe" Hardy.
|Constance Bennett, Joan Crawford, and Sally|
Sally's greatest film success was later that year when she starred in Sally, Irene, and Mary with Joan Crawford and Constance Bennett. Funnily enough Sally played Mary, not Sally. While this film made Sally a famous starlet, the fame did not last long. She was great in light, flapper fair, but for some reason she just didn't have the right kind of star power. Her only other real film appearance of note was in the 1926 Buster Keaton film, Battling Butler.
Her great success did lead to her being named a WAMPAS Baby Star of 1928 along with Lina Basquette, Lupe Velez, and her sister, Molly O'Day.
Sally did make the transition into talkies, but a thick New Jersey accent and bad case of stage fright turned her film career into one filled with lackluster features.
She made her last screen appearance in 1938's Kathleen, playing the title role. After she retired from Hollywood, she went back to acting on stage and toured with the USO until the end of World War II. I found this quite interesting considering she supposedly had stage fright in the talkies but could perform in front of a live audience. Not sure how that all worked.
Sally O'Neil passed away on June 18, 1968 in Galesburg, Illinois from pneumonia.
She was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Galesburg.
Sally was married once, to Stewart Battles and I am not sure when they were married unfortunately. I do know that they remained married until her death because he was buried nexy to her when he passed away in 1984.
Along with Chotsie Noonan, Sally was sometimes billed as "Sally O'Neill" and the weirdest one, "Sue 'Bugs' O'Neill."
"Here's another girl who was plunged into prominence before she was ready to cope with it...Being saucy and piquant are her chief talents now, but time may change that." ~~ Motion Picture Magazine - 1927, putting almost zero faith in Sally.